Microwaves Destroy Antioxidants In Vegetables!

Studies show that microwaving vegetables can destroy up to 97% of cancer-preventing antioxidants, and that blanching and freezing can destroy up to 70% of vitamins. Learn why!
    10/10/2003 - The November issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture contains two studies that examined common food storage and preparation techniques. The studies showed that microwaving vegetables can destroy up to 97% of cancer-preventing antioxidants, and that blanching and freezing can destroy up to 70% of vitamins. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, combined with vitamin and mineral supplementation, maximizes the protective effects.


Microwave = 97% Loss In Cancer Prevention

The November issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture contains two studies that examined common food storage and preparation techniques. The studies showed that microwaving vegetables can destroy up to 97% of cancer-preventing antioxidants, and that blanching and freezing can destroy up to 70% of vitamins. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, combined with vitamin and mineral supplementation, maximizes the protective effects.

In the first study, broccoli lost 97 percent of flavonoids, 74 percent of sinapics and 87 percent of caffeoyl-quinic derivatives (three different types of antioxidants) when it was microwaved. When boiled broccoli lost 66 percent of its flavonoids; when tossed in a pressure cooker, broccoli lost 47 percent of its caffeoyl-quinic acid derivatives. Steamed broccoli, on the other hand, lost only 11 percent, 0 percent and 8 percent, respectively, of flavonoids, sinapics, and caffeoyl-quinic derivatives.

Microwaving is the most destructive of the cooking methods, as it heats the inside of the vegetables and breaks down the structure of the antioxidants. Contact with water, when boiling and pressure cooking, leaches out the nutrients and also destroys them with the high temperature. Steaming minimizes the leaching and contact with hot water, reducing the destruction of the nutrients.

The second study looked at the effects of blanching and freezing on 20 vegetables including broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas and green beans. Among some of the more startling results were that spinach lost 40 percent of its potassium and 70 percent of its folic acid and vitamin C, while carrots, peas, and broccoli lost 30 percent of their vitamin C.

Once again, the authors recommended fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and light steaming as the preferred heating option.


The Importance Of A Multi Vitamin

Even with the best of diets, it's still possible to have some marginal deficiencies due to depleted soils, the overuse of chemical fertilizers and poor farming, processing, storage and transportation practices. Add that to the fact that most of us don't even eat a well-balanced diet every day, and you can see how important it is for everyone, and especially athletes, to use a high quality multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.