What are the Different Types of Macrobiotic Foods?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 March 2020
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Macrobiotic foods are largely made up of whole grains, vegetables, and legumes that are to be eaten in a raw state or after minimal cooking or processing. According to macrobiotic guidelines, one's diet and the types of foods that one consumes may be altered by a number of factors. These factors include the season, as well as the region where one resides. Most macrobiotic diets allow for the occasional consumption of refined or processed foods, but these are to be consumed in limited quantities as infrequently as possible. Although they are allowed as part of the diet, they are not considered to be macrobiotic foods.

One of the largest categories within the sphere of macrobiotic foods is whole grains. Grains on this list include spelt, millet, buckwheat, wheat berries, whole oats, and barley. Brown rices of various grain lengths also are included on this list. These sorts of grains are eaten as staple macrobiotic foods. They may be supplemented with other grains, such as cracked or flaked grains, as well as flour. These processed grains, however, are intended only for occasional use.


Another important category of macrobiotic foods is vegetables. Green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and gourds are all important parts of a macrobiotic diet. A variety of vegetables should be included in every macrobiotic meal, along with a helping of one of the key grains listed above. Vegetables commonly used in macrobiotic cooking include cabbage, dandelion greens, watercress, kale, many varieties of squash, carrots, daikon, radishes, pumpkins, spring onions, cauliflower, and shiitake mushrooms. A good macrobiotic diet should include a wide range of these and other macrobiotic vegetables, consumed on a regular basis.

Beans are also considered to be macrobiotic foods. One stipulation, according to many macrobiotic plans, is that beans should not be consumed more than once each day. Lentils, black soy beans, and adzuki beans can be used on a regular basis as part of a macrobiotic diet. Legumes that should be used less frequently include black eyed peas, lima beans, and navy beans, to name a few.

The entire list of macrobiotic foods is lengthy and can be complicated. For a complete list, consult a macrobiotic living website or purchase a book on the macrobiotic diet. These guides can offer information on choosing the right macrobiotic foods for oneself and cooking the right sorts of foods as the seasons change. They can also offer important information on getting proper nutrition while following a macrobiotic diet.


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