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Microwaving Zaps Nutrients

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MURCIA, Spain, Oct 17, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Microwaving raw broccoli drastically all but eliminates some natural health-promoting chemicals, a study reported in the Globe and Mail said Friday.

Of particular note in the research was the post-microwaving disappearance of 97 percent of flavonoids -- substances often found in many brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

However, the study being released in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture -- conducted by a group of Spanish government scientists in Murcia, Spain -- found boiling removed only 66 percent of flavonoids from fresh raw broccoli, and pressure cooking leached out only 47 percent.

Microwaving reduced other similarly desirable chemicals in broccoli by anywhere from 74 to 87 percent.

By far the most healthful results were obtained by the staple of French cooking -- a simple and quick steaming.

The fact cooking in general breaks down health-promoting chemicals is well known, but all previous studies suggested microwaving was far from the worst offender in this regard. That title was generally reserved for the staple of British cooking -- boiling.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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