Warming up yesterday's dinner leftovers for lunch? Some foods, when reheated, can be toxic and wreak havoc on your digestive tract.
Make sure these foods aren't in your lunch bowl!
1. Leafy greens
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale contain high levels of nitrate, which can be converted to carcinogenic nitrosamines when heated.
In layman's terms, your greens might turn toxic and can poison you! Quite the opposite effect of your attempt to eat clean.
Chicken and turkey can contain salmonella. In the microwave, the meat can be heated unevenly, so some parts of the protein breaks down quicker than others, which can lead to a stomach upset.
If you choose to reheat your poultry, make sure it's cut up into smaller chunks so it's heated more evenly through and through, and rotate it frequently to ensure even cooking. Make sure the inside of the meat is piping hot before consuming.
If not stored properly or left out in room temperature, rice is an excellent breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and food-borne viruses, which reheating in the microwave won't get rid of.
The same goes with potatoes – bin them if you're not going to finish them!
Protein-rich foods like mushroom and eggs should be consumed soon after preparation. Otherwise, the proteins deteriorate in a matter of a day or two and cause a tummy upset when consumed.
If you don't want to throw out your mushrooms, try incorporating them into a salad and eating them cold the next day.
Tips to reheat food
1. As much as possible, reheat food where it was originally prepared — roast meat in the oven, soup in the pot.
2. While stews, pasta, and other dishes that are consistently moist are alright to be reheated in the microwave, crusty foods like breads or fried food will do better in the toaster oven so they don't turn soggy.
3. If you're refrigerating your food to be reheated, make sure it's stored in an airtight container to prevent the moisture from escaping from the food.
4. Babysit your food attentively when microwaving. Take your food out at intervals to stir so it's heated more evenly to avoid cold spots and overcooked sections.
5. Reheating pizza? Try a skillet over medium-high heat instead. With your pizza slice on the skillet, cover the pan for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese (add more if you wish – go wild!), then uncover and cook until the crust is crispy.
Written by Pinky Chng for The Finder