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Macrobiotics and eating your way to wellness

The dietary discipline of macrobiotics was developed by the Japanese philosophy student George Ohsawa (Nyoiti Sakurazawa) and is based on the idea that harmonious balance must exist between the yin and yang forces of life - even in diet.

macrobiotics ying yang diet classification of food
macrobiotic diet

This form of eating is often prescribed by complementary therapists, naturopaths, holistic healers and herbalists and is said to be beneficial in treating a variety of ailments and diseases through a limited diet and is also said to provide a spiritual foundation.

All foods are classified as either Yin or Yang and are not classified by nutritional value.

In broad general terms a macrobiotic diet calls for about 50 percent of kilojoules from whole grains (which are Yin and Yang balanced), 30 percent from vegetables, 10 percent from beans and sea vegetables, 5 percent from fish, shellfish, fruits and nuts and 5 percent from soup made with grains, vegetables and fermented soya beans (miso).

The drinking of huge volumes of liquid is not advocated since it is believed that excess liquid places a strain on the kidneys and back and can lead to fatigue. All processed foods are banned and coffee and spices are discouraged since they are said to excite the nervous system.

Animal products and dairy are also not included in the diet and all members of the nightshade family of plants, which include potatoes, tomatoes and aubergine are also skipped as well as sugar in any form including honey and molasses.

Salt in controlled quantities is allowed, but only the natural unrefined sea salt variety.

Cooking is not allowed in aluminum nor copper, and tobacco, alcohol and drugs also are not allowed but herbal teas are often used.

All foods are classified as Yin or Yang, and underneath the list starts with the most Yang going over to Yin:

  • Cereals
    • Buckwheat
    • Millet
    • Whole wheat
    • Rice
    • Oats
    • Barley
    • Durum wheat
    • Rye
    • Maize
  • Fruit
    • Apple
    • Strawberry
    • Chestnut
    • Cherry
    • Blackcurrant
    • Olive
    • Peach
    • Hazel
    • Cashew
    • Peanut
    • Almond
    • Pear
    • Melon
    • Date
    • Fig
    • Banana
    • Citrus fruits
    • Pineapple
    • Litchi
    • Huckleberry
  • Fish and seafood
    • Caviar
    • Herring
    • Shrimp
    • Salmon
    • Sole
    • Trout
    • Cockles
    • Oyster
    • Squid
    • Carp
  • Vegetables
    • Burdock
    • Dandelion root
    • Thistle root
    • Nettle
    • Watercress
    • Coltsfoot
    • Carrot
    • Pumpkin
    • Parsley
    • Onion
    • Kale
    • Turnip
    • Chicory
    • Lettuce
    • Cabbage
    • Beetroot
    • Lentil
    • Peas

Following a macrobiotic diet is far more involved than these couple of sentences above, and a selection of good books are available on this subject.

Recommended books on following a macrobiotic diet Macrobiotics

Should you be interested to read more about macrobiotics, we could recommend the following books from Amazon.com:

The above is a short summary of macrobiotics, and is not meant to be a full discussion on the subject, but is only included in this website for the interest of our visitors and their broader understanding of holistic medicine and healing. Underneath a list of other holistic treatments:

 

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