Not only is dieting a great way to lose weight, it is also a great way of improving your health and well-being. Food, and how food is prepared, can have a very significant effect on the way you live. A macrobiotic diet is more than just a health craze; for many adherents, it is a lifestyle choice that can improve the way you eat, and improve the way you live.
What is a Macrobiotic Diet?
Doctors in the ancient world, including Hippocrates of Greece and Galen of the Roman Empire, believe that eating natural foods improve one’s health.
The word “macrobiotics” (from the Greek words macro and bios, meaning “long life”) was first introduced in antiquity to describe a lifestyle that involved a balanced diet to prolong life and to help sustain physical activity.
Macrobiotic diets were developed and advocated in Japan as part of healthy living, and were considered a key to longevity and good health.
The macrobiotic diet revolves around three principles:
- Processed and refined foods should be avoided in favor of natural, whole foods.
- A person on a macrobiotic diet must eat only the amount of food that can satisfy his or her own hunger.
- People must chew their food well.
Processed foods tend to have a lot of chemicals and ingredients that are not only difficult to pronounce, but they can also cause long-term health problems like obesity, indigestion, and disrupting the delicate balance found in the human body.
The key to planning a macrobiotic diet is balance.
Some of the common foodstuffs eaten in a macrobiotic diet include the following:
Whole grains like unpolished brown rice and buckwheat noodles are an essential part of the macrobiotic diet. Polished and processed grains lose a lot of nutrients found in the bran, which can help improve digestion and prolong a person’s lifespan.
Vegetables and fruits. The macrobiotic diet incorporates a variety of cooked and raw fruits and vegetables. The bounty of the Earth provides the body with many nourishing substances that can help prevent disease, as well as make people feel good.
Legumes. Beans and pulses are a favored component of macrobiotic diets. Like whole grains, legumes contain a lot of proteins that more than make up for the spare quantities of red meat consumed by people on a macrobiotic diet.
Natural processed foods. Soybeans are popular in macrobiotic diets because of the many nutrients found in them, which can be further supplemented by other foods. Miso, tofu, and other naturally processed soy products form part of the foodstuffs that are an essential part of Japanese-inspired macrobiotics.
Other foods. Seaweed, fish, shellfish, and tea are consumed in moderate amounts.
An essential component of macrobiotics is digestion. By chewing your food properly and as finely as possible before swallowing, you can help your body extract nutrients, amino acids, and enzymes in the food you’re eating. Chewing also helps aid digestion by processing the foods naturally before they reach the stomach and the intestines.
Like any diet, you need to consult your physician first with regard to possibilities of food allergies, or if your doctor does not recommend the macrobiotic diet for you. Coupled with clean living and exercise, you can get started on healthy living thanks to the macrobiotic diet.