Microwaves are one of the most convenient kitchen appliances. In a rush and don’t have enough time to crank up the stove? No problem – just toss it in the microwave, hit one of the preset buttons, and finish up getting your outfit ready while your leftovers warm.

But what’s the cost of that convenience?

Hint: It’s a lot more than the $200 or so you spend on the microwave.

Conventional heat ovens cook food slowly from the outside in. A microwave, on the other hand, uses tiny (micro) high-powered radio waves to agitate the molecules in food. It’s similar to the way the sun heats up your face – by radiation.

And that’s where the trouble begins.

Problem #1 – Radiation


Microwaves don’t contain all the radiation they produce, which is one of the reasons we’re told to avoid standing too close to them. The FDA has set stringent guidelines for the amount of radiation microwaves are allowed to leak.

But as your microwave ages and the door seals get worn out, leakage exceeds those limits, damaging the cataracts, brain, nervous system and lymphatic system with repeated exposure.

Problem #2 – Reduction In Nutrients


While it’s scary to think about how microwave radiation affects people and objects around the appliance, things grow even more concerning when you take a look at what happens to food inside a microwave.

One study from the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that microwaved broccoli lost up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants, compared to 11% lost when broccoli was steamed.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that microwaving garlic for a mere 60 seconds depletes its primary cancer-fighting properties.

Problem #3 – Decrease In Digestibility


One study from the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition found that cooking food produced no change in its digestibility. Microwaving it, on the other hand, resulted in digestibility being reduced by as much as 25%.

Digestive problems caused 21.7 million deaths in the U.S. in 2010?

Problem #4 – Decrease In Sleep Quality


Did you know microwaves are also present in cell phones? Between the popularity of microwaves and smartphones, it’s no surprise that billions of watts per hour of radio waves are pumped into our ionosphere every day.

A study from the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy found that exposure to this level of radiation can result in fatigue, headache and insomnia.

Problem #5 – Brainwave Disturbance


Microwaves have been found to cause high levels of disturbance in the alpha, beta and delta wave patterns in the brain. Negative results include memory loss, reduced emotional thresholds and a decreased ability to concentrate.

Could microwaves be a contributing factor in ADHD?


Explain That Stuff

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Safe Space Protection


Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Journal of Nutrition

Journal of Food Science and Nutrition

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Earth Pulse

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy

Additude Mag