- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Food and Health
The following guidelines will help attain and maintain a disease free, youthful and energetic body. They are based on the wisdom of Michio Kuchi, who taught the value of balancing yin and yang foods, and the discoveries of Dr. Bernard Jensen, who stressed the importance of a clean colon. Optimum health of the body depends on well-functioning intestines. By not drinking water, juice or milk with meals and by properly combining various types of foods, we keep the stomach and intestines working smoothly, in a problem-free way.These guidelines are based on my research, experiments and personal observations.
1. By not drinking fluids with meals, the digestive system functions more efficiently. Problems occur when the enzymes, which break down food into digestible elements, are diluted. Diluting the enzymes in the stomach causes digestive troubles which can lead to health problems. Therefore, drinking a half hour before eating and two hours after eating is recommended.
2. By properly combining various types of foods, we can achieve better digestion. Stomach juices become either acidic or alkaline in reaction to the different foods eaten. An acidic medium is necessary to break down proteins. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, require an alkaline medium to be broken down. Therefore, in the typical American breakfast, orange juice will prevent meats, such as bacon or sausage, from being thoroughly broken down causing indigestion, gas and bloating.
3. You will also notice that the functioning of your stomach and intestines improve when they are not over-full. You should only consume as much food as is comfortable to hold, in about twenty minutes. You can actually control the size of your stomach depending on how much you habitually fill it. It is best to eat three times a day and wait three or four hours between meals. For instance, breakfast: 9:00 A.M. Lunch: 1:00 P.M. and Dinner: 5:00 P.M. Also, avoid eating after sunset, since the body goes to sleep and digestion stops. Additionally, you will get a much better sleep on an empty stomach.
The food categories include Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fruits and Vegetables. Unprocessed foods are wonderful and provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. Complex carbohydrates give energy and are not fattening when eaten with vegetables only. Proteins provide amino acids which are the building blocks of the body. Vegetables provide minerals, vitamins and enzymes, (especially the green foods such as kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, etc.) Fruits provide minerals, vitamins and enzymes and are good for a one day fast which helps cleanse the body.
However, there are some foods that should be eaten in moderation according to macrobiotic principles. These are tomatoes, eggplants and avocados which have an acidifying effect on the bloodstream. They are considered yin foods. Processed white flour and white sugar are also yin. These substances acidify the bloodstream. They also leach the B vitamins from the body because they are so processed.
Oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice, millet, and corn and all products made from whole grains - whole grain breads, corn bread, rice cakes, noodles, etc.
Carrots, squash and pumpkins, potatoes. (Potatoes are alkaline.)
Broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, corn, chard, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beets, artichokes, asparagus, peas, onions, mushrooms, celery, peppers, bok choy, cilantro, and parsley.
Seaweeds: Kombu, hijiki, arame, dulse and nori.
All meats, eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes, grains and dairy products - cheese, yogurt, kiefer, sour cream and cottage cheese -
(*Vegetarians: Combining grains, legumes and corn provides a complete protein.)
Acid fruits - pineapples, oranges, tangerines and lemons.
Sub-acid fruits - strawberries, berries, peaches, nectarines and apricots and apples,
Sweet fruits - raisins, grapes, dates, figs and bananas.
(Fruits are yin in nature and should be consumed in moderation, with the exception of apples which can be eaten every day.)
Cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melons. Melons should only be eaten alone or with each other. Wait five hours before consuming other types of food, since melons are alkaline.
Do Not Combine
* Different protein types within the protein category, (e.g. eggs and bacon.)
* Meats and starchy vegetables, (e.g. steak and potatoes, carrots or squash.)
* Breads and meats, (e.g. tuna or lunch meats in sandwiches.)
* Fruits and vegetables.
* Fruits and breads, (e.g. jam on toast.)
* Acid fruits and sub-acid fruits.
* Acid fruits and sweet fruits.
* Melons and fruits, or anything else.
* Nuts and seeds.
* Seeds and fruits.
* Nuts and fruits.
* Nuts and vegetables
* Dairy products and fruits.
* Dairy products and vegetables.
* Meats and non starchy-vegetables, (e.g. chicken and broccoli.)
* Seeds and vegetables, (e.g. hummus, which made with processed sesame seeds, and greek salad.)
* Grains such as rice, millet, wheat, barley and non-alkaline vegetables.
* Different types of meats, (e.g. steak, chicken and seafood.)
* Legumes and vegetables.
* Potatoes and Buckwheat noodles.
Foods to Consider
1. Miso (unpasteurized) pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt and keifer to create beneficial flora in the digestive tract.
2. Soy Sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning.
3. Sea salt.
4. Sesame butter/tahini.
5. All nut butters.
6. Rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk.
8. Bee pollen.
9. Carob powder or chips.
10. Rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, etc. to replace processed white sugar.
11. Umeboshi Salt Plums or Paste: Quick remedy for stomach aches, heartburn, cramps and headaches.
When you feel out of sorts, catch a cold or the flu or have other symptoms, such as headaches or cramps, just adhere strictly to the boundaries outlined here. Eat lightly at first. Then, eat properly mixed meals so the stomach and intestines have a chance to function smoothly. Continue eating in this mindful manner until all symptoms disappear. These dietary boundaries are hard to follow at first, but as you begin to feel better, you'll be motivated to follow them. Afterwards, it is fine to ease up.