Microwaves – probably one of the most celebrated and widely used 20th century inventions in the western world. The chances are, even if you don’t use it, you’ll have one in your house and office. They’re quick and convenient, but they pose all sorts of health risks, and are best avoided at all costs. But just what is it that’s so bad about them?
They’re radioactive, and mess with your heart rate and blood cells
On average, microwaves produce 2.4 GHz radiation, which can have serious impacts on your body. A study by Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University has shown that this amount of radiation can cause ‘immediate and drastic’ changes to your heart rate. Another study by Dr. Hans Hertel shows that this radiation alters the balance of red and white blood cells. Research also indicates that microwave radiation can lead to blood sugar spikes connected with diabetes in susceptible individuals.
They zap nutrients right out of your food
Due to the dielectric heating of foods when cooked in a microwave, a startling amount of the nutrients are lost in the ‘cooking’ process. Studies have shown an approximate 40% drop in the levels of vitamin B12 in meat when heated in a microwave as opposed to traditional methods. Even more shockingly, broccoli was found to lose up to 97% of its antioxidants when microwaved, as opposed to just 11% when steamed. As the Paleo diet focuses on eating clean, nutrient dense foods, microwaving doesn't make much sense does it?
They transfer carcinogens into food
If you reheat your food in any kind of plastic wrap, or even in a plastic tub, all sorts of chemicals can leak into your meal. In a study by the Russian government, levels of BPA, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene were discovered in microwaved food.
And it’s not just the food itself you need to worry about..
Perhaps most shockingly of all, as microwaves are supposedly ‘safe’ to use in the home – they can leak radiation and electromagnetic emissions directly into your kitchen. You wouldn’t eat your food in an electromagnetic power plant, so why put yourself in the same danger in your kitchen?
Our hectic lives mean that sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare healthy, delicious meals for the whole family every evening. Sometimes, meal planning and cooking food in large batches is one of the best ways of saving time whilst ensuring every one eats healthily. But what if you want to reheat that food? Personally, when I’m batch cooking, I tend to mainly make stews, curries, casseroles, even soups. These are really easy to reheat using a traditional saucepan and stove, and can be ready in minutes. Also, I tend to peel and chop my veggies when I have the time so they are ready to roast, boil or steam when I want them. I’ll often roast up some sweet potatoes or squash in their skin – and when I want to eat them, I’ll just throw them in a hot oven for five minutes to heat through before peeling. When it comes to meat, I’ll often chop this up and leave it in the fridge ready to cook. Stir fries are a brilliant way to quickly cook your protein, especially if you dice it finely. Steak, Lamb, Salmon and Tuna are also excellent choices if you’re in a rush, as they can (and should!) be eaten rare, so will only take a couple of minutes to cook each side.
What are your thoughts on microwaving food? Is it something you still do or did you give it up along with the grains and sugar?