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Can Heating Food in the Microwave Cause Cancer?

Warm food with microwave it is more practical. However, some people are reluctant to use it for fear that radiation from microwaves can cause cancer. Is this true? Check out the explanation below.

Can Heating Food in the Microwave Cause Cancer?

Really Use Microwaves Trigger Cancer?

Cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control and spread to other organs in the body. The appearance of these cancer cells can be caused by DNA damage and mutations.

High-energy radiation such as X-rays can cause DNA damage. This type of radiation is called radiation ionizing. If the body is exposed to high-energy radiation for a long time, the risk of cancer will also increase.

Meanwhile, microwave uses microwaves, a form of electromagnetic waves similar to radio waves.

Microwaves produce non-ionizing radiationso it does not have enough energy to destroy the cell directly.

Microwaves can heat food by causing water molecules to vibrate so the food becomes hot. This technique is different from conventional heating of food, where heat energy is absorbed by the body.

Until now, there has been no research that proves microwaves on microwave can cause cancer. These microwaves are known not to cause radiation contamination of food.

This electronic device has also been equipped with protection that can keep electromagnetic radiation inside the device and prevent it from leaking.

Also Read: Burned Food Can Cause Cancer, Really?

Effect of Microwave Use on Food Nutrition

Please note, every cooking process can reduce the nutritional value of food. The main factors that contribute to this are temperature, cooking time and cooking method.

Conventional cooking methods, such as boiling can cause water-soluble nutrients to be lost from food.

While reheating food with microwave tend to use shorter time and lower temperature. Accordingly, heating food in this way more able to retain nutrients when compared to conventional methods.

A study revealed that heating vegetables in the microwave can retain antioxidants in vegetables better than boiling. In fact, heating broccoli in the microwave can increase the compound sulforaphane which are anticarcinogenic.

Ultimately, this method retains the nutritional value of food better than other cooking methods.

Things to Look For When Using Microwaves

Here are some things to consider when reheating food with microwaveamong them:

1. Avoid Heating with Plastic Containers

Several types of plastic contain components that can interfere with the function of the body’s hormones.

One of which is bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical often found in plastics and linked to cancer, thyroid disorders, and obesity. When heated, plastic containers can release BPA into heated food.

It is recommended that you avoid heating food in plastic containers unless a microwave safe mark is placed on the container.

Also Read: Wrapping Hot Food in Plastic Triggers Cancer, Really?

2. Heat food evenly and carefully

This can occur due to heating with microwave tend to use low heat and a short time so that the food does not heat evenly. Therefore, you need to make sure the food gets even heat.

You also need to be careful when heating liquids, there is a possibility that these liquids may overheat, explode, and eventually injure the skin.

3. Follow the Instructions for Use

Just like using other electronic devices, you also need to read the manual and follow the instructions for use. This step can help you maintain the quality of your food as well as your own safety.

In the end, microwave is a safe, effective and convenient cooking method. There is no evidence this tool can cause cancer.

  1. Anonymous. Does Radiation From Microwaves Cause Cancer? (Accessed 20 February 2023).
  2. Farnsworth, Carolyn. 2022. Do Microwaves Cause Cancer? (Accessed 20 February 2023).
  3. Gunnars, Kris. 2022. Microwave Ovens and Health: To Nuke, or Not to Nuke? (Accessed 20 February 2023).

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