is Macrobiotics ?
macrobiotic approach is based on the view that we are the result of and are continually
influenced by our total environment, which ranges from the foods we eat and our
daily social interactions to the climate and geography in which we live.
considering all factors that influence our lives, the macrobiotic approach to
health and healing views sickness as the natural attempt of the body to return
to a more harmonious and dynamic state with the natural environment. As what we
choose to eat and drink and how we live our lives are primary environmental factors
that influence our health and create who we are, the macrobiotic approach emphasizes
the importance of proper dietary and lifestyle habits.
macrobiotic approach is based on principles, theories and practices that have
been known to philosophers, scholars, and physicians throughout history. The term
"macrobiotics" comes from Greek ("macro" meaning "large"
or "long", and "bios" meaning "life") and was first
coined by Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. Its most recent development
stems from Michio Kushi who was inspired by philosopher-writer George Ohsawa.
George Ohsawa published numerous works in Japanese, English and French, which
combined the western traditions of macrobiotics with 5,000 years of traditional
By using macrobiotic principles to address and adjust environmental,
dietary and lifestyle influences, thousands of individuals have been able to prolong
their lives by recovering from a wide range of illnesses including heart disease,
cancer, diabetes and many others (view some of these recovery testimonials on
our library pages). The macrobiotic approach to health recovery can be used along
with conventional and alternative medical treatment and intervention and is compatible
with and adaptable to all forms of religious and traditional cultural practices.
traditional and basic macrobiotic practices include eating more whole grains,
beans and fresh vegetables, increasing variety in food selections and traditional
cooking methods, eating regularly and less in quantity, chewing more and maintaining
an active and positive life and mental outlook.
General dietary and lifestyle
guidelines for persons living in a temperate, four seasons climate have been established
by Michio Kushi.
These guidelines outline basic dietary proportions along with healthier lifestyle
habits and are not intended to define a specific regimen that one must follow,
as additional adjustments are required for individual application which will vary
according to personal situations. If you are seeking specific advice we recommend
that you visit the Kushi Institute and meet with a Macrobiotic Counselor. The
Kushi Institute's week-long training program "The Way to Health" is
also recommended, as it gives you the skills and knowledge to put your counselor's
advice into practice correctly.
are Michio Kushi's standard macrobiotic dietary and lifestyle suggestions.
categories and general daily proportions for persons living in a temperate climate:
40 - 60% by weight
Organically grown, whole grain is recommended, which can be cooked in a variety
of cooking methods.
Grains include: Brown rice, barley, millet, oats, corn, rye, wheat, and buckwheat.
While whole grains are recommended, a small portion
of the recommended percentage of grains may consist of noodles or pasta,
un- yeasted whole grain breads, and other partially processed
whole cereal grains.
Approximately 20 - 30% by weight
Local and organically
grown vegetables are recommended, with the majority being cooked in various styles
such as lightly steamed or boiled, sautéed with a small amount
of unrefined, cold pressed oil, etc. A small portion may be used as
fresh salad, and a very small volume as pickles.
Vegetables for daily use include:
green cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, pumpkin, watercress, parsley,
Chinese cabbage, bok choy, dandelion, mustard greens, daikon greens, scallion,
onions, daikon radish, turnips, burdock, carrots, winter squash such
as butternut, buttercup, and acorn squash.
For occasional use in season
(2 to 3 times a week); cucumber, celery, lettuce, herbs such as dill and chives.
Vegetables not recommended for regular use include: potatoes,
tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, spinach, beets, and zucchini.
& Sea Vegetables
Approximately 5 - 10 % by weight
The most suitable beans for regular
use are azuki beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Other beans may be used on occasion.
Bean products such as tofu, tempeh, and natto can also be used. Sea vegetables
such as nori, wakame, kombu, hiziki, arame, dulse, and agar-agar are
an important part of the macrobiotic diet as they provide important
vitamins and minerals.
Soups may be made with vegetables, sea vegetables, grains, or beans. Seasonings
include miso, tamari soy sauce, and sea salt.
Recommended beverages include:
Roasted bancha twig tea, stem tea, roasted
brown rice tea, roasted barley tea, dandelion root tea, and cereal
grain coffee. Any traditional tea that does not have an aromatic fragrance or
a stimulating effect can also be used.
