Supplements with macrobiotics
- a statement by Michio Kushi
Nutritional supplements with macrobiotics -- do they complement each other or are they in conflict with each other?
This is an issue that is not well understood, especially by beginners to macrobiotics and even by some long-time practitioners. Some hold the view, for example, that nutritional supplements are "forbidden" in a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle.
In reality, the position is not so dogmatic. Below is a statement issued by macrobiotics teacher Michio Kushi in 1994 to explain the role of supplements in macrobiotics. To me, it makes a lot of sense.
Statement on supplements with macrobiotics dietary practice - by Michio kushi
Our daily diet is the foundation for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health as well as the means to maintain and supply the vital energy for social activity. If we properly manage our daily diet and harmonise with the environment, there is generally no need to take specific nutritional supplements with macrobiotics.
However, some of the following cases may require supplements for a limited period of time:
- When a person is currently in a transition period from unhealthful eating habits to a well-balanced, macrobiotic way of eating;
- When a person is not eating a well-balanced macrobiotic diet but is only partially doing so;
- When a person has developed a serious ailment which may require conventional or alternative approaches to healing -- such as radiation, chemotherapy, supplements and herbal treatments -- until he or she establishes a reasonably healthy condition and begins to practise a balanced macrobiotic diet and way of life.
Preferred supplements with macrobiotics
The preferred supplements are listed in the following order, beginning with the highest quality:
- Supplements prepared at home using natural, whole food ingredients such as macrobiotic home remedies. These supplement foods are not necessarily limited to current or standard macrobiotic home remedies, but also those designed specifically by a qualified, experienced macrobiotic educator. Examples include ume-sho-kuzu, daikon drink, shiitake mushroom tea, etc
- Segments or extracts of natural plants / vegetables and / or their combinations which people can make themselves or purchase if available. These supplements may also include naturally processed food products. “Naturally processed” means juicing, heating, pressing, drying, diluting, crushing, roasting, boiling, freezing and other similar, natural processes that do not involved the application of chemical substance or chemical processing;
Examples: Vegetables juices, fruit juices, herbal teas, Chinese herbal medicine, spirulina, blue-green algae, green magma (barley green), and various homoeopathic substances.
- Products that contain natural minerals, but are not coated, mixed or treated with chemical substance.
Examples: Calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, etc.
- Products that contain less than 20 percent (of the total weight) meat or animal-based substance and which contain no chemical substance and do not involved chemical processing. Examples: Oriental medicine folk medicine, oyster shells, fossils, bones, skin, eggs, etc.
- Product which contain natural plant, mineral and animal substance, as well as chemical substance, or which involve chemical processing -- to the extent that they do not produce harmful effects.
Supplements wth macrobiotics - temporary use
All of the above mentioned supplements are best consumed on a temporary basis, while at the same time, the individual maintains a well-balanced daily macrobiotic dietary practice for optimum health benefits.
It is not advisable to consume supplements for long period of time though the period for each case will differ and fluctuate, depending upon the individual’s condition.
In the event that a person requires taking supplements continuously for a prolonged period (over 6 months), then his or her daily practice of the macrobiotic way of eating should be thoroughly reviewed.
Factors to be reviewed should include:
- proportion of food
- variety in the diet
- manner of preparation
- combination of foods
- volume of food
- frequency of eating, and
- chewing of these food