By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 22, 2014
- Is your health being zapped?
- Never, ever, put this in your microwave
- Cooking the old-fashioned way
There are a lot of electronic devices around your house that emit harmful electromagnetic radiation. Computers, televisions and cell phones are all concerns. But there’s one device that troubles me the most – your microwave oven.
Alright, I admit microwave ovens are a great convenience. It’s hard for most people to imagine living without one. You can zap your meals and have them ready to eat in a matter of minutes.
But, while that handy device is cooking your food, there are multiple ways it might also be zapping your health.
The first concern, of course, is the radiation itself. The government says the levels are well below the maximum recommended by international standards. We are also told that, even though these ovens are allowed to leak up to five milliwatts of radiation per square centimeter, we’re perfectly safe from harm.
Well, now, I don’t know about that.
Microwave radiation is cumulative. It builds up in your body over time. So, sure, short-term studies – even at higher intensities – aren’t going to give the same results as long-term exposure to these devices. This means we’re acting as the first generation of guinea pigs to be under constant assault from microwave radiation.
If you’re overexposed to this sort of radiation, you could initially experience headaches, insomnia, night sweats, depression and memory problems. Over time, more serious problems could show up – including a weakened immune system, eye problems and cancers.
This long-term radiation exposure is just one of my concerns when it comes to microwave ovens. There are two more that are equally disturbing. Maybe even more so…
How often do you store your leftovers in plastic containers? And how easy is it to pop the whole kit and caboodle into the microwave to heat it up quickly?
This is problematic. That’s because plastics and microwaves don’t play well together.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re microwaving foods in plastic containers or plastic wraps. They all contain dangerous chemicals that are going to leach into your food.
One of these chemicals is called bisphenol-A, or BPA for short. This chemical has received a lot of attention as an endocrine disruptor. That means it interferes with your hormones, which can lead to infertility and certain types of cancer.
We also know that people with high levels of BPA in their bodies are much more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.
There are several other chemicals found in plastics, such as phthalates and polyvinyl chloride that can leach into your food. And the health consequences are just as alarming.
I recommend avoiding all foods and drinks that are packaged in plastic, period. And never expose them to heat or put them in a microwave.
Here’s one more word of caution when it comes to your microwave…
If you want to get the nutrition you expect out of your veggies, it’s a good idea to keep them away from the microwave oven altogether. It will zap the vitamins, minerals and enzymes right out of them.
In particular, microwaving causes the loss of glucosinolates, which are responsible for the anti-cancer properties found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It can also deplete levels of chlorophyll, vitamin C and plant proteins.
The absolute safest way to cook your vegetables is by lightly steaming them. This preserves more nutrients than any other cooking method. It also helps prevent them from becoming acidic, which can throw your body’s pH out of balance.
We don’t use a microwave in our home. In fact, we make every effort to reduce all radiation sources in the house.
And, when it comes to our food, we eat most of our vegetables raw – about 75% of them. We cook the other 25% of them the old-fashioned way, lightly steaming them on the stove-top.
Wild-caught fish can also be steamed… and clean meats and poultry can be slowly roasted in the oven. It’s not as convenient as the microwave. But the food tastes a lot better, with no ill effects on your health.
Lang IA, et al. “Association of urinary bisphenol A concentration with medical disorders and laboratory abnormalities in adults.” JAMA. 2008 Sep 17;300(11):1303-10.
Yuan GF, et al. “Effects of different cooking methods on health-promoting compounds of broccoli.” J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2009 Aug;10(8):580-8.