"Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be food."

The benefits of macrobiotic diet foods are becoming increasingly recognized. Over the last several decades, the macrobiotic diet has been the catalyst for positive dietary and lifestyle changes around the world. The word "Macrobiotics" comes from the Greek term makro bios, meaning "long life" or "great life”. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, coined the term, and in the modern era it has been utilized by George Ohsawa, Michio Kushi, and other educators in Japan, Europe, and America. Macrobiotics relies heavily on organically grown whole foods and naturally processed foods, including whole cereal grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats, and buckwheat; soy foods such as miso, shoyu (natural soy sauce), and tempeh; an abundance of fresh garden vegetables; nori, kombu, and other sea vegetables; and a variety of seasonings, condiments, snacks, and other healthy foods and beverages.

A major part of the macrobiotic diet philosophy is bringing awareness and attention to how specific foods affect the physical and mental state of an individual. Instead of blindly following dietary "rules”, macrobiotics emphasizes the effects of food on health and wellness. Choosing less processed and more nutrient-dense foods positively contributes to your physical health and emotional well-being. By building our bodies from natural whole foods in a spirit of thankfulness, we can greatly improve our physical health and emotional well-being. Harvard Medical School cardiovascular researchers have reported that people eating macrobiotic diet foods for an average of two years have virtually no risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in America today.


Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body and the brain. The brain uses almost 25 percent of the calories you eat relying primarily on carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, or simple sugars, include table sugar, honey, corn syrup, and fructose. Simple sugars are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. This quick absorption may give you a burst of energy, but it's often followed by an energy crash or depression.

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains and vegetables. They are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, stabilizing blood sugar levels, giving the body consistent energy throughout the day, and providing a significant beneficial impact on anxiety and depression disorders.


Proteins form the major building blocks of our muscles, organs, glands, bones, teeth, skin, nails, and hair. Protein is necessary for the creation and purification of all body tissues. Proteins are made up of twenty-two building blocks called amino acids. Nine amino acids are called 'essential' because the body cannot produce them, and must be absorbed from food or taken as a nutritional supplement.

Fats and Oils

Fats and oils act as major structural components in the membranes which surround the body's trillions of cells. They are an important source of energy for the body and have important functions in the building and maintenance of healthy cells.

Saturated fats, found mostly in animal products, tend to stick together and deposit within the cells, organs, and arteries. When eaten in excess, this clumping of saturated fats has been shown to cause major health problems including obesity, depression, and diabetes.

Unsaturated fats are found mostly in nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fish. They are soluble in the body, and allow the molecules within the cell membranes to make and break contact with one another in order to fulfill their vital chemical and nutritional functions.


The macrobiotic diet is highly focused on sufficient minerals being supplied to the body because a healthy body relies on minerals for proper functioning. Minerals regulate your acid-alkaline balance, hormonal and enzymatic activity, electrical movement in the nervous system, and oxygen transport in the body. Minerals cannot be created by the body so they must be obtained from foods and nutritional supplements.

Minerals are necessary for maintaining healthy nerve function, balancing the composition of body fluids, forming new blood and bone cells and regulating muscle tone, including cardiovascular muscles. Minerals enable our bodies to grow, heal, and produce energy, and are essential for the assimilation of vitamins and other vital nutrients.


Vitamins, like minerals, are an essential macrobiotic diet factor, and are responsible for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They are also responsible for building body tissues and for cellular energy exchanges. It's very important to eat a wide variety of foods to get adequate amounts of all vitamins.


Enzymes regulate the chemical activities in all living organisms. They do this by accelerating, stimulating or catalyzing some change in another substance. They are needed for the breakdown, digestion and assimilation of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Enzymes are found in fresh foods and in fermented foods recommended by the macrobiotic diet.


Water is a very important component of the macrobiotic diet. Eighty percent of our body weight is water. It is vital to all the body functions, including muscular movement, digestion, temperature regulation, cellular detoxification, and the transport and burning of fat. Always use the purest water available for drinking, cooking and bathing to prevent the absorption of harmful chemical residues, heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride.

As you can see, it's easy and simple to gain the benefit from eating macrobiotic diet foods. This simple lifestyle simply requires that you be more mindful of the foods that you eat, how they are prepared, and your emotional relationship to your food. Proper eating is a major step toward relieving anxiety and depression. Be happy, eat well.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Locklear is a researcher and consultant with 30 years experience, studying health, nutrition, and human behavior. He has been president of the Global Peace Project since 1986, and he administrates the website www.Natural-Remedies-for-Total-Health.com as part of the Global Peace Project Educational Outreach Program. You can also find him on The Total Health Blog.