The macrobiotic diet is a philosophy that was founded by Geogre Ohsawa. It runs on the principle of the Asian philosophy of Yin and Yang and the main aim of this diet is to balance your life with exercise and good food. The word "macrobiotic" when broken, loosely translates into "big view of life."
The macrobiotic diet helps people to deal with the tremendous amount of stress that comes with living the modern, mechanic life. In this fast-moving and sedentary life, people tend to adapt to unhealthy means to lead their lives and that shortens their life span.
The diet mainly focuses on eating organic and home-grown fruits and vegetables that are basically unadulterated. Fresh seafood, nuts and fruits can be eaten one to three times a week. The only sweetener allowed is rice syrup and herbs can be added to get the necessary flavour.
Soups are also an important part of this diet, as the nutrients are contained in it while cooking and are easily digested. The foods that one should avoid include dairy, anything spicy, meat, sugar and processed foods. Alcohol and soda is also discouraged.
There is also a specific way to eat this diet and that's where the yin and yang come in. The 'yin' represents passive forces and includes vegetables, whereas the 'yang' represents active ones and include grains. Therefore, they are always served together. It is cooked in natural fire, preferably in stainless steel utensils, and electrical modes are discouraged.
Although the macrobiotic diet is considered as a very healthy alternative in treating the chronic diseases, including cancer, it has its flip-side and proper precautions should be followed if you are planning to take up this diet.
It is very important to keep in mind these necessary precautions that one must take before starting a macrobiotic diet.
According to experts, people with chronic cancer are not advised to follow any dietary treatments.
1- Patients who are delaying conventional treatments.
2- Possibly developing nutritional deficiencies.
3- Consuming too little calories, which can cause exhaustion and muscle loss.
Macrobiotic diets also have social limitations and that can lead to the diet becoming too hard to follow.
Let us look at some of the benefits that come with the macrobiotic diet.
#1 Lowers The Risk Of Diseases
The macrobiotic diet is basically a plant-based diet and has very positive effects on the body. This kind of diet reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. The anti-inflammatory nature of the plants can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. This diet has also helped to lower the chances of breast cancer in women.
#2 Weight Loss
Needless to say, the low-calorie consumption each day will automatically lead to weight loss. Processed foods and meat are not an option when it comes to following a macrobiotic diet, hence weight loss is bound to take place. Adding to this, the vegetables help in speeding up the metabolic rates.
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#3 Mindful Eating
When you are under a macrobiotic diet, you have a lot of constraints when it comes to eating certain foods. Due to the emphasis placed on eating mindfully (chewing a certain number of times, crafting a well-balanced plate, and stopping when you're full), it canhelp promote a positive relationship with food.
#4 High In Nutrients
Studies have suggested that a macrobiotic diet has high nutritional value, as the foods are selected very carefully to provide the body with the yin-yang effect. Also, the macrobiotic diet is significantly low in fats but high in dietary fibre that helps for the better functioning of the body.
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#5 Improves Heart Health
This diet has proven to be effective for warding off various cardiovascular diseases. It helps in lowering the serum called lipids and blood pressure levels. This is all due to the high anti-oxidants that are present in the diet and the anti-inflammatory nature of green veggies.
#6 Very Low In Sugar, Gluten And Packaged Foods
As mentioned above, this diet helps in avoiding the unhealthy processed foods and artificial sugars and sweeteners. Rice syrup is the only form of sweetener that is allowed. The sugar level is almost minimal and so is the fat level. All kinds of fried foods, including meat, is prohibited in this kind of a diet.
But like a yin and yang has two sides, there are some negative aspects to this side too. Some of them are:
#1 Inadequate Vitamin Intake
With restrictions regarding the kinds of foods to consume, this is bound to happen. The vitamin level is really low, as all kinds of meat is prohibited in this kind of a diet. This may lead to various deficiency diseases.
#2 Hard To Maintain
Needless to say, by now, you must have figured out that it is a diet that follows a strict regimen and it is slightly difficult to adhere to all the rules mentioned by this diet.
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