Ohsawa began his health journey, resulting in developing the macrobiotic diet. Due to his own personal health problems and illnesses in his family, he later expanded to incorporate different food elements and “yin and yang” techniques. He found that the macrobiotic diet has significant success on anyone who tried it, including himself and his family members.
Based on a philosophy introduced by George Ohsawa, the macrobiotic diet will completely change the way you view food and diet. The purpose of the macrobiotic diet is meant to create a balance by applying the ‘’yin and yang’’ principle in your life. The diet also includes incorporating exercise, food habits, stress, and your overall mental health. You have probably heard about the ‘’yin and yang’’ concept from many spiritual leaders and health practitioners around the world.
Healthy Type Diet
The macrobiotic diet is a healthy type of diet that consists mainly of vegetables, cereals, and whole grains. Early versions of a macrobitoic diet recommended eating only consuming whole grains, but these extreme regimens aren’t used anymore due to their potentially harmful health impacts. It was also found that people who only consumed whole grains started suffering from negative health effects like severe fatigue and constipation, which led to the diet becoming completely changed. The new approach recommends whole foods instead of processed foods as well.
Macrobiotic Diet Followers
The diet is currently followed by millions of people all over the world, due to its significant health and mental benefits. There are many celebrities who follow it as well. For example, Demi Moore, Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Silverstone, Fiona Apple, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta are all celebrities who follow the macrobiotic diet strictly and explain that it has helped them in achieving adequate fitness levels and even their youthful looks.
Facts about the macrobiotic diet
The macrobiotic diet isn’t intended only to change the way you eat, but to completely change the way you live as well. For example, the typical macrobiotic diet encourages breathing techniques like meditation, yoga, and living in a conscious manner. This is completely different from other diets that only emphasize on losing weight and fitness only.
Many macrobiotic diets consist of Buddihsm elements, along with an eating plan that removes dairy products and fatty foods because of their so-called impacts on the body. This is very beneficial for individuals who have certain health issues like lactose intolerance. On a macrobiotic diet, about half of the calories are going to come from whole grains, and the remaining will be from fruits, vegetables, white fish, seeds, and pickles. Many versions of the macrobiotic diet include certain types of tea –
Mitoku Hojicha Tea, and Mitoku Roasted Barley Tea.
Macrobiotic diet isn’t only a “vegan and fish” diet
It’s important to understand that a macrobiotic diet isn’t only a “vegan and fish” diet. There are many other factors associated with that. Perhaps one of the special qualifiers is its focus on consuming Asian vegetables, like daikon and sea vegetables, like seaweeds – Mitoku Sushi Nori Sea Weed, Mitoku Wakame Sea Weed,Mitoku Kombu Sea Weed,Mitoku Arame. This also includes fermented types of food like Japanese miso –
Mitoku Red Miso With Wakame (Instant Miso), fermented soybeans, and pickles.
So what does the diet have to do with veganism?
While macrobiotic diets are similar to vegan diets (to some extent), there are many differences between them. Many individuals who strictly follow macrobiotic principles also opt to eliminate animals products. People who follow traditional macrobiotic concepts and consume mostly vegetables or whole grains will have to understand that it won’t work this way, and you need to follow the diet as it is.
Other Asian condiments and specific types of tea can be consumed on an occassional basis. Certain vegetables, such as potatoes and asparagus are completely restricted. The most important factor is that they should all be organic. Caffeine should be avoided as well.
Another special aspect related to the macrobiotic diets is that food is considered to be sacred, so the food has to prepared in a special way and in a peaceful environment. The utensilts, pots, and pans you use have to be made from certain materials such as wood and stainless steel for example.
Before eating, one must express gratitude for the meal. Food should be chewed at least 50 times before swallowing to aid in digestion and to practice mindful eating. Overeating is discouraged, as you should only eat if you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. All these steps will enable you to be mindful and improve your mental health.
The Macrobiotic Diet
The macrobiotic has various health benefits as well. Keep in mind that the macriobiotic diet isn’t used to cure a specific disease, it’s used to improve your overall health. However, there are many people with serious diseases who use the macriobiotic diet, such as people with cancer. However, people who do that usually use it as a complementary therapy. For example, they think that completely changing their diet and reducing stress levels might assist them to feel better and positive. This is why it is crucial that you always consult your doctor first if you are going through a chronic illness before taking any serious steps to change your diet or lifestyle.
Advantages of the macrobiotic diet
Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases
The macrobiotic diet is mainly vegetarian, which means that animal fat is limited. This is beneficial for individuals dealing with cardiovascular diseases and high levels of cholestrol. High cholestrol levels can lead to serious health issues like strokes for example. This has been confirmed by a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, where it was found that a macrobiotic diet can decrease blood pressure as well.
