I have read several articles indicating that cooking food in a microwave depletes its nutritional value. Does that include warming up leftovers? Could you clarify this for me? I use my microwave to cook and reheat food on a daily basis. —L.R., Buffalo, Wyoming
Not to worry! The microwave is a valuable tool for the health-conscious cook. Microwave cooking has been widely studied and consistently proven to be an efficient and nutritious method for cooking and reheating foods.
No cooking method can retain all the healthful water-soluble vitamins, such as the various B vitamins and vitamin C in raw foods. However, microwave-cooked foods (especially vegetables) typically retain a higher percentage of such vitamins. That's because of the short cooking time involved and the minimal use of water.
In a study from Cornell University, researchers reported that, on average, microwave cooked vegetables retained 11% more vitamin C than baked, 32% more than steamed and 75% more than boiled.
So go ahead and microwave to your heart’s content. Just be sure to use microwave-safe containers when cooking and reheating food.