Macrobiotics is the
art and science of health and longevity through the study and understanding
of the relation and interactions between ourselves, the foods we eat, the
lifestyles we choose to lead, and the environments in which we live.
The macrobiotic approach
is based on the view that we are the result of and are continually influenced
by our total environment, which ranges from the foods we eat and our daily
social interactions to the climate and geography in which we live.
In considering all
factors that influence our lives, the macrobiotic approach to health and
healing views sickness as the natural attempt of the body to return to
a more harmonious and dynamic state with the natural environment. As what
we choose to eat and drink and how we live our lives are primary environmental
factors that influence our health and create who we are, the macrobiotic
approach emphasizes the importance of proper dietary and lifestyle habits
A special type of
vegetarian diet where it is followed for spiritual and philosophical reasons.
Aims to maintain a balance between foods seen as ying (positive) or yang
(negative). The diet progresses through ten levels, becoming increasingly
restrictive. Not all levels are vegetarian, though each level gradually
eliminates animal products. The highest levels eliminate fruit and vegetables,
eventually reaching the level of a brown rice diet.
From a member of
According to Donna
Secker and Stanley Zlotkin writing in Essentials of Human Nutrition, "macrobiotic
diets consist of unpolished rice, pulses and vegetables with small additions
of fermented foods, nuts, seeds and fruit; animal products are not consumed"
(not sure about the last phrase - I thought that fish was allowed in the
The authors warn that
"in infants consuming a macrobiotic diet, a clear relationship has been
demonstrated between diet, nutrient intake and physical and biochemical
evidence of deficiency for several nutrients including iron, vitamins B12,
D, and riboflavin. Slower growth rates and higher incidence of nutritional
diseases such as rickets, kwashiorkor and anaemia have been reported."
Principles of Eating
WHOLE CEREAL GRAINS. Between 40-60% of the volume of every meal should
include cooked whole cereal grains prepared in a variety of ways. Whole
cereal grains include brown rice, barley, millet, oats, corn, rye, wheat,
and buckwheat. It is best that only a small portion of this amount be taken
as flour products in the forms of noodles, unyeasted whole grain breads,
and other partially processed products, because flour products tend to
be more difficult to digest and create excess mucus more easily than the
SOUPS. Approximately 5% of your daily food intake should include miso,
tamari (shoyu) broth, or vegetable soup (one or two bowls). The flavor
should not be overly salty.
VEGETABLES. A wide variety of vegetables should be used daily. Approximately
25-35% of each meal should be used.
BEANS. Approximately 10-15% of your daily diet should include cooked beans
and bean products such as tempeh, tofu, and natto.
SEA VEGETABLES. High in necessary minerals approximately 5% of your daily
diet should include sea vegetables such as nori, hijiki, wakame, kombu,
SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS. A small portion of a variety of other foods such as
fish, fruit, nuts, and seeds should be included in the diet.
BEVERAGES. Recommended daily beverages include roasted twig tea (kukicha),
roasted brown rice tea, roasted barley tea, cereal grain coffee, and other
traditional teas that do not have strong aromatic properties and stimulating
effects can be used.
FOODS TO AVOID. Meat, eggs, animal fat, poultry, sugar, and dairy products
including butter, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and milk. All artificially
colored, preserved, sprayed, or chemically treated foods are also best