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What is Macrobiotics?
Macrobiotics is an approach to physical and emotional wellness through consuming foods that are balanced energetically and nutritionally. It is typically a well-balanced diet with high fibre, low fat, lots of vegetables and grains, vegetable protein, and limited meat, with an emphasis on eating seasonal organic food.
What are the benefits of a Macrobiotics diet?
With the emphasis on vegetables, fruits and whole grains, the macrobiotic diet contains a large amount of dietary fibre and is rich in many important vitamins and minerals. This diet also restricts the intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, all of which are known to negatively impact health.
As a result, it is likely that anyone eating a western type diet could improve their overall health by adopting a carefully planned macrobiotic diet. In addition, a small amount of clinical research indicates that the macrobiotic diet is beneficial for people with cancer and cardiovascular disease.
How does the Macrobiotics diet work?
Variety is worked into the meal to ensure that a wide range of nutrients are consumed for balance and enjoyment.
Half of the types of food to consume are whole cereal grains, such as brown rice and barley. Vegetables make up the next largest proportion of the diet, which is 20-30% by weight.
Some examples of vegetables for daily use are green cabbage and broccoli. Examples of vegetables not recommended for regular use are potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.
It is also recommended that the vegetables be local and organically grown, with the majority being cooked. Suggested cooking styles include lightly steamed or boiled or sautéed with a small amount of unrefined, cold pressed oil. Soups and beans and sea vegetables equally make up the last two categories of the diet each weighing in at 5-10%. Recommended beans include azuki beans, chickpeas and lentils. Soups may be made from ingredients referred to in the other categories. Foods to eliminate from the diet for better health include meat, animal fat, eggs, poultry and dairy products.
Clean, clear, natural spring or well water is an important resource for macrobiotic cooking.
What vitamins are good for the Macrobiotic Diet?
The following nutrients should be monitored because of their importance in facilitating growth and function: calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids. A selection of which can be found below.