With detection of cancer, a person may want to start looking for dietary options that help keep the aggravation of the disease in check. One popular diet suggested for cancer patients is the macrobiotic in nature. This article will help you understand why macrobiotic foods are recommended.
A macrobiotic diet mainly includes vegetarian food with a small proportion of non-vegetarian food that is said to have nutrients which can help prevent or cure cancer. There is no evidence that macrobiotic food can do away with cancer, however, there are certain nutrients in them that can help a person battle the disease. Although the name suggests a presence of fixed set of food products with a macrobiotic tag, the fact is that a macrobiotic diet may vary within different communities based on their staple food.
Nature of the Diet
A recommended macrobiotic diet usually contains foods prepared from grains in their whole form. Normally, the macrobiotic diet is high in fiber and low in fat. There may be plentiful use of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts in the diet. However, I wish to highlight that the food should neither be over-processed nor should they contain a high proportion of preservatives. However, one may use natural preservatives like salt and sugar in accurate proportions. It is recommended that one should avoid foods that are refined or directly sourced from animals such as red meat. Most of the foods that form part of macrobiotic diet are said to be high in vitamin A, B and D, zinc, iron, protein, and riboflavin.
Recommended Macrobiotic Diet
As per a standard macrobiotic diet regime, the nutrition is divided as below:
- Whole cereal grains up to 60%
- Fresh vegetables up to 30%
- Beans and underwater plants up to 10%
- Soups 5%
- Freshly cooked food 5%
Under these circumstances, one may include foods prepared from brown rice, whole wheat and cereals, oats, barley, millet, rye, fresh raw vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish. Additionally, light natural seasonings such as lemon juice, crushed celery, dried oregano, cinnamon powder, etc may be used. Some natural taste-makers may also be used. The diet permits consumption of some non-stimulating beverages. As a rule, spicy food and sweetened food should be used sparingly in this diet. This diet stresses on consumption of organically grown local vegetables and fruits. It is usually said that the staple diet of a culture is the best diet to suit a person’s dietary needs albeit with minor corrections.
This diet regime prohibits consumption of foods such as potatoes, peppers, eggplant, beetroot, tomatoes, avocado, spinach, red meat, poultry, refined salt, eggs and egg products, chemical preservatives and extremely spicy foods. A cancer patient opting for this diet might need to considerably decline consumption of sugar, coffee, chocolates, white bread, vanilla, honey, alcohol, refined flour, cheese, yogurt, colored tea and vegetable oil products.
It is recommended that food consumed in springs and summers should be lighter and high in water content. The food may include plenty of green leafy vegetables, fermented foods, fresh seasonal fruits and whole grains. Ideally, food cooked at this time of the year should be steamed.
However, you will notice a stark contrast between food cooked in autumn and winter as against summers. The cold climate demands that the food be more concentrated in nature. It may include root vegetables, beans, cereals, fresh vegetables, sweet rice, oil, and salt.
Macrobiotic Styled Cooking and Consumption
Many nutrition experts say that macrobiotic is not a particular form of diet, but a way for consumption of food. It can be seen that our cooking style has undergone a change on account of modern appliances such as microwaves. Similarly, there has been a gradual transition in the materials used for manufacturing the cooking utensils.
Here is what one needs to remember:
- Macrobiotic styled cooking requires use of traditional cookware made from stainless steel, wood, ceramic, glass, etc.
- It prohibits heating of food with the help of appliances such as microwaves which are likely to emit harmful rays which destroy the basic nutrients in fresh food. As such, food should be cooked and heated the natural way without usage of electricity for heating purposes.
- The cooking techniques should avoid the use of highly processed foods, frozen and canned foods, vitamin and nutrition supplements as well as aromatic and stimulating herbs.
- Food should be cooked and consumed in a peaceful environment.
- While eating, the patient is recommended to chew each morsel of food at least 32 times.
This diet restricts consumption of foods that are a major cause of cancer. e.g. alcohol, tobacco, red meat, etc. However, I need to tell you that it is not a foolproof way to eradicate the disease. At times, long-term consumption of diet may help you to prevent cancer. On the other hand, it has lots of restrictions on food consumption which might deprive the cancer patient of certain essential nutrients which a normal diet can easily provide. With both the sides of the coin being made visible to you, I hope I have been able to throw some light on the facts about adoption of a macrobiotic diet when suffering from cancer.