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Reheating meals in the microwave is easy and convenient, Meal Prep Sunday wouldn’t be the same without it! That said, it’s a win-lose situation for nutrients. The quick rise in temperatures easily breaks down vitamin C and vitamin B12. But according to Guy Crosby, a science editor for America’s Test Kitchen and professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, all isn’t lost when using the method. Microwaving meals is actually the preferred reheating method since shorter cooking times preserve nutrients. Additionally, a few tips could take your microwave nutrition game to the next level.
The foods that we choose to reheat will retain nutrition differently when reheated at fast rates. “The antioxidants found in colorful vegetables like carrots and tomatoes, increase when the protein that bind them break down during heat,” says Crosby.
The Harvard Health Letter recently stated, “Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams foods from the inside out. That keeps more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method.”
Any experienced microwave user knows about the dangers of hot spots. They just won’t burn your tongue, those scorching areas also contain degraded nutrients. The reason: microwaves don’t heat food evenly, potentially risking your entire meal for a nutrient loss. To fix this problem, put a lid on your food, so that moisture is kept inside and keep the microwave power on low. This will allow your food to cook rapidly, but not overheat—preventing hot spots.
The last tip is to just stay the course! If you’re already keeping a clean diet while pushing it hard in the gym, the microwave heating effect won’t drastically destroy your nutrient intake.