By now, you probably know how much what you eat can affect your health! But it’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s how you prepare it. Eating fresh food raw will always be healthier, but most people like to cook at least some of their food!
Clever food prep begins with high quality, preferably organic foods and natural preparation, which means we will definitely need to wave bye-bye to the microwave oven.
Yes, microwaves are great for sterilising a cloth. But when it comes to healthy food, don’t put it anywhere near the microwave! That includes your cups of tea, and anything else you’re going to put in your body.
How does a microwave work?
Microwaves make the water molecules in your food resonate at a very high frequency and turn it into steam to warm your food. This changes the food’s chemical structure, and when you add this to the carcinogenic toxins that can leach out of the container you put in there with the food, it’s not a pretty picture!
Three negative effects of microwave use
Microwave radiation leakage
There have been a number of tests and measures invented to make sure that your microwave doesn’t leak radiation. However, an NGO did some studies on how safe they really are. What was found out was shocking. They stated that, even when your microwave is working correctly, the radiation levels in your kitchen are likely to be quite a bit higher than what your nearby mobile phone base station emits. This radiation can travel through anything, including walls.
If you stand one foot away from the machine while it’s running, you’ll still be exposed to 400 milliGauss or more. 4 milliGauss has been linked to leukaemia! If you have kids, don’t let them stand next to the microwave or watch the food. If you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid using one.
A recent study looked at the effects of 2.4 GHz radiation, which is what Wi-Fi routers and microwave ovens emit. They examined the effects on the heart and found that heart rate and heart rate variability changes. If you are experiencing rapid or irregular heartbeat, pain or pressure in your chest, contact a doctor as soon as you can. There is other evidence which suggests that this same frequency of radiation can cause blood sugar spikes in susceptible people and might be the actual cause of one type of diabetes.
Heating food can cause some nutrient loss, but microwaving it kills your food and makes it likely to cause disease. For example, broccoli that was zapped in a microwave lost a little of its water content, but 97% of its beneficial antioxidants. Steamed broccoli lost 11% or less. Mineral levels remained intact.
In a study on garlic, just 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to deactivate all of its allinase, the component that fights cancer. A Japanese study showed that over 30% of the B12 in milk was turned into a dead, inert form after 6 minutes of microwaving. Don’t, whatever you do, put breast milk in the microwave!
Dangers of using a microwave
People who are exposed to high levels of microwave radiation may experience a range of nasty symptoms, including:
- insomnia, and sleep disturbances
- headaches and dizziness
- swollen lymph nodes and a weak immune system
- depression and irritability
- nausea and appetite loss
- problems seeing
- extreme thirst and frequent urination.
A microwave can be a useful tool for cleaning, but it’s not a good idea to use it to heat anything you’re going to consume. Here are some tips for making the transition smoother:
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Take your food out of the freezer in the morning or the night before so that it can defrost naturally.
- Make soups and stews in bulk batches, then freeze them. Take your portions out of the freezer, put them into a sink full of water, then reheat it on the hob once it’s thawed enough to be removed from its container.
- Use your toaster to heat up leftovers. Turn it down – to about 100 degrees, then put a plate of food onto of it for 20-30 minutes, or use your oven if you have one!
- Keep salad or snacks in the fridge so you can use them when you’re pushed for time. Smoothies are also a quick, healthy and satisfying way to replace meals when you can’t cook.