6 Principles of The Macrobiotic Diet
Nutrition is a part of our daily lives and activities with which we affect our health and well-being in life. Our responsibility is whether the impact will be favorable or not, and macrobiotic principles give us the tools and compass for a positive impact on our own lives. How to make use of these principles for longevity, health, for a fuller and more satisfying life? The quality of life can be achieved by choosing high-quality ingredients and using them. With the macrobiotic diet there are a few basic principles.
- Use whole foods
Whole foods are foods in their original, unprocessed form, from which the processing has not isolated nutrients which bear vitality. According to the macrobiotic approach, the presence of nutrients is a consequence of the vitality and integrity of certain foods, of which the important synergistic impact it has on your body and food. For the organism, which also represents a whole, it is easier to recognize and use the nutrients that come from whole foods than when they are separated from their natural whole. What should definitely be avoided in the diet are refined products. In addition due to processing they get “drawn” of their vitality and nutrients and such products often contain additives which doesn`t help your body or health.
- Chose organic foods
Ecological foods are the best choice for your diet. Grown in soil that has not been treated with chemicals and whose crop is not treated in any period of growth. By using organic ingredients you avoid the exposure to GMO food, which is becoming increasingly important today. Organically grown foods have a higher nutritional value, bringing vitality and a fuller flavor. But it is important what you have inside, and these are different chemical elements and pollutants, as opposed to conventional products. Ecological farming food stores maintain the health of the environment and the planet as a whole. That should not matter, since the Earth is our only habitat.
- Respect Diversity
The application of the principle of diversity in your diet is reflected in several ways:
- different foods to select from
- different ways of cooking and use of spices
- different techniques of cutting foods
- creativity in arranging the prepared meals.
- Adjust your diet according to the season and your needs
This principle implies adjustment of your diet according to climatic conditions, due to the availability of ingredients and their preparation. For example, in winter you choose foods and ways of cooking that heat the body, and those that cool the body in summer. Adjusting your diet to your personal needs is also important, because each of you is unique and different from others. Individual diet adjustment takes into account your age, gender, type of activity that you practice in daily life and ultimately your health. Your individual diet adjustment reflects that you respect the different needs of others. So it`s possible to apply the macrobiotic diet principles and be a vegetarian, vegan, choose Mediterranean or Oriental food concept. All this is possible due to the way of life, activities and the climate in which the individual lives.
- Follow the right balance of foods
According to macrobiotic principles, feeding people in temperate climates (where we live) should consist of:
- 30 to 60% whole grains and their products
- 25 to 40% of vegetables
- 10 to 20% of legumes and their products
- 10% are fruits, seeds, nuts, seaweed, spices, etc.
These recommended ratios in the diet come from a careful observation of climatic conditions, evolutionary development, physiological characteristics of man, but also the specific needs of modern life in which man is largely exposed to stress and a polluted environment. Also, these ratios shouldn`t be understood mechanically and literally and create every meal just to serve these “prescribed” standards. They are guidelines and a framework in which you can move, summing all the other above principles. Apply them, thinking in the context of daily meals.
Considerable attention is paid to the preparation of food. The food is considered a source of vital energy or life, and cooking is the transformation of energy so it`s important to preserve the vitality of the food and its nutrients.
- Be moderate
Finally, the macrobiotic way says that the final quality of certain foods is determined by its amount. Any food (however useful) you shouldn`t eat in unlimited amounts. If you are drinking only one or a few useful ingredients in (a) large amount, this practice can create a uniform diet and harm the body. At the same time “bad” foods, if you eat them rarely and in a variety within the whole diet, can do damage the body. Openness, flexibility and constant education are needed, both in feeding and in the preservation of your health.
The most common misconceptions related to a macrobiotic diet
Through our work, we noted that along with diet to macrobiotic principles bind and certain misconceptions.
They are sometimes a reflection of a superficial knowledge and information, and sometimes “the line of least resistance”, given that quality change habits requires a lot of effort and training.
- Macrobiotic food is a special type of food
Macrobiotics is not a food, it`s a diet and a way of choosing foods according to macrobiotic principles. The food that the macrobiotic approach recommends and promotes is comprehensive and ecological.
- Macrobiotic diet is a reduced diet
Wrong. On the contrary! Meals according to macrobiotic principles are extremely diverse so you could draw your own conclusion by reading the above described principles. If you apply the principles of the macrobiotic diet while monitoring and adjusting your choices and individual needs, the circumstances where you are you will have a very diverse and quality food. This applies even in situations when you want to solve a major health challenge. Then your diet will be aimed at achieving this objective, but still with a very wide range of foods and their preparation.
- It is complicated to cook according macrobiotic principles
Again – wrong. Each cooking method takes time, and if you decide to prepare foods according to macrobiotic principles, you actually go towards changing your existing habits. Yes, it will be necessary to “rearrange” your own schedule and be well organized (so information and education is very useful for you). But, in essence, a good quality meal prepared according to the macrobiotic principles takes as much time as the preparation of any other meal. A reward for all the effort, along with a delicious meal, comes in the form of – great health.