Eating From The Land
Part of macrobiotic eating is to preference foods that come straight from the land. In some ways we can say that we are really eating the soil mixed up with some water and sun. Plants combine these three in a form that we can digest and absorb.
To get as close to nature as possible buy fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits. Ideally keep the skins on as they have greater concentrates of helpful fibre and phyto nutrients. If the foods are organic there is no needs to wash them too much as a little soil actually helps the micro biome in our intestines.
If you have the opportunity to grow your own vegetables, herbs or fruits then you can pick and eat ensuring maximum freshness. You may also be able to forage for wild foods to get the greatest connection to nature.
Traditionally vegetables were pickled and fermented to last through the winter. The healthy bacteria that form through this natural processing greatly enhance the health of our intestines and feed our micro biome. This is thought to influence our weight and general wellbeing.
In addition to fresh foods we can buy dried foods. Typical in a macrobiotic style of eating are grains, beans, nuts and seeds. The advantage with dried foods is they last a long time and are light and easy to transport. Most natural will be whole grains, rather than those that have their outer layer removed. Flakes, flours and cut grains tend to oxidise more quickly.
For convenience, foods may be frozen or canned and there are now more natural, organic options available. For example pre-cooked organic beans can be a handy stand by for a quick healthy meal. Other options include freeze drying and vacuum packing. These options create more packaging and potentially increase waste.
Many common foods are highly processed. They may include a long list of ingredients and have ingredients you do not recognise. The risk is the we unintentionally eat unhealthy foods.
I tend to check for:
- Added sugar
- Excess added salt
- Hydrogenated oils / fats
- Animal products
- Anything I do not recognise
before buying. Any of these would put me off making a purchase.
It is interesting to apply a rule of only buying processed foods with a maximum of 3 ingredients.
Ultimately we are trying to make our macrobiotic diet as high in foods straight from the land as possible and as little from factories as practical.
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