The diet practice called the ‘macrobiotic diet’ was popularized in Japan and has since found a following in modern days. This diet is a traditional way of consuming food in a balanced manner. It’s therapeutic, curative, and holistic by nature. The diet aligns with traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. For quite some time now, I have been practicing the principles of the macrobiotic diet. It has become a part of my lifestyle now and has helped me a lot with maintaining my gut health.
This diet believes in the rule of microbes and the role they play in our health. When we delve into the world of microbes, it’s very easy to assess how their contribution to our body’s functioning is imperative. They help the human body in most of its processes, which include hair and skin care, hunger, digestion, hormonal balance, serotonin and dopamine secretions, and even immunity. They play a key role in maintaining a healthy body. But most important of all, microbes help in attaining a balance between good and bad gut bacteria.
Every individual is born with a set of good and bad microorganisms. This composition differs from person to person as it depends on prenatal factors like the mother’s health (emotional and physical wellbeing), as well as whether a child has a vaginal birth or c-section birth, breastfeeding; childhood environment, and human body’s exposure to antibiotics. All of these factors play a role that influences the microbiota present in the body. The state of the microbiota in a human body can then change depending on one’s location, any lifestyle changes like marriage or motherhood, and stress.
So how does the macrobiotic diet come into play? At a certain point in every human being’s life, the body loses the balance between the good and bad bacteria. This state is called ‘dysbiosis’ in medical termsand ‘ama’ in ayurvedic terms. It can then lead to simple digestive issues like mild acidity, GERD to more severe issues like chronic gastritis, skin problems, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and in extremely severe cases, even cause cancer. The macrobiotic diet helps us attain the gut flora back.
In dietetics, the macrobiotic diet can be practiced through three steps:
- Remove: We should remove all processed foods from our diets. This means eliminating anything that can cause inflammation which includes food items containing High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar, gluten, trans-fatty acid, cheap filtered oils, and also avoiding use of antibiotics.
- Rejuvenate: We should add food items that help us gain and develop good bacteria in our gut. It would mean eating natural food like whole greens, veggies, fruits, and starchy vegetables. This dietary inclusion can differ from person-to-person.
- Top-up: This refers to the supplementation of the processed foods in our diet through the addition of natural foods like kaffir lime, sauerkraut, traditional pickles, buttermilk, turmeric, neem, asparagus shoots (for menopausal women).
I will conclude by saying that any person can easily practice the main principle of the macrobiotic diet by removing all processed foods from their diet and balancing it by eating natural food, which comes from the soil.
As always, I hope you all stay happy and healthy!