Abundant in phytoestrogens
The high emphasis on vegetables makes it highly abundant in phytoestrogens. These are naturally occurring chemicals compounds that are found in many types of plants. Phytoestrogens can help decrease circulating estrogen levels in many women. Based on a 2001 study, this can help in decreasing breast cancer risk among women. This is really important as breast cancer is one of the most popular cancers in the world. The diet is also beneficial for people who have other types of cancer, since it enables them to be healthy overall.
Helps in maintaining diabetes
Macrobiotic eating is also beneficial for some individuals who have diabetes. This is mainly because it doesn’t consist of any foods with refined sugar and soda from your diet. This diet also places a strong focus on high carbohydrate whole grains. Even though whole grains have less effect on blood sugar than processed carbohydrates, this isn’t confirmed for everyone with diabetes and it’s essential that you contact your doctor first.
Following a macrobiotic diet can be beneficial for losing weight, especially if the processed meals and high fat meats are subsituted with vegetables. Most people have lost alot of weight within the first month of following the diet. Remember the key here is to lose weight in a healthy way, and this is what the macrobiotic diet does. This is completely different from other diets that incorporate drastic measures so you can lose weight.
The diet was designed in the beginning to help in bringing harmony and balance to your daily life. Due to the focus placed on eating mindfully (chewing a specific amount of times, no overeating, etc), it can assist in promoting a positive relationship with the food you eat. This, in general, will help you in leading a more peaceful life. Research has proven that mindfulness can positively impact your mental health and stress levels.
It induces different cellular repair strategies
Macrobiotic Diet is followed by a person – The cells in their body start a cellular “waste removal” strategy called autophagy. This includes cells dividing and metabolizing dysfunctional proteins in cells. Increase authophagy can provide effective protection against many diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
It can help in preventing cancer
Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cells growth. Fasting has proven to have many beneficial impacts on metabolism that can result in a decreased risk of cancer.
It is beneficial for your brain
What is beneficial for your body is beneficial for your brain too. The macrobiotic diet enhances different metabolic features which are essential for brain health. This involves decrease oxidative stress, inflammation, and a decrease in blood sugar levels. It also enhances brain hormone levels called BDNF, a deficiency which has been known to cause depression and
The macrobiotic diet can delay aging
One of the exciting benefits of the macrobiotic diet is its ability to extend lifespan. Studies done have demonstrated that it extends lifespan in the exact same way as calories restriction. Given the known advantages for metabolism and other health markers, it isn’t shocking that following the macrobiotic data can help in living a longer life. This is why many people who follow the diet look youthful and healthy.
Disadvantages of the macrobiotic diet
Inadequate vitamin intake
There are some worries whether or not the diet results in an adequate intake of certain vitamins like vitamin B12, Zinc, and fatty acids. This is why it is essential that you contact your doctor if you have an health issue and you want to follow the diet.
Can be difficult to maintain
The macrobiotic diet can be somewhat difficult, especially if you want to follow it strictly. For example, the food has to be prepared completely from scratch and bought locally. This can be hard to follow for many people. Many people don’t really follow every single aspect of the macrobiotic diet, but it is essential that you follow all the main aspects of it such as what you shouldn’t eat for example.
The macrobiotic diet also has several lifestyle recommendations, such as:
- Only consuming good when you’re hungry and drinking when you’re thirsty. Eating because you’re bored or simply looking for an unhealthy snack is not allowed.
- Chewing food fully until it liquefies. This should be done before you swallow food.
- Materials used to cook and store the extra food should always be natural like wood and glass.
- Avoiding any microwave oven or electric hobs.
- Purifying any water before you use it for cooking or drink it.
- Any flavoured, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks should be completely avoided.
Is a Macrobiotic really healthy?
It is healthy to decrease the amount of sugar, and animal fats, refined sugar, and soda? Absolutely!
Is it healthy to consume whole grains, vegetables, and other types of healthy food? It sure is.
If you are currently consuming a large amount of dairy, meat, processed meals, and other unhealthy food types, you will probably notice a significant difference when switching to a diet mainly based on whole, plant-based meals. This will happen whether you strictly follow the macrobiotic concepts, especially Japanese sea vegetables or fermented foods.
If you follow the macrobiotic diet will it bring you closer to a peaceful or spiritual truth?
Will it make you live longer or reverse diseases, as many claims? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.
The point here is that following the diet isn’t going to hurt you in any shape or form, and that’s what matters.
At Siha & Afia, we offer a wide variety of macrobiotics. This includes Mitoku Roasted Barley Tea, Mitoku Brown Rice Vinegar, Mitoku Roasted Barley Tea, Mitoku Toasted Sesame Oil, Mitoku Wakame Sea Weed, Mitoku Sushi Nori Sea Weed, Mitoku Hojicha Tea, among other options. All these products are from original sources and are an integral part of the macrobiotic diet.
Choosing to follow a macrobiotic diet will be one of the best decisions you take in your life if you want to follow a healthy lifestyle. This is a true life changer that will completely change your relationship with food and how you view