The macrobiotic diet is more than a diet in itself. It is a food philosophy that helps its followers achieve better health and a better quality of life.
This is not a “miracle diet.” Following it implies a radical change in life, being able to appreciate the effects in the medium or long term. It is also a new way of understanding the world, because it consists of eliminating from your diet all foods that do not come directly from nature.
What is the macrobiotic diet?
This diet comes from oriental medicine and has been followed since ancient times by followers of Buddhism. The macrobiotic diet is a way of life that is fundamentally governed by the principles of Yin and Yang. According to this Eastern philosophy, if the Yin and Yang are balanced, human health is not in the slightest danger.
Of course, proper nutrition is critical to achieving this vital balance. This philosophy classifies foods into two categories:
- Yin food. They are foods that do not contribute anything. These foods are associated with darkness, cold and humidity, they weaken the body. These include sugar, coffee, alcoholic beverages, dairy products, tropical fruits, and honey.
- Yang food. These foods tone the body and give it energy. They are associated with heat. This type of food is divided into three groups: cereals, legumes and vegetables.
We can say that the macrobiotic diet is essentially ecological and tends to vegetarianism. Animal proteins would be gradually eliminated, which would lead to a reduction in the diet to the almost exclusive consumption of whole grains.
Macrobiotic diet basics
According to this diet, we must consume foods that do not alter our biological characteristics. According to the principles of the macrobiotic diet, the human being should not consume food in which chemical elements have been used for its preparation, because our body is not prepared for it. That is why it is necessary to return to the traditional diet, in which cereals, vegetables and legumes were the base.
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The basic principles established by the macrobiotic diet must be observed on a daily basis. Among them, here are the main ones:
- Water. You should drink plenty of water, in small sips, before or after meals, never during. It is better to be hot, as in teas, infusions or soups.
- Whole grains. They should represent about 50% of the food consumed each day.
- Legumes These foods should constitute 15% of all foods consumed daily.
- Vegetables. They must be part of at least 25% of the daily diet. They should be eaten cooked, never raw or fried.
- Protein. They can be consumed at least twice a week. The protein should come primarily from white fish or poultry such as chicken or turkey. All other types of meat and fish are rejected.
- Egg. This diet allows you to eat one egg every ten days.
- Fruit. We should always eat them cooked. As much as possible, you should avoid consuming raw fruit.
Foods prohibited in the macrobiotic diet
Some foods are not part of the macrobiotic diet. Here are some foods to avoid:
- Refined foods that contain added preservatives or colorings.
- Foods that have been exposed to chemical fertilizers (crops).
- Red meat.
- Animal fats.
- Dairy products.
- Aubergines, potatoes, tropical fruits, tomatoes and juices.
- Hot seasonings and spices.
Benefits of the macrobiotic diet
The macrobiotic diet brings a large number of benefits to our health, so it is not surprising that it has more and more followers. Among these benefits, we can mention the following:
- Healthier stomach. Foods consumed as part of a macrobiotic diet help maintain a more suitable pH level for the body. This is the reason why heartburn and heartburn disappear completely.
- Regulates intestinal transit. The macrobiotic diet includes foods rich in fiber, facilitating daily intestinal transit. That is why this diet is often recommended for people with gastrointestinal problems or chronic constipation.
- Stable blood sugar The foods that are an integral part of this diet help control blood sugar.
- Stable weight. Since the caloric intake is very limited and there are no processed fats or sugars, followers of the macrobiotic diet tend to stay in shape.
- Greater peace of mind. The properties of the foods included in this diet help reduce stress and make us feel much better in our daily life.
- Mental agility. A macrobiotic diet is often said to help the brain function optimally. This is because it helps our brain to see more clearly.
- More energy. The macrobiotic diet is rich in cereals, it constitutes a great contribution of carbohydrates. The secret is that these hydrates are “slow chain”. This means that the feeling of energy and vitality continues throughout the day. That is why this diet is generally indicated for people who normally practice intense physical activity, but also for people who suffer from prolonged convalescence.
Disadvantages of the macrobiotic diet
The diet takes into account the physical characteristics of each individual, such as their age, sex or constitution. However, it is probably not a type of diet that everyone can eat.
As the tendency of this diet is to eliminate animal protein, people who lack iron or vitamin B12 will not be able to follow it. Therefore, it is essential to perform tests before starting the macrobiotic diet, but also during the first weeks.
One of its downsides is that it can cost more, as preservative-free and organic foods tend to be more expensive.
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However, if you have the opportunity to adopt this type of diet, you should know that it is ideal because it is made from completely natural foods, without toxins, which helps us purify our body.