The raw food diet has a different perspective from the macrobiotic diet when it comes to eating food raw or cooked. While raw foodies suggest that we should always eat food raw, macrobiotic people suggest we should mostly cook food since eating raw food can be too yin.
Which should we listen to?
Well, that is what I am talking about in this series, so stick around.
My name is Sachiaki Takamiya and I am the author of IKIGAI DIET: The Secret of Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity. I have also written books called IKIGAI BUSINESS: The Secret of Japanese Omi Merchants to Find a Profitable, Meaningful, and Socially friendly Business, and Zen and a Way of Sustainable Prosperity: A Teaching of Omi Merchants Who Thrived In 18th Century Japan. I help people lead a lifestyle to stay healthy, conduct a business that you can enjoy and benefits society at the same time, and be successful at your mission so that you can grow spiritually, as well.
Some raw foodies seem to believe that by cooking food, you are not only destroying enzymes but making food toxic.
I don’t know what to think about it. Actually, I am not a science guy, I am more of an art person, so maybe there is a scientific explanation for it, and I just don’t understand it, but my gut tells me something strange about this theory. Partly because I have been eating cooked food all my life and I haven’t had any problems. The result of my medical check-ups has been nearly perfect so far.
Not only that. I am 56 years old, but I have been diagnosed that my vascular age was 21 years younger. It isn’t only me, there are a lot of people who are over 80 and still actively moving around in my neighborhood, and they have been eating a lot of cooked food. There are over 600 centenarians in Shiga Prefecture as a matter of fact. It applies to entire Japan, many people live long, and most dishes in Japanese cooking involve some forms of heating process. If cooked food is toxic, how come all those people are healthy?
Well, if Japan alone isn’t convincing, let’s look at other places where people stay healthy.
Have you ever heard about Blue Zones?
Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live much longer than average. In the November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story “The Secrets of a Long Life”, Dan Buettner identified five geographic areas where people live statistically longest: Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece) and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. He offers an explanation, based on empirical data and first-hand observations, as to why these populations live healthier and longer lives.
Did they follow a raw food diet?
They ate mostly vegan whole plant-based food, which is pretty much the same as raw foodies. They ate a lot of vegetables, fruit, and nuts which is also similar to a raw food diet.
Nonetheless, they didn’t eat everything raw; they ate a lot of cooked food as well. They ate a lot of beans and grains which require a heating process.
Well, it looks like at least there are so many people who have lived long even though they have eaten cooked food.
Now, since I found out about the diets of Blue Zones, let me check to see if they have followed a macrobiotic diet, too.
The types of food they ate are very similar to what macrobiotic people eat: Mostly vegan wholefood plant-based diet with occasional fish.
They also ate food based on Shindofuji, locally and seasonally grown food.
They also seemed to have followed the concept of Ichi Butsu Zentai Shoku, eating the food as a whole.
Nevertheless, they didn’t seem to have followed a strict guideline to check the yin and yang balance, and they included some foods which are not recommended by macrobiotics in their diets; coffee, wine, eggs, Nightshade vegetables, and occasional meat.
You can check what they ate from this site.
Interestingly, their diets are very similar to Ikigai Diet, which is surprising because I didn’t know about their diets until today other than the diet of people in Okinawa.
And yet, it isn’t that astonishing, when I think of how I developed the idea of Ikigai Diet.
Well, I will tell you about it in the next post.
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