The macrobiotic diet is an ancient and clean eating practice with principles of Zen Buddism. This diet helps to adjust the yin and yang elements of food.
Reference: Yin and Yang is an ancient philosophy of china about dualism, and opposite forces. It is the best way to detox and de-stress from tech turmoil and work overload.
Practicing a macrobiotic lifestyle will boost health and get back balance to life. Therefore, no more fad diets. Try the macrobiotic diet and live a happy and disease-free life.
What Is Macrobiotic Diet and How Does It Work?
Table of Contents
The macrobiotic diet is a high fiber, low fat, and mostly vegetarian diet. It got famous by George Oshawa in 1930. Later, Michio Kushi developed the diet and prepared it a growing trend amongst dieters and mindful eaters. Kushi mentioned that macrobiotics is the common way of life with which humanity has grown biologically, spiritually, and with happiness with which we will manage health, peace, and happiness. This Asian lifestyle and diet follow the Chinese philosophy of balancing yin foods and yang foods. The macrobiotic diet works by eliminating toxins and getting you near to nature. It boosts consumption of organic, locally developed products and reduces the processed, packaged, foreign, canned, and zero-nutrition foods.
Individuals who follow the macrobiotic lifestyle have an extra balanced, harmonious, and peaceful life. Scientists have discovered that following the macrobiotic diet may help to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Does that mean only people with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer should follow this diet? Let’s know in detail.
Who Can Get Benefit from Macrobiotic Diet?
It Balances your physical health
The macrobiotic diet ultimately needs the removal of processed foods and cut down the refined sugars and grains. Because of this, someone following the macrobiotic diet is likely to feel weight loss, as well as lowered risk of developing pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes.
Raising vegetable consumption with antioxidants, micronutrients, and dietary fiber, in diet may lower the cancer risk and boost cardiovascular health. However, while the World Cancer Research Fund and American-Institute-for-Cancer-Research reported that consuming an abundance of vegetables and fruit especially 250 gm to 400 gm every day could lead to 20% lesser cancer cases worldwide back in 1997, there is small scientific proof to support that following a macrobiotic diet can treat cancer.
During research published in the journal Nutrition and cancer back in September of 2015, researchers discovered the macrobiotic diet to be specifically more anti-inflammatory, than the standard American diet. This is because the macrobiotic diet is made up of basic fruits, whole grains, and vegetables that reduce inflammation that helps to nourish the body.
Promote Healthy Body, Mind, And Spiritual Connection
To get good health, a person must create a type of chain response in the body. Think about it: When you sense mentally, physically good and vice versa right? Therefore, a person who can get and sustain balance in the body will eventually get thoughtfully balanced, as well as mentally connected.
The most essential thing to remember is that the diet should make you feel good. Not hungry, not sick, not deprived, or anything else that could confuse you from sensing the joy of spiritual connection.
You Will Learn Mindful About Cooking and Eating Habits
One thing that separates the macrobiotic diets from mainstream dies is their link to nature. Removing certain foods is only part of the package. The other side of it is to remain mindful of surroundings, the climate in which you live, and the food type that increases climates.
For example, in a temperate climate, foods to skip will include things like animal fat, meat, chocolate, dairy, potatoes, tropical fruits, eggplant, tomatoes, asparagus, and avocado, as well as hot spices and alcoholic drinks. Similarly, an individual should also base their food choices over the situation of their health. Together, these methods of consumption can boost a completely healthy lifestyle.
What is more, the macrobiotic diet also makes you learn about cooking your food. Because the macrobiotic diet is about coming to nature association, the method you cook the food is important. Unfortunately, that means cooking food in the microwave is commonly lowered upon, but just because the appliance is different, cooking should not be a more frustrating process. It is highly promoted that cooking is made as simple and stress-free.
The experience of cooking is simple and peaceful. You will learn to get access to a gas stove, grill, etc. Moreover, you should skip eating, cooking, or storing food in plastic.
You Will Learn To Eat Intuitively
It is a major behavioural component of the macrobiotic diet is learning about intuitively eating. In other words, eating only when feeling hunger, and not eating anything when you are full.
It is easier said than done, which is the reason it is recommended for those on a macrobiotic diet should eat both thoroughly and consciously, chewing every mouthful at least 50 times to allow more food digestion. It is also suggested that individuals refrain from eating preferably for 3-hours before bedtime.
