Macrobiotic means "big life" and is a science that deals with all aspects of life. A vegetarian diet is one of them, which can allegedly also cure diseases. The principles of yin and yang, the two opposites that make up a perfect whole, underlie macrobiotics.
Macrobiotic is based on the principles of yin and yang
The principles of yin and yang, the two opposites that make up a perfect whole, underlie macrobiotics. In terms of nutrition, this means avoiding extremes such as one-sided meat or too many desserts. Rather, it is about using food to bring people into inner balance. Yin and Yang are energies that are also present in foods. Yin is the expansive, Yang the contracting force.
Yin-influenced foods include sweets, dairy, coffee and black tea. A strong yin is alcohol, but many meats, eggs and salt are extremely yang. Spring water, cereal, cereals, legumes, vegetables, kernels and sea algae are classified as more neutral. A well-balanced diet, as famous macrobiotics claimed, can prevent and even cure many diseases.
Macrobiotic: prevention instead of healing
The origins of macrobiotics lie in Taoism, Chinese philosophy and religion, which developed from the 6th to the 4th century BC. Chr. In Germany, the term by the physician Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836) has become a term for preventive medicine. With his book "Macrobiotics or the Art of Extending Human Life" Hufeland, which counted Goethe and Schiller among his patients, became famous.
Nutrition plays an essential role in macrobiotics, because by eating the wrong foods, humans absorb many environmental pollutants. "Prevention is better than cure" is the most important principle of Hufeland's teaching and works into today's ecological movement. In the 1960s, it was the Japanese George Ohsawa who applied the principles of yin and yang to the diet. With partially radical principles, how little to drink, he earned criticism and is considered obsolete today.
Macrobiotic became especially popular in the 1970s and 1980s by the Japanese Mishio Kushi, who adapted the macrobiotic nutrition plan to Western eating habits.
Macrobiotic: diet with rice and cereals
Vegetable foods form the basis for the macrobiotic diet, with brown rice and whole grains making up a substantial part. Vegetables, although less often than raw food, gently cooked, are included. The protein requirement is covered by soy products - and seitan, a gluten from wheat.
Since they contain too much yin, you should avoid the following foods:
- canned goods
- Fruits and vegetables that have been treated with mineral fertilizers or insect repellents
Instead, you prefer foods that come from your own region and correspond to the season. Algae cover the need for iodine. Fish and meat are not strictly prohibited, but macrobiotics rarely consume all animal products, including eggs and dairy products. Overall, the macrobiotic diet today is very similar to the wholesome diet, it is a very conscious way to feed and supports the biodynamic agriculture.
Macrobiotic and cancer
The German Nutrition Society rejects macrobiotics, at least in their original form, as the extremely one-sided food selection leads to deficiencies in protein, vitamins A, D, B12, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C and finally in the minerals iron, calcium and iodine - a problem for pregnant women and adolescents.
Above all, the claim to cure diseases such as cancer should be rejected. On the other hand, the high intake of whole grains is good, because the digestion is controlled positively and colorectal cancer can be prevented.