Everything you need to know about the Macrobiotic Diet
A macrobiotic diet in translation means diet which ensures “long life”. And if you are connecting it with only weight loss, you are wrong, because it is much more than that, it is a way of life. Macrobiotics encourages eating regularly, staying active, chewing your food properly and maintaining a positive mental outlook. The macrobiotic first appeared around the end of nineteenth century, when Doctor George Ohsawa from Japan, established the theory of nutrition based on the Oriental diet. He believed that simplicity is the key to optimal health and he was right. The macrobiotic diet is proven to prevent and cure several diseases, including diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. Macrobiotic diet is a way to balance the yin yang, the two complementary energy forms that are present in all foods, people and objects. The two energies must be in good balance in order to achieve health and vitality.
People who are completely devoted to the macrobiotic are allowed to consume a small amount of fish and seafood, but only 1 to 3 times a week. Fish and seafood should be ideally prepared with wasabi, ginger and mustard to detoxify the body from the effects of fish and seafood.
2 Whole foods
Whole foods are crucial and very important part of the macrobiotic diet. The less processed food, the better the diet – that’s the rule of macrobiotics. The macrobiotic diet believes that eating whole foods will give your body its ideal yin yang needed.
Surprisingly, macrobiotics isn’t strict when it comes to drinking water and says that the dieters are supposed to drink only when they feel thirsty. Beverages like soda, coffee and alcohol are strictly prohibited. You can drink lemon water and herbal tea to improve the hydration levels.
Another very important part of a well-balanced macrobiotic diet. Miso, vegetables and grain soups are the ideal options. Drink one to two bowls of soup every day while following this diet.
Another thing that is not recommended too much in the macrobiotic diet are fruits. You can consume them for an evening snack or dessert, but not as a meal substitute. Local fruits like apples, grapes, apricots, melon and berries can be consumed 3 times a week. Tropical fruits like papaya, banana and pineapple are suggested to be avoided.
Vegetables are perhaps one of the most important part of the macrobiotic meal. Cooked and raw vegetables should make up to 30% of the plate. Green leafy vegetables, tubers and seasonal vegetables should be consumed every day. Sea vegetables like kelp, arame and Kombu are also healthy vegetable choices. One third of the total vegetable intake should be raw, while the rest should be steamed, boiled, or baked.
Macrobiotics suggests that beans should make up to 10% of the daily meal. Fermented bean products like tempeh, tofu and miso should be consumed regularly if you decide to have a macrobiotic diet. Tofu and tempeh have natural probiotics that help and ease the digestion.
8 Whole grains
Grains are the basis of most macrobiotic meals. It should make up to 50 – 60% of the meal. Whole grain foods like rye, buckwheat, oats and barley are recommended in this diet. Noodles, oats, pastas, bread, baked goods and other flour products can be eaten occasionally.
9 Sweets and desserts
Desserts in the macrobiotics are permitted but in moderation. People who have completely changed their diet into macrobiotics, should not consume more than 2 to 3 deserts a week. This is especially important for people who are feeling sick. Natural sweeteners like rice syrup, barley malt can be consumed, but honey, molasses, carob, chocolate should be avoided. If you can’t live without sweet food then dried fruits, fruits and adzuki beans can be great substitutes.
10 Sea Vegetables/Seaweeds
Another important part to any macrobiotic meal are the sea vegetables. Dulse, kelp, kombu, arame are healthy choices. Sea vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and excellent for health.
11 Condiments and Oils
Sesame oil and corn oil are the best (but be careful because corn oil mustn’t be GMO). Miso paste, sea salt, brown rice vinegar, tamari, tahini, brown rice syrup, veggie broth, dried mushrooms, etc., are also good and beneficial and are allowed in this diet.