Vitamin D and Physical Activity


Copied from a Spanish-language post and translated.


Fatty fish is an important source for the aforementioned nutrient and it (Vitamin D) is increasingly considered essential to health. It is now clear that its role goes far beyond calcium and bone , this nutrient is instrumental in the prevention of cancer and degenerative diseases . A very recent analysis of all studies on this topic has shown that the importance of vitamin D for cancer prevention is so strong that if a suitable amount is taken with food or produced by the skin under the action of the sun, probably half of the most common cancers could be prevented .

Now , all who live in northern latitudes have problems with vitamin D , as we live very little outside in the sun and too much time is spent inside , so this is not true for people on a macro diet only. However, fatty fish is one of the few foods that contain good levels of vitamin D , so reducing consumption too much in favor of white fish can not be a long-term strategy .

Aside from getting this nutrient from the food we eat , it is clear that we must do everything possible to stay outdoors and sunbathing, as this is a more central need for humans than any specific food. Humans adapted to eat a variety of different foods throughout evolutionary and historical time , but the sun is the same in all the earth and has always been necessary for everyone . Our focus on the importance of food should not blind us to other basic needs for us as human beings .

As with vitamin D , physical activity is also a basic need. We have often said this, but it rarely becomes a way of life. The most important fact to consider, with respect to this issue is that if we have too little physical activity it is very difficult to expand the diet, since we would need to include more vitamin B12 and foods rich in vitamin D . If we eat more foods of animal origin , while doing little outdoor activities , we can easily end up creating an imbalance. But the problem is very little activity in the outdoors, not in our food, and you need to encourage people to pay attention to this problem .

It can also be difficult to increase the amount of animal food if we eat too many whole grains. Grains should be reduced when we increase our consumption of animal foods , while vegetables and fruits should be increased.


The last point I want to consider here concerns the use of sweeteners . After many years of resistance, the scientific community is becoming aware that our attitude toward refined sugars macrobiotics is correct. Humans are clearly not adapted to consume refined sugars. We have long known that you can eat a moderate amount of simple sugars, provided they are part of a natural food , such as fruit , as they combine with other nutrients and they balance, and do not take on a refined form .

However, in natural food stores , many of the sweeteners are sold alone or included in candy . Some of them are very refined , like agave syrup - which consists essentially of fructose , a poor choice in itself - or even “organic” simple sugar , but even the best , like malts fermented grains, should be eaten in moderation .

You could say that the standard macrobiotic recommendations advise eating these foods in great moderation , but the fact is that many people need them and eat them. This is due to the fact that they eat very little good quality fats and animal proteins, and try to replace them with sweets.

( See " Some reflections on the macrobiotic way of eating " )

Therefore, it is useless to say that certain foods should be consumed in moderation , if notified while presented a diet that makes people look for these same foods . As stated earlier , the principles should be verified through practice. If the practice does not confirm that either are not true principles , or their application is incorrect.

Many scientific studies highlight the role of foods that cause a high insulin response in the body as the origin of cancer , cardiovascular and degenerative diseases . Perhaps the consumption of foods high insulinemic like sweets made ​​from flour , fat and sweeteners , would not create many problems if the diet as a whole is low in calories and fat as a macrobiotics one .

However, it is still a source of imbalance and if the other conditions are poor , maybe you can aggravate them . The situation is even worse for sugary drinks , such as rice or soy beverages and others, as it seems clear that the consumption of simple sugars in beverages is even worse than to do it in food.

Standard Macrobiotic Diet and Way of Eating

If we consider this scientific data and make good use of it in our practice , we must say openly that the standard macrobiotic diet is a diet focused on cleaning specific areas of the body and rebalancing the body, which was adopted for a limited time . After that, the standard macrobiotic diet often must include moderate amounts of animal foods , especially fish but also eggs and poultry or other white meats , provided that their quality is good and their preparation is balanced . It is our urgent task to explore traditional cuisine and to apply our knowledge of yin - yang in order to discover methods and recipes most appropriate for the consumption of animal foods .

Compared the stricter standard macrobiotic diet to our daily macrobiotic diet and you realize that we need to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce the amount of grains we eat.
Olive oil or sesame fat condiments should be the most commonly used , to be used far more liberally than during cleaning . Other oils should be minimized.

