I know Eggs are one of the most nutritious sources, containing many nutrients a human body needs.
It is a power-pack superfood, and I keep trying different egg recipes to bring variety to the kitchen table.
One of the things I have been trying out is to make eggs in Microwave (or reheat egg dishes I made a day ago). I was wondering if microwaving eggs destroys their nutrients.
So while I did my research, I also decided to write this article for anyone who may be looking for this.
Does Microwaving Eggs Destroy Its Nutrients?
According to Anthony L. Komardoff, MD, Editor in Chief of Harvard Health Letter, cooking food by any method does cause the nutrients to break down.
The method of cooking to destroy minimum nutrients has to be the quickest.
Microwaves expose food to heat for the shortest duration possible.
Compared to other forms of cooking, microwave cooking destroys fewer nutrients in egg.
The nutrients in the food are progressively lost as the cooking time increases.
Studies show shorter cooking time preserves nutrients in microwaved food. And the microbes contaminating the food will be destroyed.
Although some amount of nutrients will be lost when microwaving the egg, a large amount will be preserved.
Another method of destroying nutrients is boiling in water. When the nutrients are exposed to boiling water, they are leached out. Since very little water is used for cooking eggs in the microwave, the nutrient loss is minimal.
What Nutrients Do Eggs Contain?
Eggs are a superfood.
Let me tell you all about what it contains:
- A single whole egg contains approx 6 gms of protein, 5 grams of fat, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, folate, selenium, and phosphorus.
- It also contains medium quantities of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E.
- The egg has all the nine essential amino acids required for muscle growth and Maintenance.
- They are also rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that prevent diseases of the eye.
- Eggs also have an important nutrient, choline, that is essential for normal cell functioning and brain and spinal cord development.
- A whole egg also has Iron and Tryptophan. It has all the nutrients that are required by the human body.
Does the Protein in the Egg Gets Denatured by Microwaving?
Heating a raw egg causes the entire structure to break down and changes the protein structure altogether.
Proteins are amino acids held together by peptide bonds. Microwaves create heat, break the bonds, and the protein loses its structure.
The amino acids then form new bonds with proteins around them. You can visually see this on the outside as the gel structure of an egg changes color and turns firm.
Studies have shown that the proteins in eggs become more digestible when the eggs are exposed to heat.
It was found that humans were able to consume 91% protein in cooked eggs, while they could consume only 51% of the protein in raw eggs.
How to Cook an Egg in the Microwave the Right Way?
It is very easy to cook eggs in the microwave. It is also the fastest method.
All you need is a microwave-safe bowl and a microwave-safe lid.
Follow the easy methods below for different styles of egg preparation
Take a microwave-safe circular bowl for a perfect patty-shaped egg. Grease the sides and the bottom with a bit of oil/butter.
Break the egg inside the bowl and add ⅓ water on top.
Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid/plate. Microwave for 60 seconds on the highest power.
Check the bowl. If not done, cook for another 15 seconds.
Take a wide dish and grease the sides, and bottom with a bit of oil.
Break your eggs, and add milk, fillings, and seasonings. Beat the mixture well. Cover with a lid.
Microwave on the highest setting for a minute or two until you get the desired consistency.
Use a microwave-safe bowl. Grease the sides and bottom. Break the egg and add a little milk and seasoning.
Cover with a lid and microwave for half a minute.
Stir the egg mixture with a fork breaking it into lumps. You can also add delicate toppings or cheese at this point.
Microwave for another 30-60 seconds until you get the desired consistency.
How Do Microwaves Cook Food?
A microwave is an electric oven that uses micro energy waves (shorter than radio waves).
The water molecules inside the food are electrically asymmetrical. They contain a positive charge on one end and a negative charge on the other end.
The energy waves penetrate food and cause these molecules to vibrate and create heat.
As the heat is created inside, the food gets cooked from the inside out evenly and quickly.
Which Part of the Egg is More Nutritious?
While eggs are a power booster containing a good amount of nutrients, there is a debate about which part is more nutritious, the egg white or the egg yolk.
Both parts are equally nutritious but it depends on what you want. The Egg yolk contains more protein amino acids.
The egg white is more about vitamins and minerals. It contains less cholesterol and fat.
What is the Healthiest Way to Make Eggs?
Before answering this, let me quickly tell you about the different methods to cook eggs :
Eggs are fried with some oil in a pan. It can be fried only on one side (also called sunny side up) or fried on both sides (over easy)
In this method, eggs are boiled for 6-7 minutes in boiling water.
Depending on the time duration, the eggs turn soft-boiled or hard-boiled.
The eggs are cracked into an oven-safe flat-bottomed dish.
They are then baked according to the desired temperature and time duration.
The egg is first beaten in a bowl and then poured into a hot pan.
Once the eggs start to set, it is scrambled inside the pan with the help of a spoon.
Eggs are cracked into a small vessel containing water.
The water is heated at low temperatures for 3-4 minutes until the egg is done.
An Omelet is similar to scrambled eggs. The eggs are beaten in a bowl and then poured into the pan.
It is not disturbed or scrambled but comes out solid like a pancake.
Eggs can be Microwaved in different ways. You can make a poached egg, an omelet, or scrambled eggs. All you need is a microwave-safe bowl/dish and a lid.
For poached eggs, add a little bit of water to the bowl and then break your egg.
For an omelet/scrambled egg, grease the oven-proof cookware and add a little milk and seasonings to your egg mixture.
Studies show the cooking methods of boiling, Microwaving, and frying reduced the number of antioxidants by 6-18%.
A study showed a 61% loss in Vitamin D when eggs were baked for 40 minutes.
Shorter cooking times help to retain nutrients. You can either boil the egg for 5-6 minutes or microwave it for one-two minute.
Both Poached/boiled eggs are also low-calorie foods, so they are healthier on the calorie front.
Microwaving an egg is an excellent method of cooking as it preserves the most nutrients with its short duration of cooking.
I hope I have been able to clear all your doubts concerning microwaving eggs. I have also mentioned the different ways you can make the egg in the microwave.
Even though Microwaving an egg causes a loss of nutrients, the depletion is very minimal compared to other cooking methods.
This is why microwaved eggs will remain a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein.
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