Microwaving and Nutrition
The Microwave oven has been around since the late sixties and is now a mainstay in nearly every kitchen.
Normally used as a convenience as it heats food quickly and efficiently which is a benefit when you don’t have a lot of the time to cook.
Could this quick benefit be adversely effecting the goodness in the food you cook?
Do you ever think about what happens to the nutrients in food when cooking them in the microwave?
The article below describes what happens with microwave cooking and whether it is any worse or better to other cooking methods.
Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals are nutrients, compounds found in foods. However, cooking with heat in any form, whether boiling, steaming, baking, grilling, frying or microwaving, can destroy these nutrients in foods, to some extent. This is because when food is heated, the chemical bonds in the nutrients break down. Certain nutrients are more sensitive to heat than others, whether exposed to heat from a microwave or oven. Of course, the heat kills disease-causing bacteria in the foods as well.
Duration of Exposure To Heat Matters
The longer the food cooks, the more nutrients tend to break down. Since microwave cooking takes a shorter time, it is said to cause the least likely damage to nutrients. This may come as a surprise to you but boiling vegetables tends to rob them of more nutrients compared to if you blanched, stir-fried them or cooked them in a microwave. Why this is so is because some nutrients leach out into the water. Unless of course, you make a soup filled with vegetables or chicken, which explains why soups are so nourishing and delicious!
Retention of Nutrients in Foods
If getting the most nutrition of what you chow down is your concern, then microwaving is a safe bet. If you use your microwave with a small amount of water to steam food from the inside (tip: cover it tightly so you create an efficient steam environment), you’ll retain more vitamins and minerals.
The Bottom Line
Cooking food changes the nutritional content, for better or for worse. Looking for the best cooking method around? Find one that cooks food quickly, exposes food to heat for the shortest time and uses a minimal amount of liquid. Strangely enough, microwaving meets all these criteria.