The word "macrobiotic" stands for ‘long life’, and the diet emphasizes on the intake of natural food. This article provides information about the diet and its benefits.
Macrobiotic diet, originally from Japan, supports the Eastern philosophy of balancing food to attain the balance of yin and yang. Like all the other diets, in this diet plan also there is no place for processed and refined foods. It is basically, a flexitarian diet, which allows occasional eating of fish or meat. Although not scientifically proven, this diet may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
About the Diet
The diet is mostly vegetarian and contains whole grains, cereals, and cooked vegetables. It is high in fiber and low in fat. The principle of this diet is that, foods should be taken according to the season. This helps in balancing the potassium and sodium levels, with acids and alkali in the body. Physical and spiritual health is the focus of this diet.
While designing such a diet plan, remember 50% to 60% of the meals should consist of whole grains. Beans should make up about 5% to 10% of the diet, while 25% to 30% of the diet must contain vegetables. In other words, it is a high fiber diet. Out of the total vegetables consumed, about 35% should be taken raw. About 5 to 10% of the diet, should comprise miso soup or beans soup. Soy chunks, tofu, seaweed, and other soy products can also be included in the diet.
It is also important that the diet should be planned keeping in mind the individual’s preference. Cooking methods like baking, steaming, sautéing, or boiling should be used and more emphasis should be on locally grown fresh foods. Also, once in a while, you may include fish in your diet; however, consumption of meat should be avoided.
Breakfast: One bowl of whole grain cereals can be taken with soy milk. You could also cook it in water. You can also have some locally grown seasonal fruits along with it.
Mid Morning Snack: Half bowl of vegetable salad comprising cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, etc., make a good mid morning snack. Although, it is best to have them without any dressings, lime juice and some herbs can be used.
Lunch: A bowl of miso soup or bean soup, along with a couple of whole grain crackers can make a good lunch. Since the soups are rich in fiber, they will make you feel full.
Late Afternoon Snack: One may have one or half a bowl of fruit or vegetable salad.
Dinner: Dinner can include brown rice combined with different vegetables. Soy chunks can also be added to it, for the necessary protein enrichment. If you are not fond of soy chunks, then you can have half a bowl of miso soup.
In case of people affected by cancer, it is best to talk to a health care professional before starting the diet. He/she will be in a better position to prescribe the right diet in such cases. Also, the diet may not be rich in calcium, therefore, one must ensure that they have a balanced diet. Make sure to use different combination of foods, to bring variety in your diet. If you are hungry include soy milk in the diet along with some snacks.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.