PRINCIPLES | The Macrobiotic Association (2024)

The principles of yin and yang quality of energy, date back to at least 10,000BC in China. They originally describe the cycles of nature where the summer, day and full moon are the yang phase and the winter, night and new moon the yin phase. One classic description is, that yang explains nature on the sunny side of the mountain, and yin on the shady side.

Generally, yang represents warmth, activity, speed, sunshine, colour and expression. Yin is associated with feeling cool, peace, mindfulness, shadows, subtle shades and introspection.

It follows, foods that warm us up and give us more energy, are yang compared to more yin foods, which cool us down and are refreshing. With a simple awareness of yin and yang, we can adjust our diet, to help us feel the way we choose. (This means taking a moment to listen to our our-selves)

A combination of yin and yang dishes can create a healthy balance to our eating. In addition yin and yang can be subjectively applied to various food related health issues to help refine exactly which natural foods might be most healing.

PRINCIPLES | The Macrobiotic Association (2024)


What are the principles of macrobiotic diet? ›

Macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, edible seaweed, fermented soy products, and fruit combined into meals according to the ancient Chinese principle of balance known as yin and yang.

What are the 5 elements of macrobiotics? ›

The elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This approach, from deep observation, links our organs and different parts of our body to each natural phase.

What are the problems with macrobiotic diets? ›

Strict diets such as macrobiotic or vegan diets do not contain dairy or animal products. This can stop you getting enough nutrients for your body to work properly. You can also lose a lot of weight. You might already be weak and underweight if you have cancer.

Can you drink coffee on a macrobiotic diet? ›

Vegetables and whole grains are the centerpiece of the macrobiotic diet. Most foods are processed very little, and eating dairy products, red meat, coffee, eggs, and sugar is discouraged. Vitamins and supplements are also discouraged.

Can you eat eggs on a macrobiotic diet? ›

Foods to avoid on a macrobiotic diet

dairy products. eggs. refined sugar. animal fats.

Can you eat tomatoes on macrobiotic diet? ›

Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, spinach, beets, zucchini, and avocados are examples of excluded vegetables.

What is a simple macrobiotic diet plan? ›

The diet is divided roughly as follows:
  1. 40-60 per cent is wholegrains such as brown rice, barley, oats and buckwheat.
  2. 20-30 per cent is fruits and vegetables.
  3. 10-25 per cent is beans and bean products such as tofu, miso and tempeh as well as sea vegetables such as seaweed.
Jan 9, 2024

Can you eat garlic on a macrobiotic diet? ›

Macrobiotic Diet Meal Guidelines

Include a variety of cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, arugula, kale, daikon, etc.). Include a variety of allium vegetables (onions, scallions, garlic, leeks, and shallots). Try to keep equal or more vegetables than grains by volume on your plate.

What is the main staple of macrobiotic diets? ›

The macrobiotic diet is based loosely on the traditional Japanese diet and it also supports a healthy lifestyle. Brown rice, vegetable soup, vegetables, beans, and sea vegetables are the staples of the diet.

What do you eat for breakfast on a macrobiotic diet? ›

We recommend that your macrobiotic breakfast has a grain-based dish with light vegetables on the side. For the basis of any breakfast dish, some great grains for breakfast include, but are not limited to: Brown rice. Steel-cut oats.

What famous people are on the macrobiotic diet? ›

Explainer / What is the macrobiotic diet loved by Hollywood celebs? Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone and Sting follow its holistic principles for glowing skin and better health.

Is peanut butter allowed on macrobiotic diet? ›

This is a toughie – the basic answer is YES, nut butters can be macrobiotic. But the caveat is that nuts (and nut butters) should be eaten in moderation: maybe 2-3 times a week.

What oils are good for macrobiotic diet? ›

Oils and Spices: To cook foods, avoid olive or coconut oil. Instead, the approved types of cooking oils for the macrobiotic diet include light or dark sesame oil, unrefined vegetable oil, corn oil, or mustard seed oil.

What is Madonna's macrobiotic diet? ›

It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.” Most days, Madonna sticks to a macrobiotic diet limited to beans, nuts and some, though not all, veggies, such as broccoli, kale, pumpkin, radishes and carrots. Sea vegetables — like seaweed, spirulina, and kombu — are also on the table.

Can you drink alcohol on a macrobiotic diet? ›

Forbidden foods in the macrobiotic diet

Coffee, soda, canned food, refined products (including sugar), eggs and all kinds of processed foods are not allowed. In regards to alcohol, only mild forms of Japanese beverages like sake are allowed.

What best characterizes a macrobiotic diet? ›

The macrobiotic diet is typically rich in nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and wholegrains.

What is macrobiotic diet menu? ›

Plant proteins: Tofu, tempeh, seitan, natto, humus, falafel. Vegetables: Green leafy, round and roots, shoots and sprouts. Fruits: Local and seasonal when possible, fresh and dried. Seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and others, tahini and seed butters and milks.

What are the 6 dietary principles? ›

The diet-planning principles of adequacy, balance, calorie (energy) control, nutrient density, moderation, and variety are important concepts in choosing a healthful diet.

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