In our impatient, hurried world, most of us are used to a microwave oven only taking minutes to cook what used to take half an hour or more.
We’ve usually been willing to accept less taste and the stale texture caused by microwaves, but we might not be willing to accept what else they do to our food. Though most of us know that heat damages a certain percentage of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes in our food, it might surprise you to know that microwaving your food has a far greater damaging impact according to scientific studies.
Dr. Ed Bauman composed a report that puts together several studies on the effects of microwaves on our food. The results and conclusions of these studies are disturbing to those who care about their health.
- A Scandinavian study in 1999 of the cooking of asparagus found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamins
- In a study on microwaving garlic, only 1 minute of microwaving inactivated its allinase, garlic’s active ingredient that fights cancer (among other diseases)
- The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published a study in its November 2003 issue that showed microwaving broccoli with a little water lost up to 97% of its antioxidants. Steamed broccoli, however, lost only 11% or less of its antioxidants.
- A warning to new mothers, microwaving destroys the disease-fighting agents in breast milk that provide protection for your baby. In 1992 it was reported in Pediatrics 89 (4 part I) that microwaved breast milk lost antibodies, and encouraged the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Additionally, according to the studies cited by Dr. Bauman, microwaving creates new compounds not found in nature or in human beings, called “radiolytic compounds.” It is unknown what these compounds do to our bodies, but they are not health-promoting and are likely detrimental to our overall health and well being.
This is all the more reason to eat foods as close to nature as possible. Organic raw vegetables, fruits and nuts should be offered on our tables whenever possible. At the very least we should be using a traditional oven instead of a microwave as much as possible and reminding ourselves that, though it might take longer, we’re doing ourselves and our families a service.