Improve Heart Health
Some studies have discovered macrobiotic diets support cardio health in specifically reducing serum lipids level and reducing high blood pressure. It is not surprising to consider how many anti-inflammatory, high-antioxidant, foods are encouraged for a macrobiotic diet.
For example, the macrobiotic diet provides rich dietary fiber, including all types of high fiber foods such as beans, veggies, and unprocessed grains. Eating more fiber has been correlated with enhanced cardiovascular disease risk factors from several mechanisms, including body weight, lipid reduction, blood pressure control, improved glucose metabolism to lower chronic information.
Very Low in Gluten, Sugar, and Packaged Foods
Macrobiotic diet also eliminates junk foods, bottled drinks, packaged foods, fast foods, fried foods because this diet chooses empty calories, low sugar, and artificial ingredients. This thing makes it a good nutrient-dense diet consist of vitamin E, vitamin C, and fiber with low calories.
It can be very beneficial for those people with food allergies since it prevents common allergens, which cause indigestion, such as dairy products, almost all nightshades, and gluten. However, one drawback and critique point are that macrobiotic diets tend to add saltier, and high sodium foods like sea veggies, soy sauce, and fermented soy products.
Macrobiotic Prevent Cancer
The macrobiotic diet may work to stop cancer. It is a regular eating strategy that benefits to eliminate stress and detoxify the body. That, in turn, may lower cancer cell reproduction and information. However, there is no scientific proof that the macrobiotic diet can limit tumor cell growth in humans. Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice to promote health.
Although diet is the same its results are varied from person to person for preventing cancer. Research recommends that eating a macrobiotic diet helps to overcome cancer risk by giving high phytoestrogen and antioxidants.
According to a 2011 report issued in the Journal-of-Nutrition said, based on available proof and its similarity to diet recommendation for prevention of chronic disease, the macrobiotic diet possibly carries a lower cancer risk. Women eating macrobiotic diets have less estrogen level, which has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Macrobiotic diets offer a high quantity of phytoestrogens from foods such as sesame seeds and fermented soy products. These may help to manage natural estrogen production by binding to receptor sites of estrogen.
While more estrogen come with its risks, in the case of female above the age of 50 who naturally get low levels during menopause, extra estrogen from their diets might help to lower risk of cancer among other benefits.
Whole grains and vegetables consist of complex carbohydrates, which are absorbed slowly into the bloodstream so there is no immediate insulin demand. Finally, the body gets consistent energy, which makes people extra effective and less tired with fewer energy swings.
Simple carbohydrates present in white sugar, corn syrup, and honey are not macrobiotic diet parts. Although this simple sugar provides short-term energy, they also cause an energy crash. The sugar consumption demand insulin release has been shown to relate to obesity because insulin is also known as a fat-storage hormone.
Wholegrain cereals consist of rich vitamin B and fiber, both of which are known to provide a rich anti-aging synthesis. Healthy seeds and nuts are the best anti-again foods. Plant drinks are prepared with fresh wheat and baby barley provides rich antioxidants and chlorophyll, which make you look healthy and younger.
Macrobiotic Diet – Foods to Eat and Avoid
Foods to Eat
- Veggies (20% – 30%) – Organic veggies, locally grown. Eat raw, boiled veggies or pickled.
- Whole Grains (40% – 60%) – Eat barley, oats, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, wheat, rye, corn, and a few goods made from them like pasta and bread.
- Beans (5% – 10%) – chickpea, Lentils, azuki, and produce like tofu, natto, tempeh.
- Sea Vegetables – Wakame, Nori, kombu, and hiziki.
- Others (once a week) – Fruits, nuts, Whitefish, and seeds.
Eat Organic Foods
Organically grown food lowers pesticide exposure which is linked with infertility, cancer, and chronic illnesses.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables lack important energy, which is an essential element of macrobiotics. Fresh food consists of a wide range of nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, which commonly enhance the immune system and health.
Eat high-fiber and low-fat foods
These foods help to reduce the cancer risk like ovarian, colorectal, and prostate cancer and also diabetes problem.
Eat Wholegrain Cereals and Flour Containing Vitamin B
Diet consists of whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease and benefit to prevent type 2 diabetes and cancer. A wholegrain diet also helps to manage healthy bacteria and bowel.
Skip Hydrogenated Oils and Saturated Fats
Saturated fats, present in animal products, more prone to deposit within the arteries, organs, and cells. If eaten extra, saturated fats can lead to various health problems.
