Microwaving Does Not Destroy the Nutrients in Your Vegetables

Fareeha Arshad

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It’s a common misconception among most non-microwave users who justify that they don’t use the device because it eliminates all the anti-oxidants in their otherwise healthy food. However, it is not entirely true: microwaving does not lower the nutrient level in food. This was proved in a study by scientists from the Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain.

Anti-oxidants are compounds found in fresh fruits and vegetables and help fight against reacting oxygen species, which cause major lifestyle diseases, especially cancers. The Spanish research team tested a wide variety of veggies against the different cooking techniques, including boiling the chopped vegetables, baking, grilling, microwaving and frying them. The study concluded that baking, grilling, and microwaving those vegetables resulted in the least anti-oxidant destruction in those food items.

The researchers also discovered that the amount of nutrients lost depended on the type of vegetable and the cooking method used to cook that particular vegetable. For instance, artichokes were the most durable and did not lose their anti-oxidants regardless of the cooking method used. The maximum amount of anti-oxidant lost was in cauliflower after microwaving them. Also, the researchers further discovered that in some vegetables, the amount of anti-oxidants actually increased after microwaving them, like in carrots, green beans, and celery.

The scientists behind this study concluded that the amount of anti-oxidants or any other nutrient lost does not depend on whether or not you have microwaved them. Instead, the quantity of water used during cooking determines the amount of nutrients lost from the veggies during cooking. More the amount of water used during cooking, like boiling the veggies for prolonged durations, will result in leakage of the nutrients from the food. On the contrary, if you use the least amount of water during cooking, like baking or microwaving the veggies, it will result in more nutritious food for you to consume.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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