Nutrition and DietWhat is macrobiotic cuisine and what foods to include

What is macrobiotic cuisine and what foods to include

Macrobiotic cuisine is the type of cuisine known as macrobiotic food. Find out what it is, what foods to include (and why) and what it is based on.

It is quite likely that you have already heard of it at some point, but do you really know what it is? The so-called macrobiotic diet is not only a type of food or diet, it is also a lifestyle that seeks to establish a relationship of harmony between our own interior and our environment.

In short, what the macrobiotic diet seeks is to make us happier, enjoying everything that surrounds us from a respectful point of view, in search of well-being and the maintenance of a correct eating habit.

We can say in fact that the macrobiotic diet is based on a principle: that of balance and harmony, especially taking into account that our nutritional needs are determined by our surroundings, by our geographical and climatic situation where we develop our lives, by activity that we carry out every day and by our own constitution and our health.

Therefore, when we talk about macrobiotic cuisine we must refer to the type of macrobiotic food cuisine, in which all the factors indicated above are taken into account when preparing food, which undoubtedly allows greater control over health, although its calories and nutrients are not taken into account so strictly, as is the case with other types of cuisine and diets.

To monitor the macrobiotic diet, it is very important to have a good knowledge of foods, especially from a nutritional point of view, always opting for natural foods that have not been previously processed.

For example, a useful option is to opt for cooking that does not alter the food much, such as simply boiling it in water, or even opting directly to eat it raw. In this way, food will provide all its essential nutrients in a complete way.

It is also highlighted that macrobiotic cuisine foods must come from biological crops, which are characterized by using only organic fertilizers, excluding chemical fertilizers, toxic fungicides and pesticides.

What foods do we find in the macrobiotic kitchen?

We must bear in mind that the macrobiotic diet promotes a type of diet based on the consumption of natural foods and vegetables, and at the same time discourages processed foods, dairy and meat.

However, unlike what is mistakenly thought, it is not a diet, but a kind of philosophy that gives us the possibility of understanding how we relate to the environment that surrounds us, being aware of the qualities that It provides us with the diet that we follow, and therefore, the food that we consume at all times.

Thus, we can differentiate between those foods that stand out for presenting a more adequate balance in terms of their nutritional and energy intake (so they are recommended to consume them daily), and those that we must avoid, consume occasionally or in small quantities (considered as foods extremes):

  • Ideal foods to include in the macrobiotic kitchen daily:  Vegetables and seasonal fruits (depending on the fruits they can be consumed cooked, macerated or raw), legumes, whole grains (oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, rye, wheat, spelled, kamut, buckwheat and barley), seeds, nuts, fermented foods, algae and animal protein from fish.
  • Foods to avoid, consume occasionally or in small quantities: They depend directly on whether they are foods with Yang energy (meat, cold cuts, eggs, salt, baked or fried products, aged cheeses) or with Ying energy (dairy, chocolate, sugar, alcoholic beverages, fresh cheese and tropical fruits and vegetables).

In this sense, whole grains have a certainly important position, since the macrobiotic philosophy considers them as a food with a high potential to generate life, being the seed of the intact plant. They have a high nutritional value, in addition to being very complete, which is why they are considered the main element of the meal.

Vegetables in macrobiotic cuisine: each in its correct order.

In addition to whole grains, vegetables also have a dominant position in macrobiotic cuisine. In fact, in this it is common for vegetables and greens to be classified in order according to their energy nature (energy understood not in its usual definition, measured in calories, but the “energy” that each food is supposed to transmit naturally by itself).

That is, they are divided into leafy or stem vegetables, vegetables that grow above the ground, and root vegetables. The former provide greenery, freshness, and are ideal for cleansing and renewing the blood. We can mention spinach, watercress, celery, chard, lettuce, parsley and chives, among others.

The latter, those that grow above the ground, usually provide calm, center and serenity.  They are broccoli, onion, squash, cabbage, and cauliflower. And, finally, we find root vegetables, which stabilize us and increase the absorption of nutrients by the intestine; they are radish, ginger, beets, carrots and parsnips.

The importance of the five flavors.

When cooking any dish based on the philosophy of macrobiotic cuisine, it is necessary to look at the so-called five flavors, related to the theory of the five elements, and which helps us to better integrate the necessary foods to balance our plate of meal:

  • Sweet flavor:  Basic, it should be the predominant one. It nurtures and calms us. They are foods such as fruit, vegetables, vegetables, legumes and whole grains (as long as they are well chewed).
  • Salty flavor:  Provides heat, tones and activates. The salt and seaweed and other condiments such as gomasio, miso and shout stand out.
  • Bitter taste:  Purifies, activates circulation. Green leaves, endives and toasted seeds stand out.
  • Spicy flavor:  Tones and activates the respiratory tract, activating the functioning of the intestines. Highlights: raw onion, mustard, ginger, radish.
  • Acidic taste:  Calm, activates the digestion of fats and therefore the function of the liver. Highlights include apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, citrus and sauerkraut.


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