Maintaining Yin And Yang Balance

To stay healthy, we have to maintain yin and yang balance in our meals.

Too many yin foods can cause yang deficiency or yin excess, while too many yang foods may mean the opposite imbalances arise.

In the yin and yang concepts, all food can be tagged with a "hot" or "cold" nature. Let's see some examples below:

  • Cold foods: bamboo shoots, banana, clams, crab, grapefruit, lettuce, seaweed, water chestnut, watercress, watermelon.
  • Cool Foods: apple, bean curd, button mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, mango, mung beans, pear, spinach, strawberry, tomato
  • Neutral Foods: apricot, beef, beetroot, Chinese leaves, carrot, celery, corn (maize), egg, haney, polished white rice, potato, pumpkin, white sugar
  • Warm Foods: brown sugar, cherry, chicken, chives, dates, ham, leek, mutton, peach, raspberry, prawns, spring onions, sunflower seed, walnuts, wine
  • Hot Foods: ginger, green and red peppers, pepper, soya bean oil

Sour, bitter, and salty tastes are said to be yin, while pungent and sweet herbs and foods are yang. Balancing these flavours is important to nourish both yin and yang.

Ill health with a "cold" nature (e.g. a chill or watery diarrhoea) should be treated with warming remedies and foods. As for a "hot" problem (e.g. an inflammation), it should be treated with cooling dishes.

Healthy people have their own bias in basic constitution. Some are more yin while others are mainly yang. Some tend to feel the cold more, while others are hotter and may always feel thirsty.

A hot person should eat cold foods to help maintain an ideal yin and yang balance, while someone who is always cold should opt for warming dishes.



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