Have you heard of the Macrobiotic Diet? I’d be willing to bet that most people know little or nothing about this very healthful way of eating and living. Those who practice macrobiotics however understand how valuable this method can be in balancing your body, your diet and even your life as a whole.

Macrobiotics devotees believe that food, and food quality, affects our lives more than is commonly realized. It is thought to affect our health, wellbeing and happiness. They focus on moving away from processed foods, and moving toward more natural and more traditional methods of food preparation. Proponents of macrobiotics claim it is better to choose food that is less processed, more natural, and they also use more traditional methods of food preparation for themselves and their families.

Macrobiotics emphasizes locally-grown, organically-grown whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruit, seaweed and fermented soy products, combined into meals according to the principle of balance between yin and yang, rather than by scientific dietary guidelines. Macrobiotic diets follow the idea of Yin and Yang very closely. If you aren’t familiar with yin and yang, they are symbols of harmony and balance between two opposite elements – think of it as male and female or light and dark if you wish.

Cereals, rice, fruit, beans, nuts and vegetables make up the main part of the diet and are considered neutral and are naturally balanced in terms of Yin and Yang. Foods which are either extremely Yin in nature or extremely Yang in nature are eaten very rarely if at all. Very Yin products include coffee, tropical fruit, sugar, soft dairy products, alcohol and honey. Very Yang products include poultry, meat, firm dairy products like hard cheeses, and eggs. The macrobiotic diet is high in natural, unprocessed foods, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. It is low in saturated fats, while providing the essential “good” fats. Food should be organically grown and eaten fresh. The Macrobiotic lifestyle also governs how food should be prepared. No microwave should be used – rice must be cooked in a pressure cooker for example. Food should be eaten and chewed slowly, in a relaxed manner.

Low-fat, high-fiber diets, such as the macrobiotic diet, are also believed to play an important role in preventing some types of cancer. And the macrobiotic emphasis on fresh, non-processed foods may be beneficial to those dealing with certain food allergies and chemical sensitivities. Followers assert that the balance and harmony of the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle create the best possible conditions for health. They claim that the diet yields many positive health effects, including a general sense of well-being, and some studies actually show that people on the diet have a decreased risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

If this topic interests you, take a look at The Vegan Miracle for more clean, natural and delicious food choices.

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