When drinking water,
spring or good quality well water is recommended, without ice.
Recommended fish include fresh white-meat fish such as flounder, sole, cod, carp,
halibut or trout.
Fruit or fruit desserts, made from fresh or dried
fruit, may be served two or three times a week. Local and organically
grown fruits are preferred. If you live in a temperate climate, avoid tropical
and semitropical fruit and instead, eat temperate climate fruits such
as apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, berries and melons. Frequent
use of fruit juice is not advisable.
Lightly roasted nuts and seeds
such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Peanuts, walnuts and pecans may
be enjoyed as an occasional snack.
Rice syrup, barley malt, amasake,
and mirin may be used as sweeteners.
Brown rice vinegar or umeboshi
vinegar may be used occasionally for a sour taste.
Gomashio, seaweed powder (kelp, kombu, wakame, and other sea vegetables), Sesame
seaweed powder, umeboshi plums, tekka, pickles and sauerkraut made
using sea salt, miso, or tamari.
Cooking oil should be vegetable quality only. To improve your health, it is preferable
to use only unrefined sesame or corn oil in moderate amounts.
Salt should be naturally processed sea salt. Traditional, non-chemicalized shoyu
or tamari soy sauce and miso may also be used as seasonings.
to Eliminate for Better Health
Meat, animal fat, eggs, poultry,
dairy products(including butter, yogurt, ice cream, milk and cheese), refined
sugars, chocolate, molasses, honey, other simple sugars and foods
treated with them, and vanilla.
Tropical or semi-tropical fruits
and fruit juices, soda, artificial drinks and beverages, coffee, colored tea,
and all aromatic stimulating teas such as mint or peppermint tea.
All artificially colored, preserved,
sprayed, or chemically treated foods. All refined and polished grains, flours,
and their derivatives, mass- produced industrialized food including all canned,
frozen, and irradiated foods.
Hot spices, any aromatic stimulating food or food accessory, artificial vinegar,
and strong alcoholic beverages.
Eat only when hungry.
Proper chewing (around 50 times or more per mouthful)
is important for good digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Eat in an orderly and relaxed manner. When you eat, sit with a good posture and
take a moment to express gratitude for the food.
eat regularly two or three times per day, as much as you want, provided the proportion
is generally correct and each mouthful is thoroughly chewed. It is
best to leave the table satisfied but not full.
Drink liquids moderately,
only when thirsty.
For the deepest and most restful sleep, retire before
midnight and avoid eating at least 2 to 3 hours before sleeping.
Wash as needed, but avoid long hot baths or showers which deplete the body of
Use cosmetics and cleaning products that are made from natural,
nontoxic ingredients. Avoid chemically- perfumed products.
For care of the teeth, brush with natural preparations.
As much as possible,
wear cotton clothing, especially for undergarments. Avoid wearing synthetic or
woolen clothing directly on the skin. Avoid wearing excessive accessories
on the fingers, wrists, neck, or any other part of the body.
Spend time outdoors if strength permits. Walk on the grass, beach or soil up to
one half hour every day. Spend some time in direct sunlight.
Exercise regularly. Activities may include walking, yoga, martial arts, dance,
Include some large green plants in the home to freshen and enrich
the oxygen content of the air. Open windows daily to permit fresh
air to circulate, even in cold weather.
Keep your home in good order,
especially the areas where food is prepared and served.
circulation and elimination of toxins, scrub the entire body with a hot, damp
towel every morning or every night. If that is not possible, at least
scrub the hands, feet, fingers and toes.
Avoid using electric cooking
devices (ovens and ranges) or microwave ovens. The use of a gas or wood stove
Use earthenware, cast iron, or stainless steel
cookware rather than aluminum or Teflon-coated pots.
Minimize the frequent
use of television and computer display units. When using a computer, protect yourself
from potentially harmful electromagnetic fields with a protective
shield over the screen and other safety devices.
Institute programs and sevices as well as all information on Kushi Institute web
pages are educational in nature, not medical advice, and not intended to take
the place of personalized medical counseling, diagnosis and treatment.