Microwaving food is an ideal and convenient way for busy people to cook food or reheat their leftovers, as it takes a few minutes. However, many of us have been brought up believing that microwaves are not safe to use at all because they produce harmful radiations which can damage our health. Although it’s obviously better to not use plastic containers in the microwave and instead use silicone bowl covers and utensils, and glass or ceramic containers as they are microwave safe.
Before clearing up your confusion regarding microwaves harming your health, first, let’s shed some light on how microwaves really work. Read below!
How Do Microwaves Actually Work?
Microwave ovens use electricity to produce electromagnetic waves or radiations. The food which is placed in the microwave usually has some amount of water molecules that vibrate with electromagnetic waves, and this movement causes food to heat up. Just like you would rub your hands together to warm up your hands.
Are Radiations Produced By Microwaves Harmful For Your Health?
Many people fear the term “radiations” as soon as they hear it.
However, microwave ovens don’t produce ionizing radiations, which are found in atomic bombs. Instead, they release non-ionizing radiations that are quite similar to the ones produced by your smartphones.
Are Microwaves Safe?
As mentioned above, these electromagnetic waves are not dangerous for your health as they are designed to prevent the radiation from reaching outside with the help of metal screens and shields over the window.
You will also be safe as long as you follow all the instructions on the manual. Whenever the microwave is in use, you must make sure to stay at least 30 cm away from it.
You should also ensure that your microwave is in good working condition and closes properly when in use. Your microwave should also automatically shut off when you open the window.
Can Microwaved Food Cause Cancer?
You may be wondering that even the radiation doesn’t harm you in person, however, it can do so via food as radiation can be absorbed by it.
Only ionizing radiation can cause cancer because it can damage the DNA present in your cells. As microwaves produce non-ionizing radiations only, there’s no way your food can absorb the cancerous ionizing radiations.
Therefore, microwaved food can’t cause cancer, and it won’t harm your health. But you should make sure to not use plastic containers in microwaves as they contain harmful BPA which can get into your body.
If you must use plastic, ensure it’s microwave safe. Glass or ceramic containers are safer to use in microwaves and are definitely a much better option.
How Does Microwave Affect the Nutrient Contents in Food?
Many people also believe that microwaves drastically affect the nutrient contents of your food. However, according to research, microwave ovens don’t really destroy the nutritional value of your food.
Instead, the other methods such as frying, and boiling are prone to breaking down the nutrients in the food more than microwaving. This is because, in the conventional methods of cooking, you use more heat to cook food, which can cause the beneficial nutrients to break down.
On the other hand, the microwave uses less heat and time to heat up or cook food, therefore, preserving the healthy, essential nutrients.