The anthroposophical approach to diet goes back to the Austrian physician Rudolf Steiner. Nutrition here is to be understood as part of an overall philosophy in which body, mind and soul are to brought into harmony with nature. A diet with fresh and natural foods in this principle has a healing and stimulating effect on body and soul.
The concept of anthroposophical nutrition essentially corresponds to the loosely managed vegetarian diet. Dairy products are highly recommended and eggs are also permitted. The consumption of meat, fish, soy and industrially processed foods such as sugar and white flour, on the other hand, should be restricted. Steiner is also critical of the consumption of nightshade plants such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. However, these foods are not forbidden.
Free will is given high priority. There is no forbidden or permitted food. Rather, everyone should decide for himself or herself which foods are beneficial. Steiner was of the opinion that the individual choice of food, in particular whether meat or fish is consumed, depends on the level of consciousness of the individual. In his opinion, vegetables strengthens the body and promotes mental development more than that from meat consumption.
A characteristic feature of anthroposophical nutrition theory is the threefold division of plants into root vegetables, vegetables from leaves and stems, and from fruit and blossom.
Root vegetables are said to have a positive effect on nerves and head; leafy vegetables, salads and cabbage strengthen heart and lungs; fruits and seeds stimulate digestion and metabolism. In order to achieve a harmonious equilibrium, food from each different segment should be eaten daily.
Great importance is also attached to food growth. Biodynamic cultivation goes back to Rudolf Steiner and is the origin of today's organic concept. In general, followers of anthroposophical nutrition prefer fresh and, as much as possible, unprocessed foods. Highly processed foods, microwaved food and food irradiation are classified as harmful to health.