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  • Dariia Pasko

Is microwave good or bad for your health?

Before I started writing this article, I thought that microwave had mostly a negative impact on humans’ health (that’s why my family got reed of it years ago). However, the studies are more controversial and, according to the recent researches, microwaving food can be beneficial or harmful depending on how and what you are cooking.

Heating food to a certain degree and for a short time period does not affect it. The danger is chemicals like phthalates, which can potentially disrupt your hormones and metabolic system. They leak into your lunch when plastic is heated unless there is a sign that it can be microwaved. “In children, phthalates can increase blood pressure and insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and hypertension. Exposure also has been linked to fertility issues, asthma and ADHD... Phthalates are everywhere – even in toys and body lotions – and it’s still unclear just how much damage they do. But most experts agree that heating plastic with phthalates can increase exposure.”

The other thing about microwaving is losing nutrients. In previous studies it was stated that microwaving reduces the amount of flavonoids – plant chemicals that are responsible for fruits and vegetables’ color and protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease. But what actually happens is - when you microwave, for example, broccoli under a minute – that will “increase” flavonoid amount. Technically, it will only make the measurement easier through the softer plant tissue and do not increase anything. However, vegetables will contain same amount of nutrients if microwaved during no more than 60 seconds.

There are number of other studies regarding different food chemicals and how radiation affects people’s brains, lungs, etc. Still, there is no study that proves that microwaves bring more harm than benefit and should not be sold. Hence, if used wisely – for short periods, not in a plastic dish and while preparing healthy food – there is no negative impact.

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