Sweets and sweetened drinks , even if organic , and of good quality , should be minimized as well. Maybe they are good for children , but if an adult often craves these elements then it is probably that their fat and protein intake lacks good quality and this usually comes from eating whole grains too much and too little oil, vegetables, food Animal and fruits . Fruits are naturally sweet .

Jing issue

TCM states that we are born endowed with a certain amount of Jing or primal generative power . Stress and desires make this energy decrease and ultimately deplete , at which time the person dies. More than fifteen years ago I started practicing qigong and have worked every day on this issue, and I feel that this theory is a great gift from the Chinese tradition. We macrobiotics should be aware of this.

Many people doing macro ate way too strict for too long , consuming an inadequate amount of animal foods , vitamin B12 and D , perhaps this is linked to an imbalance of omega - 3 and 6 fats. However, it could be due to our ability to balance yin - yang , that we do not notice it. What may seem paradoxical, but is equally true , is that you may usually stay well and be strong , and that our food is fairly well balanced in terms of yin - yang since I usually avoid unnatural foods , but this does not mean that we are in good health .

In many cases this condition, after a long time , seems to lead to a depletion of Jing: people become too thin and superficially clean, but lacking precious reserves . Perhaps, at this point , degenerative diseases can occur due to stress , pollution, or according to individual genetic weakness , or sheer lack of some essential nutrients .

If you take a good look around , many friends macro appear to be clean , but too fragile. Perhaps they have cured themselves of various ailments and seem superficially to be in balance , but you can feel that something is missing . And surely many friends who suffered cancer had large deposits in the body : it is more likely that they developed their problem because of something lacking or something in excess. Our theory about cancer should be revised and expanded to include the possibility that the lack of essential nutrients, like B12 and D , can create the conditions for their development.

Please note that both vitamins D and B12 are very yang . Vitamin B12 is essential for the reconstitution of DNA in each cell division, so it works in the very center of our physical body . The fact that these vitamins are present only in foods of animal origin should make us think . We can be very yang due to a clean diet rich in whole grains and sugar free form and refreshments , but we still lack some essential factors yang .


Interestingly, the vegetarian community has been struggling for awhile and members have realized the need for vitamin B12 ( and recently also Vit . D ) supplementation. Our macrobiotic community is in a better position on this issue , but I am aware that a similar effort is underway. Maybe it is because the “principles” are based on vegetarian ethics , not a method ( yin - yang) that is supposed to replace the scientific , that people are more open to learning from others what we are.
It is possible that , thanks to our broader approach to diet, you can avoid the use of supplements, but this is not always true . In any case, if this issue is not addressed properly , you never know .

I think it is our duty to learn from what is happening to some friends from a long time macrobiotic . We should not ignore the good results obtained with so many health problems. Please consider that , having learned quite well how to clean and rebalance ourselves, now we must learn to create solid foundations and reserves of good quality.

This feeling can be obtained by extending the standard macrobiotic diet in a conscious and balanced way – the cleaning period . We must learn to create a lively, broader balance where a little more animal foods and outdoor activities can be important contributions.


I’m confused…

(adding characters)


Me too, but some of it sounded cool so I added it anyways.
I think the gist of it is supposed to be “Fatty fish is a good source of vitamin D, but there is no replacement for outdoor activity.”


I can agree with that.


I’ve just become more and more interested in it as I realized the number of conditions with which a lack of sunlight is associated, or that can be treated with artificial sunlight. In fact, it seems like outdoor activity is as important for our health as nutrition.


Fortunately, I live in the Sunbelt and can get adequate Vitamin D quite quickly year round. I can see how difficult it would be in the winter for northerners because you have to have exposed skin to take synthesize D.


What is the Sunbelt?
Yeah I live in Michigan which has some pretty dreary weather after summer months. Not to mention I never see the sunlight between work and classes. I have to plan out when I actually get to witness sunlight lol.


The sunbelt is an informal region of US stretching across the South from Southern Cali to South Carolina. It called the sunbelt because of the warm climate and near year round sunny skies. I personally live in Austin, TX and through my life the average day in January is about 40 F and sunny. But the summers do get hot…