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Macrobiotic – Yin and Yang nutrition

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 344 views

The concept of macrobiotics , inspired by the Far East, is based on the yin-yang theory and is said to lead to a healthy and long life. An important component is a food selection that should have a harmonizing effect. Read interesting facts about macrobiotics here.

What is macrobiotic?

The term “macrobiotic” is derived from the Greek terms makros (large, long) and bios (life). It therefore means something like “The great or long life”.

The basic thesis of this diet is that there are two forces in the universe: yin, the expanding force, and yang, the contracting force. A balance between the two forces is to be established through an appropriate choice of food in the macrobiotic diet.

Yin and Yang nutrition

Yin are associated with macrobiotic acidic foods such as potassium, sugar and fruit. Yang represents alkaline foods like sodium, salt, and grains. In addition, the condition of the food (yin or yang) can be changed through the preparation.

The optimal ratio of yin to yang according to macrobiotics is 5:1, it is derived from the ratio of potassium and sodium in brown rice, which is considered the optimal food in this teaching.

The origins of macrobiotics

The macrobiotic diet goes back to the Japanese Georges Oshawa, who is said to have cured himself of tuberculosis with it at the age of 16. Macrobiotic according to Oshawa means a strictly vegan diet with 60 percent grain. Today, however, it hardly plays a role.

The Japanese nutritionist Mishio Kushi [KB1] further developed macrobiotics after Oshawa’s death and adapted them to western dietary habits. The widespread use of macrobiotic medicinal cuisine in the 1970s and 1980s goes back to him.

Learn more about the kushi diet here .

Steve Acuff, an American dietitian, then eased the rules further to include vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, seaweed, fish and eggs.

What foods does macrobiotics allow?

Wherever possible, local foods that grow naturally in the respective season should be eaten. The basis of the macrobiotic diet is brown rice and whole grains. In the original form of macrobiotics, they make up around 50 to 60 percent of the entire food selection.

Also allowed are:

  • legumes
  • (fermented) soy products
  • nuts
  • Together
  • seaweed
  • some fruit and fish
  • few vegetable fats

You should only drink as much as necessary.

However, the following foods are not permitted:

  • meat
  • polished rice
  • Milch
  • Owner
  • Zucker
  • Coffee
  • stimulating teas
  • very hot spices
  • canned/frozen foods

How does the macrobiotic diet work

There is no set diet, three meals a day are recommended. Most meals should have a sweet taste, which also comes from chewing grains for a long time. A salty and slightly sour taste is also allowed in the macrobiotic diet. In small amounts, bitter and pungent tastes are also possible.

For breakfast there is a classic miso soup with vegetables and cereal porridge, for lunch and dinner cereals and vegetables as well as legumes are on the menu with the strict macrobiotic. The aim is to bring the body into harmony.

Since, according to the macrobiotic philosophy, the preparation of the products has a great influence on the effect of the food, beginners are recommended to refer to cookbooks and attend cooking courses under experienced guidance.

Macrobiotic: Benefits

It is positive that sugar, alcohol and finished products are taboo in the macrobiotic diet. As there are many local vegetables on the menu, eat what is seasonally available.

You are also likely to lose weight as a result of the dietary change.

Macrobiotic: Disadvantages

Eating a strict macrobiotic diet is not recommended. The risk of malnutrition is very high, especially in children. Studies showed that children on this diet had stunted growth.

The variant according to Kushi should only be used with extensive nutritional knowledge and under no circumstances by children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women.

The Acuff macrobiotic is suitable as a permanent food for adults, but you have to deal intensively with the nutritional composition in order to avoid deficiencies.

Eating according to the principles of macrobiotics usually entails a high expenditure of time and money for the preparation and purchase of the food.

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