Baking a potato, preparing your steaming cup of coffee and popping out your pop corn in one minute has definitely made our lives so much easier. All thanks to the microwave, cooking now seems to need less efforts and reheating food has become a child’s play. Saving on a lot of time and the simplicity of usage are great beneficial add ons. However, did you know that there are some food items that shouldn’t be placed inside this appliance? Do you also know there is some adverse price you are paying for this convenience? Well, yes.
What is a microwave?
Microwave is our friend in the kitchen and is used for cooking or reheating food, speedily. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation and are on the low energy end of the energy spectrum, second to radio waves. The waves are generated by something called a magnetron – something found within every microwave oven. In fact they cause radiation, like atoms.
Effects of over usage of Microwave
Microwaving food, in effect, potentially destroys and depletes the life energy, rendering the food completely dead and lifeless. In addition, the food’s nutritional value is lost and it becomes nearly useless in terms of providing any real health benefit. Low B.P. is first sign of excessive microwave usage. Other symptoms such as impaired cognition, nausea, weakened immune system, swelling of the lymph nodes, headaches and dizziness are all the side effects of the microwave sickness caused by its regular use. So, be very wise in how often you use it.
Dr Greeshma Nair opines on the effects of microwaves on the human body:
1.Destroys vitamins in the food:
A study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, revealed that there was atleast 40% vitamin loss in the food subjected to heating by microwave. Significant levels of drop in Vitamin B12 was noticed.
2. Destroys the good bacteria in the milk and other dairy products
It was observed that milk or other dairy products subjected to microwaves contained very low levels of probiotics and also promoted the growth of harmful bacteria such as E.coli. Researchers tested 22 freshly frozen human milk samples to test them for lysozyme activity and antibodies by heating the samples for 30 seconds on either a low or high power setting. Breast milk microwaved at high temperatures was found to have greater E coli growth — 18 more times than the control ( non microwaved) breast milk. Microwaving at low temperatures also dramatically decreased lysozyme activity and also promoted the growth of harmful bacteria for babies.
3. Produces carcinogen in the food:
The plastic containers used in the microwave ovens have been found to release the carcinogens along with other harmful toxins into your food which is then absorbed by your body. The assembling of microwavable foods are found to contain toxic chemicals such as BPA, polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene. Even extremely short exposure of raw or cooked vegetables turned their plant alkaloids into toxins.
4. Microwaving changes the composition of blood:
In a Swiss clinical study, researchers found that blood changes in individuals who consumed microwaved milk and vegetables. The eight participants in the study ate a series of food prepared in different ways, including food heated in the microwave. The results of the study showed red blood cells decreased while white cell levels increased, along with cholesterol levels. The non-ionizing radiation of the microwave can affect changes in your blood and your heart rate.
Foods that should not be microwaved
While microwaving is the most unhealthy means of cooking, there are certain food that should never be put into that device.
- Bread: Most bachelor’s everyday breakfast and also majorly used in a child’s breakfast in urban families this piece of yeast must not be microwaved. By microwaving bread, enough moisture goes out of the bread and make it stale and hard, which you may not like and it will ruin the piece of bread, which you may not like to eat.Dry stale bread is known to cause vata aggravation.
- Rice : Microwaving rice causes growth of bacteria due to the warm moist environment created within it which may lead to mild food poisoning. Even worse idea is microwaving the refrigerated rice. Rice is a food substance that should never be reheated.
- Milk, especially breast Milk: Microwaving frozen human milk can cause uneven warming of the milk, which could create spots that are hot for the sensitive, tender infant mouths, while drinking the milk. Apart from that, the method of defrosting through microwaving may destroy some of the immune boosting proteins, which is contained in the breast milk, thus denying the benefit of immunity to the children.
- Frozen Meats: No doubt defrosting meat is must before cooking, but the idea is not good through microwaving, because, due to uneven distribution of the heat, meat will defrost unevenly. This will also results in some portions of the meat cooked, while other part will remain defrost, which promotes bacterial growth. Instead, plan properly and defrost meat in your fridge overnight for use in your next day meal.
- Potatoes: Generally potatoes contains Clostridium botulinum, a type of bacteria. Microwaving of potatoes may not destroy it completely producing neurotoxins that might lead to paralysis.
- Hard Boiled Eggs: It is a nice idea to looking ways and means for reducing time spent in cooking and one of the method is through microwave. Unfortunately, microwave is not solution to all our cooking needs. Some foods need to be cooked longer and slower manner. For example, by microwaving hard boiled egg, one may end up with a large mess or burning fingers. Through rapid cooking process of microwave, which emanates steam in the egg, which has no place to escape, may explode and an exploded egg is difficult to clean up and it is advised to avoid altogether, the idea of microwaving hard boiled eggs.
Additionally, disposable plastic bags, one time use yogurt containers, plastic storage containers, food wrapped in plastic cling wrappers and take away boxes all contains BPA that leads to various health issues including carcinoma.
So while you enjoy the extra time in hand spared from cooking, make sure you don’t make your everyday cooking revolve around this invention. While it has its positives and is helping you out in your daily life, it also has certain disadvantages that become apparent if regularly used.