Though most of us fell for these funny food myths at one point, at least they were all relatively harmless. The most we were denied by these deceptions was a couple colorful M&Ms. But there’s a more pervasive food myth out there that may be affecting your intake of vitamins and minerals.
Despite rumors that microwaves sap nutrients out of your veggies, Harvard Medical School researchers say microwaving vegetables with a bit of water retains more vitamins and minerals than almost any of the other cooking methods. Unlike a regular oven, which warms the air around food, a microwave heats the molecules of the food itself with electromagnetic microwaves. During the cooking process, the radiation is absorbed by the food’s water molecules, causing them to vibrate and heat up. This allows food to cook at a lower temperature, in a shorter amount of time, keeping the nutrients intact.
If the thought of zapping your produce sounds less than appealing, don’t sweat it. Most nutrition and health experts agree that eating a healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of veggies—no matter how they are cooked—is the most important thing. Your other option is to eat more veggies like carrots and tomatoes that are more nutrient dense once they’ve been exposed to high heat.