The origin of the microwave dates back to the second half of the 20th century, and today it is an essential appliance in modern kitchens. Beyond heating food, it has many other functions that make our lives easier and save us a lot of time, such as defrosting food. Now, despite its versatility, the microwave has a series of limitations that can seriously endanger our health. There are several foods that cannot be heated in the microwave, such as boiled eggs or milk.
Yes, milk falls within the group of foods that should not be heated in the microwave for a very simple reason: it loses half of its nutrients and almost half of the vitamin B12 that it provides to the body. Therefore, the best way to heat the milk is to put a saucepan on the fire, just like our grandmothers did. The same happens with butter and margarine, which lose their protein value when we heat them in the microwave.
Foods that should not be heated in the microwave
When heat is applied to a hard-boiled egg, tiny pockets of steam form inside the yolk. These bags can reach temperatures considerably higher than the normal boiling point of water and can burst.
Processed meats often contain preservatives and chemical additives that extend their shelf life. When heated in the microwave, some components can generate oxidized cholesterol products. These compounds can affect meat quality by damaging its nutrients and potentially contributing to the formation of toxic compounds.
Pasta that is already mixed with a sauce, reheating it in the microwave is not the best option as it can alter the consistency and flavor of the dish. In these cases, it is preferable to reheat it over low heat or medium temperature, stirring constantly to help integrate the ingredients.
The water content in fruits can cause, when heated, the internal water to turn into steam and increase the pressure inside the fruit. This could result in a breakdown of the outer skin, particularly in the case of oranges or other citrus fruits. In addition to the possibility of fruit bursting, heat can also affect the vitamin C present in these fruits.
Microwaving hot peppers or other foods containing capsaicin can release volatile capsaicin particles into the air. These particles can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, or throat, especially if inhaled in large quantities.
Uneven heating in the microwave can be a problem for breast milk, as it increases the risk of bacterial bloom in the food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that to avoid any possible microbiological risks, it is best to use a saucepan.
The best cleaning trick
To leave the microwave spotless and with a very pleasant aroma, there is a homemade solution that works like a charm. The steps to follow are:
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a microwave-safe bowl. Then, add the peel from both halves to the bowl. Fill the container halfway with warm water and place the bowl in the microwave. Heat it for 4 minutes, until the water boils and steam is generated. Leave the microwave closed for 5 minutes to let the steam settle. Being careful not to burn yourself, remove the bowl from the microwave. Use a clean cloth or soft sponge to clean the interior. The steam created will help loosen dirt and stains, making it easier to clean. Dry it with a dry cloth, and you’re done!
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