Is it Protected to Put Meals within the Microwave? – BBC Information
Lead researcher Xianli Wu, a scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, says there is no agreed mechanism to explain why microwaves might increase flavonoid levels. It could be that microwaves make flavonoids easier to measure – possibly by softening the plant tissue, making them easier to extract – rather than increasing their amount
However, there is no clear answer to whether microwave vegetables contain more nutrients than any other method. That’s because, according to Wu, every food is different in terms of texture and nutrients.
“While microwaving is generally a preferred method, the optimal time for different vegetables will be different,” says Wu. “When considering common household cooking methods, microwave is a preferred method of cooking, at least for many plant-based foods, but probably not for all plant-based foods.”
In another study, researchers compared the levels of phenols (compounds linked to various health benefits) in different vegetables after cooking, steaming, and microwaving them. Microwaves and steaming caused a loss of phenol in pumpkin, peas, and leeks, but not spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, or green beans. The researchers also tested for antioxidant activity.
In both measures, vegetables performed better in the microwave than cooked.
“Moderate heat treatment could have been a useful tool in improving the health properties of some vegetables,” the researchers write.
Heat the plastic
We often microwave and wrap food in plastic containers, but some scientists warn of the risk of phthalates ingestion. When exposed to heat, these plastic additives can break down and leach into food.