By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
December 11, 2015
- Microwaves zap the life out of your food
- How nuked food affects your blood cells
- Three cooking alternatives to add years of life
Back when microwave ovens first came out, my Mom absolutely refused to have one in her kitchen. She intuitively knew that they were bad news. She just didn’t know why.
But these days even folks like my Mom, who originally distrusted microwaves, are happily “nuking” food in their own kitchens.
I know they’re convenient. But they’re zapping the life right out of your food…and could be altering some things that shouldn’t be fooled with.
For example, glucosinolates are what make cruciferous vegetables such great cancer fighters. But when you nuke your broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower in the microwave, they lose a good amount of glucosinolates. In fact, microwaving fresh broccoli can slash these compounds by as much as 74%.
What microwaving does to your garlic is even worse. It literally wipes out all of garlic’s health benefits.
The allicin in garlic is what makes it such a great anti-inflammatory. It helps protect against arterial dysfunction, high blood pressure and heart disease. Allicin may also be what gives garlic its anti-cancer properties.
In fact, I often recommend to my patients that they eat at least two cloves a day for healing purposes.
But just 60 seconds in the microwave can shut down the enzyme in garlic that activates allicin. So you might still get the flavor, but you lose out on all of its disease-fighting abilities.
And it’s not just veggies I’m concerned about. Microwaves also corrupt animal products. In fact, beef, pork and milk all lose a huge portion of their vitamin B12 content when they’re microwaved.
On the flip side of the coin, other things may be happening that can produce even more negative effects.
Back in the 1990’s, a Dr. Hans Ulrich Hertel had concerns that the degenerative forces microwaves had on foods could affect human health.
To test his theory, a group of people ate milk and vegetables heated conventionally or by microwave in intervals of two to five days. And he found several discrepancies that occurred when the people ate microwaved foods:
- Their HDL and LDL ratio took a turn for the worse
- White blood cell counts decreased, indicating a trend toward degeneration
- Hemoglobin also decreased, which is indicative of anemia
Of course, the manufacturers of microwave ovens didn’t like these results a single bit. By 1992 a gag order had been placed against this reputable food scientist. But about six years later it was finally removed.
On top of that is the radiation itself. The government says the levels are well below those recommended by international standards. We are also told that, even though these ovens are allowed to leak up to 5 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.
There’s one more problem too. When you microwave in plastic containers or plastic wraps, it can mess with your hormones and release cancer-causing toxins into your food. This just adds insult to injury.
If a new microwave is on your Christmas list this year, scratch it off. Then, replace it with a healthier alternative.
My personal favorite is a toaster oven. They’re great for quickly reheating all sorts of leftovers. You can even cook from scratch in them. And they’re nothing like they were when I was a kid.
Back then, they were tiny little things…just big enough to cook two slices of toast. And they didn’t have much power. Today, they come in much larger sizes and many of them are designed for real cooking.
If a toaster oven isn’t big enough to suit your needs, there’s another option. Convection ovens heat the air that circulates around your food. They aren’t as quick as using a microwave, but they’re speedier than using your big oven.
And don’t forget…you can always use the stovetop. The time it takes to heat soup, veggies or other concoctions only take a couple minutes extra when you use your stove.
I don’t know about you, but if 3 minutes a few times a day can extend my life by days, months or years, I’ll take full advantage of it.
Vallejo F. et al. Glucosinolates and vitamin C content in edible parts of broccoli florets after domestic cooking. Euro Food Res Tech. 2002; 215(4):310-316.
Song K, et al. The influence of heating on the anticancer properties of garlic. J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3s):1054S-7S.
Watanabe F, et al. Effects of Microwave Heating on the Loss of Vitamin B(12) in Foods. J Agric Food Chem. 1998 Jan 19;46(1):206-210.