I have heard from some friends that using the microwave oven to heat food could affect the nutrients in the food. Is there any truth in this?

Microwaved food is denatured to a large extent. A study showed that microwaves cause changes in HDL, LDL, and white blood cells. Microwave ovens also tend to create high amounts of electromagnetic fields in your kitchen – another reason microwave ovens should be avoided. Microwaves use radiation, which as per some studies could be cancer-causing. When you heat something in a plastic container quickly, especially from a very cold state, the BPA (toxic compound) is released from plastic into your food. This is because rapid heating tends to cause more damage to the plastic from heat expansion. Avoid reusable plastic containers and plastic bags whenever possible. Besides the harmful BPA, even BPA-free plastics can contain estrogenic chemicals that can leach into your food and mess with your hormones when you heat foods in these containers. Microwave cooking is known to increase cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), which are highly pro-inflammatory. These COPs get absorbed easily in the gut and enter the bloodstream. If you must use microwave ovens for cooking, place the food in ceramic or glass containers. Avoid plastic containers as far as possible.

My bowel movements are not regular as of late. Is that a major health issue?

Constipation is seldom discussed and spoken about, but it’s important to pay attention to the regularity of your stool. Stools are not just unabsorbed food but also have toxins including hormones your body doesn’t require, bacteria, fat, protein waste matter and dead cells from the gut. Constipation prevents the body from getting rid of the waste, which then keeps circulating in the blood. Headaches are one of the first indicators. You’ll also feel bloated over a period of time and skin could develop acne. Constipation can make you feel tired all the time. Left unchecked, it can cause serious health issues that may need surgery. Constipation could result due to you eating less fibre or very little fat, if you’re on a new diet and your body is taking time to adjust to it, if you’re having a lot of sugar, from an overuse of medicines, fluctuating thyroid levels, stress and being inactive.