yin and yang foodThe principles of yin and yang are also used in the sphere of food and cooking. Yang foods increase the body’s heat (e.g. raise the metabolism), while Yin foods decrease the body’s heat (e.g. lower the metabolism). As a generalization, Yang foods tend to be dense in food energy, especially energy from fat, while Yin foods tend to have high water content. The Chinese ideal is to eat both types of food to keep the body in balance. A person eating too much Yang food might suffer from acne and bad breath while a person eating too much Yin food might be lethargic or anemic. For a healthy and well balanced diet, meals should contain three parts yang and two parts yin. However, common sense must prevail and you should always seek medical advice before making changes to your diet.

All foods fall into three categories; yin foods, yang foods and neutral foods. The term yin or yang relates to whether a food is a cooling or a warming food and these terms often have nothing to do with the taste, nor how it is cooked. They instead relate to deeper essences of the foods nature.

Here is a very basic food list:

Yin Foods Yang Foods Neutral Foods
Almonds. Apple. Asparagus.
Bamboo. Banana. Barley.
Bean curd. Bean sprouts. Beer.
Broccoli. Cabbage. Celery.
Clams. Corn. Corn flour. Crab.
Cucumber. Duck. Eels. Fish.
Grapes. Honey. Ice creams.
Lemons. Mushrooms. Mussels.
Oranges. Oysters. Peppermint tea.
Pineapple. Salt. Shrimps.
Spinach. Strawberries. Soya beans.
White sugar. Tomatoes. Water.
Beef. Black pepper.
Brown sugar. Butter. Cheese.
Chicken liver and fat.
Chillies. Chocolate.
Coffee. Eggs. Smoked fish.
Garlic. Green peppers.
Goose. Ham. Kidney beans.
Lamb. Leeks. Onions.
Peanut butter. Roasted peanuts.
Potato. Rabbit. Turkey.
Walnuts. Whisky. Wine.
Bread. Carrots. Cauliflower.
Cherries. Lean chicken meat.
Dates. Milk. Peaches. Peas.
Pigeon. Plums. Raisins.
Brown rice.
Steamed white rice.


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