- 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 and which results in health problems. Therefore, drinking a half hour before eating and two hours after eating is recommended.
2. Properly combined food types within the stomach cause problem-free digestion. Stomach juices become either acidic or alkaline in reaction to the different food types which have been introduced. For instance, an acidic medium is created within the stomach to break down proteins. Acidic foods, such as as citrus fruits, require an alkaline medium in order to be broken down. Therefore, by mixing orange juice with bacon in your typical American breakfast, the bacon cannot be digested. The presence of orange juice causes an alkaline medium to be produced in the stomach and indigestion results. When foods do not break down due to unfavorable mixing, and gas and bloating result.
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. Its best to eat three times a day and wait three or four hours in 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.
Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice, millet, and corn and all products made from these whole grains, such as whole grain breads, corn bread, rice cakes, noodles etc.
Starchy Vegetables: Carrots, squash and pumpkins.
Non-Starchy Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, corn, chard, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beets, artichokes, asparagus, peas, onions, mushrooms, celery, peppers, bok choy, cilantro, and parsley. Sea Vegetables: kombu, hijiki, arame, dulse and nori.
Proteins: All meats, eggs, and milk products such as cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. (Combining grains, legumes (peanuts are legumes) and corn will provide a complete protein due to proper percentages of amino acids.) Nuts and seeds are also considered protein foods, but should not be eaten together.
Fruits: Acid fruits include pineapples, oranges, tangerines and lemons. Sub-acid fruits include strawberries, berries, peaches, nectarines and apricots and apples, Sweet fruits include: raisins, grapes, dates, figs and bananas. Fruits are yin in nature and should be consumed in moderation. Apples, however, are the one yang fruit and can be eaten as advised: Every day!
Melons: Cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melon. These should not be mixed with anything except each other. Wait five hours before consuming other food types. Melons are alkaline.
Potatoes: Potatoes are an alkaline food and should not be eaten with any food requiring an alkaline medium, as they produce an acid medium.
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 should be eaten alone. (Wait five hours before having other types of food.)
* Nuts and seeds.
* Grains and legumes. (e.g. peanut butter sandwiches.)
* Seeds and fruits.
* Nuts and fruits.
* Dairy and fruits.
* Dairy and vegetables.
* Meats and non starchy-vegetables, (e.g. Chicken and broccoli.)
* Seeds and vegetables, (e.g. Hummus and greek salad.)
* Grain such as rice, millet, wheat, barley and all vegetables.
* Different types of meats, (e.g. steak, chicken and seafood.)
* Legumes and vegetables. (e.g. peanut butter and celery.)
* Potatoes and Buckwheat. (both are alkaline)
Foods to Consider
1. Miso,(use unpasturized Miso Man brand from Whole Foods,) pickles, sauerkraut and yogurt or keifer to create good digestive flora.
2. Soy Sauce
3. Sea Salt
4. Sesame butter
5. Nut butters
6. Rice milk, soy milk or coconut milk or almond milk
8. Bee pollen
9. Carob powder or chips
10. Rice syrup, honey or maple syrup: instead of white sugar.
11. Amasaki Rice Drink, (No sugar and no milk, but tastes like a milkshake.)
12. Rice Dream (Ice cream made from Amasaki,
13. Umeboshi Salt Plums or Paste: Quick remedy for stomach aches, heartburn, cramps and headaches. Only available at health food stores or Whole Foods.
When you feel out of sorts, catch the flu or a cold or have other body problems, such as headaches or cramps, just adhere strictly to the boundaries outlined here. Eat light at first. Then, have properly mixed meals and allow the stomach and intestines to function well. Continue until all symptoms disappear. Afterwards it is fine to ease up. The boundaries are hard to follow at first, but when you start to feel better and it is obvious that following them is beneficial, you will be motivated to be disciplined. Your discipline will pay off with a better working body in general. Try it, you'll like it!