Unsaturated fats in contrast are very healthy if consumed in a moderate amount. They can be available in seeds, nuts, and some vegetables. They are fluid present in the body and complete important carrying and chemical functions.
Substitute red meat with quality legumes and plant protein
Processed and red meats like sausage and bacon raise the inflammation and risk of diseases. Legumes and beans in contrast provide rich calcium, potassium, iron, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Algae consist of myriad nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, fiber, and chlorophyll. Algae provide iron, magnesium, calcium, which help to manage strong bones, and a healthy blood system. They also benefit to lower sleep disorders and anxiety.
Nuts provide rich omega 3, fiber, selenium, and vitamin E. They also consist of different phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fortify the immune system. Omega-3 is known as healthy fats, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol and heart disease risk.
Seeds are brimming with omega 3 unsaturated fats, iron, magnesium, and calcium. They work about as cancer prevention agents, help in weight reduction, and add to general wellbeing.
Eat organically grown soy
Organic soy has different health benefits because of phytoestrogens. It helps to balance estrogen levels in a female who reaches menopause and it also protects against heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.
Eat fermented foods
Fermented soy products are easy to digest and have extra nutritional value. Fermented foods consist of enzymes, which help to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood while the immune system and digestive system, which can help to prevent disease, including cancer.
Foods to Avoid
- Refined sugar
- Dairy products
- Meat and poultry
- Packaged & Canned foods
- Processed food like sausage, salami, protein bars, breakfast cereal, protein shakes, etc.)
- Foods with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and additives
- Genetically altered foods
- Animal fat
- Fried foods
If you follow a regular diet, you know that most weight-loss diets follow the same guidelines.
Does the Macrobiotic Diet Support Weight Loss?
Yes, the macrobiotic diet will help weight loss. Here is how it switches your body to fat-burning mode:
You will ingest fewer calories. Consequently, your body will change to balance the adverse energy. Fewer calories in and more extra calories get a burn from the workout. Naturally, the body will work to store low fat.
Whole grains and veggies are sources of dietary fiber and complex carbs. Complex carbs take more time to digest, thereby keeping you full for a long time. On the flip side, humans cannot absorb dietary fiber, and it forms a gel-like layer in the abdomen. It helps in promoting satiety. Dietary fiber also increases digestion by advancing the number and quality of the best gut bacteria.
The protein that you will have is mostly based on plants. Infrequently, you will also eat white fish, which is the best reference for healthy fats and amino acids. Proteins are forming blocks of enzymes, nails, muscles, hormones, biomolecules, hair. A lean protein source in a diet will increase metabolism and promote lean muscle mass.
Lean protein and dietary fiber both help to increase metabolic rate. It works by enhancing bowel movement, and protein helps to increase lean muscle, where the storehouses of energy are found.
No Junk Food
You will fully skip foods that consist of high calories or no nutritional value. Junk foods also produce inflammation and raise toxicity in the body. Therefore, by eliminating this food from your diet, you will feel lighter, light stressed out, and proactive.
Organic and locally grown food is near to nature. It is almost what our ancestors ate years back when there were no GMOs, no pollution, no synthetic food, and widely present processed foods.
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to toxins or wounds. But when you consume more extra junk foods, your body rests in a regular state of inflammation. It may induce fat deposition in the belly part. The macrobiotic diet is a part of a natural diet that helps to lower stress and inflammation in the body and stop belly fat.
So, you see now how macrobiotic diet help with weight loss.
Can You Follow A Macrobiotic Diet Easily?
Yes, the macrobiotic diet is easy to follow if you get organic farm produces and give up junk food. Otherwise, following this diet can be difficult. You would also require to say No to most foods you eat in family gatherings, dates, trips outings, and movie nights. Therefore, be prepared and adapt to this diet.
Pros of The Macrobiotic Diet
Improvement in dietary intake.
Macrobiotic diets contain fruits, whole grains, and vegetables, which are an essential part of a healthy diet. There is plenty of proof that adding these foods to the diet can enhance health.
Lower Risk of certain diseases
Eating a low-fat diet, vegetables, and a high fiber diet with rich fruits can lower the risk of increasing various diseases including different types of cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Researchers are analyzing whether a macrobiotic diet may be capable to prevent cancer.
