Microwaves have transformed the way household food is prepared since they claimed their spot on our counter tops, and our hearts, in the 1980’s. In recent years, rumors have bubbled up making some question their convenient relationship with the appliance. Have we been sacrificing our health for speedy reheating and cooking? Let’s find out…
How Does a Microwave Work, Anyway?
Ever wondered how your buttery bag of popcorn kernels turns into a steaming bag of popcorn?
Microwave ovens work by turning electrical energy into electromagnetic waves. These electrical waves then stimulate certain molecules in the food you are reheating, creating energy and thus heat. And just like that, your Catered Fit dinner is ready!
The Answer We’ve All Been Waiting For…
The truth is, microwave ovens are NOT ruining our food or sacrificing our wellbeing. Yay!
Heating food in any form, including sautéing, boiling, and slow cooking, is going to reduce some of the nutritional content of what we eat. However, microwaving generally requires short cook times and the temperatures used are usually low. For these reasons, microwaving your food may be better in the sense that more of the nutritional value in your meal would be retained as opposed to longer slow-cooking or baking times.
One of those preserved nutrients is Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been found to be preserved in microwave cooked foods as opposed to foods cooked using higher heat and longer cook times. Keep that in mind next time you’re preparing broccoli, cauliflower, kale, sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes!
Any other perks of microwaving? You bet. Microwaving has been found to preserve antioxidants in various vegetables better than other methods of cooking like boiling. And, speaking of boiling. While many people may think boiling or steaming their veggies is an ideal cooking method, the truth is that you leave many of the nutrients behind in the pot of water. In fact, when boiling spinach, you can lose a whopping 70% of the folic acid content. By microwaving with just a small amount of water, you completely avoid this issue.
The Verdict Is In
While we don’t believe your diet should consist of pizza rolls, hot pockets, or “instant” anything, we DO believe it’s safe and acceptable to reheat your leftovers and Catered Fit meal deliveries!
Most importantly, microwaving your food isn’t reducing the nutritional content of your food any more than steaming those veggies. In fact, it may actually be keeping more nutrients in all that plant-based goodness you add to your plate.
So, the bottom line? Don’t fear the microwave! Not only is it a highly convenient way of cooking your food, it may just be one of the better ways to get the most nutritional value out of the foods you eat.