Microwave ovens are one of the most common kitchen appliances that are found in every Indian kitchen. The appliance causes immense convenience in terms of cooking and re-heating already cooked food and that’s why people from most economic backgrounds tend to install it in their kitchens. From boiling water and heating milk to cooking fast food items like maggie noodles, popcorn and cakes, microwave ovens are like a saviour for people who keep busy with their jobs or stay away from their families.
However, convenience like this comes with a price. According to a study conducted by Swiss scientist Hans Hertel, cooking food in the microwave depletes it of its nutritious qualities. The high radiation with which it heats/cooks the food deforms the molecules in food, thereby creating harmful radioactive compounds.
How do microwave ovens work?
What a convenience it is to simply press the ‘start’ button and wait for only a minute to have your food heated from last night!
Now let’s see what actually happens when you push that ‘start’ button. Immediately after we push the button, tiny, energetic waves start moving through the inside compartment of your oven. These microwaves release electromagnetic radiation. The waves vibrate rapidly, at about 2,500 megahertz (2.5 gigahertz) a minute. That’s about the same frequency as your cell phone. Microwave ovens release non-ionising radiation which is potentially recognized to be cancer-causing.
What are the health risks involved with microwaves?
According to numerous researches, microwave ovens can sometimes weaken your immune system and may lead to birth defects. There have also been an increase in the chances of cancer with regular microwave use. It reduces your resistance to bacterial and viral infections and if one consumes microwaved food for a long period of time. According to the study conducted by Hans, microwaving food leads to food degeneration. Another study concluded that microwaves can also lead to elevated blood sugar levels in certain people.
If you are one of those who would do not have much time to cook food or warm it in the conventional or traditional manner, here’s a list of health risks you are placing yourself at:
Microwaved food is toxic enough to cause immense damage to your brain. It primarily affects your sleeping pattern leading to insomnia.
2. Loss of nutrition
When you heat or cook food in a microwave, the nutrients and antioxidants in your food are lost. This may even lead to increased cholesterol levels.
Non-ionising radiation is a potentially cancer-causing and microwave ovens produce such radiations.
How To Safely Use Your Microwaves
Having mentioned the cons, it is not to say one shouldn’t use this innovation. You can use the microwave as there is also research supporting safety of microwave use, but you ahve to know how to use it correctly. Though using a microwave can be a healthful, easy way to cook but be sure that it is in a good condition and you must use only a microwave-safe container. Here are a few safety measures you can take.
- Avoid using a microwave oven to heat/cook for infants or children.
- Stir food thoroughly while you cook/heat in microwave and never microwave longer than the recommended time.
- Use a microwave to cook vegetables instead of heating processed meats and snacks.
- Always test the temperature of the breast milk if at all heated in microwave oven. Ideally, avoid heating it in the microwave
- Do not overheat water and other liquids. In fact, avoid using microwave for heating/cooking liquid food or water.