There are many diets and whole teachings about nutrition. One of them is macrobiotics. And what is it?
A bit of history
Who was the founder of the theory of macrobiotics? It is difficult to answer this question, because the ideas of Taoism are combined here, as well as conclusions about food and health of Hippocrates. But if we consider macrobiotics as a kind of philosophy of nutrition, then George Osawa can be considered the founder, who more than half a century ago even published his own book called “Zen Microbiotics”, in which he highlighted the basic postulates and principles.
And it was this essay that made the teaching popular among adherents of healthy eating and healing through their own energy.
By the way, the word “macrobiotics” is translated as “big life.” And it is in the name, if you think about it, that the whole essence of this philosophy is reflected. Macrobiotics is not a diet, but a way of life.
The essence of macrobiotics is harmony and unity. Here are some of the basics of this teaching:
- Man is a part of the world, so he must learn to live in such a way as to interact with all other parts and not violate the harmony of nature and the environment.
- Food is the main source of energy. But this energy is not measured in calories, as usual, but in the effect that a particular product can have on the body.
- All products carry different energies, and conditionally they can be divided into yin and yang. Yin is a “feminine” product that is acidic. This includes everything sweet, sour and spicy. Yang is masculine. This group includes food with an alkaline reaction: salty and bitter. Most of the products contain both masculine and feminine energies, but there are also those that have only yang or yin energies in their pure form.
- Health is harmony. And that is why yin and yang foods should be correctly combined in the diet. If there are more yin products, then there is a lack of energy and the need for yang products. A person loses weight and is exposed to various infectious ailments. If yang products prevail, then there is an excess of body weight, which also entails a lot of problems and ailments. Accordingly, diseases inherent to yin energy are treated with products with yang energy and vice versa.
What is allowed and what is not?
Macrobiotics, in fact, has no prohibitions, but nevertheless this nutritional method presupposes the predominance of some products and the limitation of the number of others. First, let’s list what is prohibited:
- Products with a pronounced yin energy (with a large amount of oxidizing elements: potassium and phosphorus): lemon, sugar, mushrooms, beans, potatoes, cucumbers, margarine, vinegar, mustard, eggplant, sour cream and other products.
- Foods with a pronounced yang energy (that is, containing sodium and calcium, which cause alkaline reactions), which include: meat, eggs, fish, cheeses, carrots, parsley, pumpkin, horseradish, chicory, and so on.
- The so-called modified foods: canned food, refined oils and sugar, as well as anything that contains artificial additives.
And what can you use? According to the adherents of macrobiotics, the best food is cereals. They are the basis of everything and the source of vital energy. Vegetables are also acceptable, but not all.
How do I prepare food?
According to macrobiotics, it is best to choose processing methods that keep foods “alive” rather than killing them. That is why it is worth abandoning various devices such as a grill, microwave oven, deep fryer, and so on. You can boil, steam, fry. And it is best to eat everything raw, this is how you can get the maximum energy from food.
How to eat and make menus: levels
There are several levels (modes) of macrobiotic nutrition. Some are suitable for ordinary people, while others imply a complete rejection of products that are harmful from the point of view of teaching. You can gradually move from lower levels to higher ones, striving for perfection.
So, the main modes:
- 3A: 10% of products from the daily ration should be soups and cereals, 30% – vegetables and meat, 15% – fruits and 5% – desserts.
- 2A: 10% for fruits and soups, 30% for vegetables, 25% for meat, 20% for cereals and 5% for desserts.
- 1A: 30% each for cereals and vegetables, 20% for meat and 10% each for fruits and soups.
- 1: 40% are cereals, 30% are vegetables, 20% are meat, 10% are soups.
- 2: 50% – cereals, 30% – vegetables and 10% each – for soups and meat.
- 3: 60% cereals, 30% vegetables, 10% soups.
- 4: 70% cereals, 20% vegetables and 10% soups.
- 5: 80% cereals, 20% vegetables.
- 6: 90% cereals, 10% vegetables.
- 7: 100% cereals.
There is no special menu, but all recipes must be chosen in such a way as to observe the percentage of products in the diet.
Macrobiotic nutrition has several rules:
- Choose only seasonal products and preferably those that grow in your country. The best option is vegetables and grains grown by you in your own garden.
- Eat only natural and organic foods. Avoid chemicals and a variety of additives.
- Chew everything very thoroughly.
- Do not consume alcoholic and various chemical drinks.
- Do not store food. Everything that you have prepared today, you must eat on the same day.
- Limit your consumption of hot seasonings, choose ones that have a neutral taste. You can salt the dishes, but in moderation.
- You need to cook and eat food in a good mood, since emotions can be transmitted with food into the body and disrupt harmony.
- Only eat when you are hungry.
- Strike a balance.
- Limit fluid intake. Adherents of macrobiotics believe that vegetables and other foods already have water, and excess moisture is an imbalance. So drink a little, and preferably pure water or herbal teas.
Cons and pros
First, let’s list the advantages of macrobiotics:
- This is a good method of cleaning and disposal of toxins.
- It is good for weight loss.
Now the disadvantages:
- Such nutrition is not suitable for everyone and cannot provide all the necessary substances.
- It’s complicated.
- there is a risk of developing or exacerbating certain diseases.
Know in every measure and eat right!