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Macrobiotics is defined as follows by the Kushi Institute:
“Macrobiotics is a system that can be used to create extraordinary health, through using both traditional wisdom and modern knowledge to ascertain the underlying causes of an individual’s current health challenges, and make adjustments to their food and lifestyle choices that support health improvement. Not simply a diet, macrobiotic recognizes the profound effects food, environment, activities, and attitude all have on our body-mind-emotions.”
The Kushi institute is recognized as a standard for those following a macrobiotic diet. Macrobiotic diets (MCDs) are one of the popular alternative treatments for those with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. This is a whole-foods diet that is predominately vegetarian. There have been reports suggesting recovery from some cancers with poor prognosis can be attributed to whole-food diets.1
- The macrobiotic diet decreases total body fat and body mass. 2. It also has a positive effect on serum glucose, 3. lipids5
- and immunologic parameters.6
- Macrobiotic diets are also associated with a decrease in inflammation.7
I have stated many times in previous posts that a decrease in inflammation is thought to reduce cancer risk as well as recurrence.8
Let’s take a step back and explore the thinking behind macrobiotics. Macrobiotics is much more than a diet. It is a way of living. A different way of thinking. It is a belief that we are all in harmony with nature and interconnected with one another. What we do and how we eat not only affects us, but our world and everyone in it. We start looking at food in a different way, as an energy source. 6. This makes it easy to create healthy, delicious meals.
The vegan macrobiotic diet uses seasonal fruits and vegetables. It is more natural way of eating that leads to a greater understanding of how the food we eat makes us feel. 7. This leads to the consumption of whole foods and eliminates unhealthy processed foods from the diet.
The Vegan Macrobiotic Plate
It is not surprising that vegetables will be the star of the show. Root vegetables such as beets, carrots and parsnips combined with green leafy vegetables will fill the plate. Broccoli, cauliflower and seasonal squash add to the colorful array. Don’t forget fruit! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries add antioxidants and color to the plate. Pineapple, bananas and kiwi are other yummy additions.
Complex carbohydrates are also essential so whole grains will be added. Bulgur, brown rice and oatmeal are examples. Fats and oils are also important. Coconut and olive oil are great choices. Nuts and seeds add nutrition and crunch.
- Once we learn how much better we can feel eating whole foods, we make healthier choices. One of the most positive life-changing bits of information I obtained happened after completing the Whole30 diet. Not only did I lose weight, I also learned how much better my body could feel as the result of eliminating processed foods and added sugar from my diet. This thirty-day period will change the way I think about food forever. 9. Eating a macrobiotic diet also benefits the environment. We all need to help protect the earth. Macrobiotics helps us to focus not only on our health, but the health of our environment as well. Eating a plant-based, whole foods diet benefits each and every one of us.
I have spent more time thinking about what I put in my body since starting Sunshine Nutraceuticals nine months ago. This journey has helped me not only think about myself and my family, but also the environment. We are all responsible for leaving a healthy planet for the generations to come.
I learned about the vegan macrobiotic diet while researching healthy diet options. I truly believe we can all benefit by eating as much of a whole foods diet as possible. Many health conditions we face are the result of unhealthy habits we have developed. Smoking, drinking alcohol, over-eating and lack of exercise are just a few examples.
Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP
Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.
Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.