Your Microwave’s Dark Side

Your Microwave’s Dark Side

By now, you probably know that what you eat has a profound impact on your health. The mantra, “You are what you eat” is really true.

But you need to consider not only WHAT you buy, but how you cook it.

Eating most of your food raw is ideal. But most of us are not going to be able to accomplish a completely raw diet, and we’ll end up cooking some percentage of our food.

Smart food preparation starts with high quality foods and food preparation and that means saying sayonara to your microwave oven. Need to sterilize a dishcloth? Use your microwave. But zapping your casserole is a BAD idea if you are interested in preparing healthy food.

Why the no nukes policy?

When it comes to microwave ovens, the price for convenience is to compromise your health. In this article, I will review what we know about the effects microwaves on your food and on your body.

Convenience Comes at Significant Toxic Threat to You and Your Family 

Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food, what most people fail to realize is that it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure.

The first thing you probably noticed when you began microwaving food was how uneven the heating is.

“Hot spots” in microwaved food can be hot enough to cause burns—or build up to a “steam explosion.” This has resulted in admonitions to new mothers about NOT using the microwave to heat up baby bottles, since babies have been burned by super-heated formula that went undetected.

Another problem with microwave ovens is that carcinogenic toxins can leach out of your plastic and paper containers/covers, and into your food.

The January/February 1990 issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter reported the leakage of numerous toxic chemicals from the packaging of common microwavable foods, including pizzas, chips and popcorn. Chemicals included polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene. Microwaving fatty foods in plastic containers leads to the release of dioxins (known carcinogens) and other toxins into your food.

One of the worst contaminants is BPA, an estrogen-like compound used widely in plastic products. In fact, dishes made specifically for the microwave often contain BPA, but many other plastic products contain it as well.

Microwaving distorts and deforms the molecules of whatever food or other substance you subject to it. An example of this is blood products.

Blood is normally warmed before being transfused into a person. Now we know that microwaving blood products damages the blood components. In fact, one woman died after receiving a transfusion of microwaved blood in 1991 , which resulted in a well-publicized lawsuit.

New Study Confirms Microwaves Affect Your Heart

A recent study examining the effects 2.4 GHz radiation (which is the frequency of radiation emitted by Wifi routers and microwave ovens) on the heart was just completed. The study found “unequivocal evidence” that microwave frequency radiation affects the heart at non-thermal levels that are well below federal safety guidelines, according to Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University.

No longer can skeptics claim that microwaves produce no immediate biological effects at ordinary household levels!

There is also evidence that this same frequency of radiation causes blood sugar to spike in susceptible individuals and may actually be the cause of one type of diabetes.

Microwaving Also Zaps the Nutrients Right Out of Your Food

There has been surprisingly little research on how microwaves affect organic molecules, or how the human body responds to consuming microwaved food.

The handful of studies that have been done generally agree, for the most part, that microwaving food damages its nutritional value. Your microwave turns your beautiful, organic veggies, for which you’ve paid such a premium in money or labor, into “dead” food that can cause disease!

Heating food, in and of itself, can result in some nutrient loss, but using microwaves to heat food introduces the additional problem of the “microwave effect,” a phenomenon that will be discussed in detail later.

Nevertheless, some excellent scientific data has been gathered regarding the detrimental effects of microwaves on the nutrients in your food:

  • A study published in the November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that 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.
  • A 1999 Scandinavian study of the cooking of asparagus spears found that microwaving caused a reduction in vitamin C.
  • In a study of garlic, as little as 60 seconds of microwave heating was enough to inactivate its allinase, garlic’s principle active ingredient against cancer.
  • A Japanese study by Watanabe showed that just 6 minutes of microwave heating turned 30-40 percent of the B12 in milk into an inert (dead) form. This study has been cited by Dr. Andrew Weil as evidence supporting his concerns about the effects of microwaving. Dr. Weil wrote:
  • There may be dangers associated with microwaving food… there is a question as to whether microwaving alters protein chemistry in ways that might be harmful.”
  • Microwaving can destroy the essential disease-fighting agents in breast milk that offer protection for your baby. In 1992, Quan found that microwaved breast milk lost lysozyme activity, antibodies, and fostered the growth of more potentially pathogenic bacteria .

Microwave Sickness

When your tissues are directly exposed to microwaves, the same violent deformations occur and can cause “microwave sickness.”

People who have been exposed to high levels of microwave radiation experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Insomnia, night sweats, and various sleep disturbances
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Swollen lymph nodes and a weakened immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Depression and irritability
  • Nausea and appetite loss
  • Vision and eye problems
  • Frequent urination and extreme thirst

Breaking Free of Your Microwave: A Few Basic Tips

Am I asking you to toss your microwave oven into the nearest dumpster?

Not necessarily. It can be a useful tool for cleaning. But if real estate in your kitchen is at a premium, it should probably be the first thing to go.

You really CAN survive sans microwave—people are living quite happily without one, believe it or not. You just have to make a few small lifestyle adjustments, such as:

  • Plan ahead. Take your dinner out of the freezer that morning or the night before so you don’t end up having to scramble to defrost a 5-pound chunk of beef two hours before dinnertime.
  • Make soups and stews in bulk, and then freeze them in gallon-sized freezer bags or other containers. An hour before meal time, just take one out and defrost it in a sink of water until it’s thawed enough to slip into a pot, then reheat it on the stove.
  • A toaster oven makes a GREAT faux-microwave for heating up leftovers! Keep it at a low temperature — like 200-250 degrees F — and gently warm a plate of food over the course of 20-30 minutes. Another great alternative is a convection oven. They can be built in or purchased as a relatively inexpensive and quick safe way to heat foods
  • Prepare your meals in advance so that you always have a good meal available on those days when you’re too busy or too tired to cook.
  • Try eating more organic raw foods. This is the best way to and improve your health over the long run.

 by Dr. Mercola

Thought you had to make popcorn in a microwave?  Here is an easy quick way to cook it on your stovetop…
 
Savory Popcorn
Popping the corn on the stove takes minutes and is much more delicious.  This is a new way to enjoy popcorn with heart healthy olive oil.   
 
1/4  cup           organic corn
                               coconut oil to cover bottom of pot
2      cloves        garlic, thinly sliced
2      Tbs           extra virgin olive oil or more
2      Tbs           pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
                             sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Melt enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of a heavy bottomed medium
sized pot over medium high heat. Add corn and shake to cover with oil. Cover
and shake until popping stops. Pour into a large bowl.
2. In a small skillet, saute garlic in oil until it begins to brown, about 5
minutes. Drizzle over popcorn, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and cheese.
Need more snack ideas, check out my Power Breakfasts and Snacks Cookbook.
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