It avoids processed and refined foods and most animal products. People who follow this diet are encouraged to chew thoroughly.
The Macrobiotic Diet was popularized by Imperial Japanese Army pharmacist and doctor, Dr Sagen Ishizuka who helped people recover from serious illness through education about food and diet. He theorized that a diet of in-season natural foods with correct balance of potassium and sodium, acid and alkaline leads to good health. It emphasizes whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products, fish and seafood, nuts, seeds and fruit combined in such a way to balance yin and yang. Yin qualities are thought to be expansive, light, cold and diffuse whereas yang qualities are considered compact, dense, heavy and hot. All food is considered to have both properties with one dominating.
Foods in the nightshade category such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant/aubergine, spinach, beets and avocados are discouraged because it is believed that they effect calcium balance and contribute to inflammation and osteoporosis.
The Macrobiotic Diet has been touted as an anti-cancer diet however there is no evidence that it is a cancer-cure diet.
As with any largely vegetarian diet, consideration must be given to consumption of adequate protein, Vitamin B12, calcium and iron.