Do microwaves zap nutrition?
To nuke or not to nuke?
Although it’s a common fixture in home kitchens, office pantries, hotel rooms, and even restaurants, the microwave is still distrusted by many. It’s that lingering feeling that using a microwave to cook or reheat could somehow zap all of the nutrients from your food. But is there really any truth behind the microwave myth?
Health journalist Bob Barnett of upwave.com says no. In fact, Barnett’s research found that “if you do it right, cooking food in the microwave is one of the best ways to retain your food's vitamins and minerals.”
Generally speaking, the less time a food is exposed to heat, the higher its nutrient levels — and microwaving is by far the quickest way to heat food.
In some cases, microwaving can even enhance the nutrition of some foods. Barnett writes:
Cooking bacon on a griddle until it’s crispy (yum) can create nitrosamines, while microwaving bacon creates far fewer of these cancer-promoting chemicals … It makes the carotenoids in tomatoes and carrots more available to our bodies … and makes the biotin in eggs digestible.
To microwave correctly, place food in a microwave-safe container with a minimal amount of liquid and cover it tightly. This creates a steaming effect, which is the most efficient cooking method in retaining vitamins and minerals.