Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that microwaves kill fewer nutrients compared to baking or boiling. “Microwave cooking exposes most foods to less heat, water, and for shorter cooking periods, so that means that fewer vitamins will be destroyed during cooking.” (1)
You can literally sterilize a wash cloth or a tooth brush in a microwave. In a study done by Latimer and Matsen (2), they found that various pathogens were killed within seconds in a microwave. If a microwave kills the bad stuff, do you think it safely avoids harming the good nutrients and molecules in our food?
What Dr. Gupta did not assess was how a microwave “cooks” food. Bear with me on the explanation of how microwaves work: Microwaves emit electromagnetic waves that are able to rotate water molecules quickly because water molecules are “polar.” Polar means that one side of the molecule is positively charged and one side is negatively charged. When the water molecule rotates quickly, it produces heat by rubbing against the other molecules in the food. Seems harmless, right? The polar molecules that are rotating are not only heating up your food, but they are forcefully slamming against other molecules in the food, which causes damage to those molecules and can break them apart. Moreover, water is not the only polar molecule in food. Protein molecules have varying polar parts, and are much larger than water molecules. I would assume that the polar parts of proteins want to rotate like the water molecules, potentially destroying the protein. Through this process, food molecules and nutrients are destroyed. One study found that microwaved broccoli lost up to 97% of its antioxidants (3). Some scientists claim that these broken down and altered molecules are carcinogenic. Furthermore, we want to get as many nutrients as possible from our food. When we don’t, we get chronic fatigue and become vulnerable to illness and disease.
Another reason I stay away from microwaves is that toxic chemicals are leached from plastic containers when heated in a microwave. Where do those chemicals go? You guessed it, in your food. The worst container to heat your food in is the container in which a frozen premade meal comes in.
Try this: Use a toaster oven or a conventional oven to heat your food. Yes, it takes longer, but it’s worth it. If you’re going to use a microwave, do not use the plastic containers frozen meals come in. Open up the packaging and use a glass or ceramic dish to microwave your food in. You can also cover the top with a paper napkin so food doesn’t splatter.
And above all else, cooking in any form destroys nutrients. Make sure to get raw, whole foods into your diet every day.