Macrobiotic diet

Alternative therapies for cancer are focussed on putting the body at ease by easing out stress and toxins. The aim of a macrobiotic diet is also the same – to detoxify the body. Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa developed this diet in 1920s. But it gained popularity only in the 1970s when Michio Kushi1 began promoting it.

A macrobiotic diet can be divided into three parts. First part is made up of organic whole grains. This makes the largest component of your meal. The second part is made up of organic fruits and vegetables. And, the third part comprises of soups made of lentils, pulses. Some people also include organic fish or meat in the meal.

  • Evidence supporting the use of this diet for cancer prevention, survival or quality of life is lacking.
  • Scientific proof is a very high standard and difficult to achieve. Indirect evidence suggests that this diet is associated with lower cancer risk.
  • Lack of evidence in this case could indicate that more research is needed and not that the diet is ineffective

The idea behind a macrobiotic diet is to stop consuming food that adds to the build up of toxins in the body. These include processed food, dairy, food containing preservatives. Following a macrobiotic diet also involves storage of food in proper containers – like glass, stainless steel or ceramic. Not in plastic. Cooking in microwave is also not allowed while following a macrobiotic diet as the microwave tends to change the molecular structure of food. 

But one macrobiotic diet does not fit all. For this diet to be effective, a macrobiotic diet practitioner first determines your body type – yin or yang. And then advises a macrobiotic diet that goes along with your body type.

Clearing toxins from the body makes healing easier. Consuming processed food and preservatives for many years accumulates toxins in the body. It blunts the body’s mechanism to heal faster. During chemotherapy, when the body is being injected with chemicals, eradicating chemicals in the food is a good way ahead. 

References & More Information

  1. Credit: Beyond Conventional Care Therapies
  2. Integrative Oncology Cancer Care
  3. Edzard Ernst, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Macrobiotic diet [online document].
  4. Macrobiotic diet
  5. Anti-cancer Diets You May Have Heard About such as the Macrobiotic Diet for Cancer
  6. Lerner M. Macrobiotics—A Diet and a Way of Life, in Choices In Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer
  7. Kushi LH, Cunningham JE et al. The macrobiotic diet in cancer. Journal of Nutrition. 2001 Nov;131(11 Suppl):3056S-64S.
  8. CAM-Cancer: Macrobiotic diet
  9. Cancer Research UK: Macrobiotic diet
  10. Susan G. Komen: Macrobiotic Diet

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