- Boosts metabolism
- Aids weight loss
- Lowers the heart disease risk
- Decreases the risk of diabetes
- Improves digestion
- Fight cancer
- Lessens LDL cholesterol
Cons of The Macrobiotic Diet
Some of the concerns linked with a macrobiotic diet are having a deficiency in iron, protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. But you will meet this nutrient requirement if you eat a proper diet. For example, you can get iron from pumpkin seeds, and beans.
It is a red flag of the macrobiotic diet is that it restricts or reduce the number of healthy foods, like dairy products, eggs, and avocado mentioned by
Katherine Tallmadge, (MA, RD), national spokesperson for the American- Dietetic-Association and also an author of Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks,-Substitutions,-Habits-and-Inspirations.
Unintended weight loss
Individuals with cancer often try to follow the macrobiotic diet, but abnormal weight loss can be a harmful side effect of following a diet. Since you often have high nutritional requirements and calories when you are suffering from cancer, it is essential to talk with your health care team before adopting sudden dietary changes.
Macrobiotic diet commonly demotivates mineral and vitamin supplements. For that reason, it might be difficult to meet that nutrient requirement.
- Lean muscle mass loss
- Mood swings
- Frequent hunger
- May weaken immunity
The only way about the cons of the macrobiotic diet is to take dietitian advice and follow the macrobiotic diet but customized according to requirement. That way, you will not get the nutrient deficiency that your body requires. Also, you will be able to function right and stick with your diet without leaving halfway. Therefore, talk with your dietitian, work out regularly, channel energy, and eat organic food. You will enhance mental health and physical appearance.
How to Begin with A Macrobiotic Diet?
The key to changing from a standard American diet to a macrobiotic diet is to follow it slowly and with a goal. Before you start with a macrobiotic diet, try to limit the non-recommended foods like refined sugars and animal products.
From there, approach the diet intuitively and listen to your own body. Notice how you feel after limiting certain foods. Before making any major change, make sure to take the doctor’s word to prevent sudden effects.
Diet Plan Tips
Cook fresh food at home more often, particularly on a gas stove, lower the amount of microwaved, leftovers, canned or frozen food you eat.
Make plants in the mid of the meals, only eating fresh, wild seafood and especially dairy or meat in lowered quantities.
Aim to consume different colors of veggies and fruits every day, since different colors provide different antioxidants.
Consume sufficient clean water and tea, skip alcohol, sweetened drinks, and caffeine.
Try to chew foods to enhance digestion and also slow down during meal times. You should ideally aim for up to 25 – 50 chews according to macrobiotic diet theory.
Use glass to store water and food instead of plastic products.
The Great-Life-Global-organization also suggested other macrobiotic lifestyle tips for enhancing balance, such as opening your windows daily to get fresh air, walking outside, keeping plants indoors, sticking to regular sleep, wake schedule, walking outside, and practicing gratitude daily. Learn to cook at home more often, wearing clothes made from natural fibers, doing hot towel scrub or skin brushing to detox, and chew food from when eating.
Macrobiotic Diet vs. Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is introduced after ancient ancestors are believed to have consumed thousands of years ago, meaning natural foods that could have been discovered within their local environment.
Because both the macrobiotic diet and paleo diet indicate eating organic, seasonal foods, local foods, and non-processed foods, the two diets have some underlying common principles. However, some food also varies between the two approaches.
One of the biggest differences between paleo and macrobiotic diets is that macrobiotic diets have plant-based foods, completely vegan. People on a macrobiotic diet get their protein from beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, whole grains, seeds, and seafood.
The Paleo diet has high animal proteins like eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. Both approaches, however, skip dairy food and all processed vegan proteins like synthetic protein powders or soy isolate.
The Paleo diet also removes all beans, grains, and legumes during the macrobiotic diet to improve these foods. However, both diets lower or remove extra sugar, artificial ingredients, synthetic additives, fried foods, refined oils, gluten, and Veggies.
How Much It Costs?
Following a macrobiotic diet is expensive. Organic ingredients and foods like seaweed can cost more money.
Depending on where you live, you may get it costly or even impossible to buy locally grown vegetables and fruits. You may also get costly for recommended cooking utensils and storage jars.
Alternative therapies that have been given on the web almost cost more. Before you begin buying anything, ensure to have a calculation about an ongoing cost.
Macrobiotic experts in the UK can charge varying prices for their leadership and consultation. These can be costly with time. The private counselling session may cost up to £180 each.
A word of caution
If you decide to follow a macrobiotic diet, you should only see an expert who is well trained. There is much macrobiotic organization that trains people to become practitioners.