The microwave is arguably one of the most convenient inventions to-date. But, what about the health effects of the EMF’s it emits? Is microwave toxicity a legitimate concern? I’ve researched the pros and cons of microwave use to help you decide.
It’s no secret the invention of the microwave is as convenient as it gets. I mean, you insert cold, or even uncooked, food, press “start,” and within seconds to minutes, your food is cooked, warm, and ready-to-eat. Seriously, does it get any easier? Probably not. But, it also doesn’t get any more dangerous. Or does it? Microwaves used to be considered the best thing since sliced bread. But, now, they’re earning a poor reputation for food toxicity and nutrient-zapping (for lack of a better word). So, are microwaves worth it? Or are we better off ditching this kind of radiation-cooking-contraption? Let’s explore!
*This post is based on my personal experience and research on microwave toxicity.
I highly doubt anyone questions the benefits of microwaves, but in case you need a reminder, here you go:
Needless to say, microwaving is the most convenient cooking method available. It’s takes seconds, or at most minutes, to heat or cook carious foods. You can microwave food at home, work, or school.
Obviously, microwaves are as user-friendly as it gets. Anyone can operate a microwave, including most children, elderly, and sick.
While, we’re all well aware of the benefits of microwaves, what about the health consequences? Here’s what I’ve discovered:
Formation of AGEs and Carcinogens
There are 123 studies showing the non-thermal effects of microwave EMF’s on our health. EMF’s (electromagnetic fields) are produced by all electronics, like phones, computers, power lines, and microwaves. They work by influencing and altering the charged atoms of an object. If EMF’s were created to influence the charged particles in material items, why wouldn’t they also affect the charged particles in human bodies? In fact, they do. Long-term exposure to EMF’s has been associated with an increased risk of cancer, due to the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).
According to The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2003) “.. broccoli “zapped” in the microwave with a little water lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also reductions in phenolic compounds and glucosinolates, but mineral levels remained intact.” By microwaving food, nutrients are inactivated, including vitamins, antioxidants, and more. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, my goal is to eat as much nutrient-dense food as possible, so this negative consequence truly goes against my professional duty.
To Microwave or Not?
So, the question remains: to microwave or not to microwave? Given the research shared above, my personal opinion is that avoid the microwave is best. It’s worth noting that I actually implement this practice for my own health. Whether or not it’s worth it for you, is up to you.
You might be wondering, in a busy world, how do we avoid microwave toxicity? It might seem a little counter-culture, but I recommend reverting to more traditional ways of cooking or heating, like:
- Cooking and reheating food in the oven or on the stove
- Enjoying more raw, fresh foods, as opposed to cooked foods
- Invest in a toaster oven or air fryer for quick cooking and reheating
While it might sound inconvenient, it really doesn’t take that much longer to reheat food in the oven or stove, if you have access to it. Otherwise, do your best to avoid microwave cooking when possible.
Quick, Easy, Healthy Recipes
If you’re looking for quick, easy, and healthy recipes that don’t require a microwave, look no further. These recipes were created to nourish your body in the most convenient and quickest ways. Most of this recipes require minimal time, effort, and ingredients:
One Pan Pork Tenderloin and Veggies
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Creamy Tomato Meat Sauce
Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry
Cheesy Jalapeno Cauliflower Grits & Sausage