ying vs yang

All of this is to bring yin and yang into balance.

People who live in a yang environment should eat more yin foods and vice versa. One commonsense way of thinking in TCM terms is to pay attention to the five flavors at every meal. “….mix the flavors well and bones will remain straight, muscles will remain tender and young, breath and blood will circulate freely, pores will be fine in texture and consequently breath and bones will be filled with the essence of life. If the people carefully follow the right way as though it were a law, theirs will be a long life.” In theory, the body will attempt to regulate itself according to the flavor ingested because that flavor will affect its associated organ system. It’s a diagnostic tool too; when patients crave sweets we can see that their digestion is out of balance. It “needs” the sweet flavor to help tonify it. (Unfortunately many people use the sweet craving as a reason to overeat sugary foods.) This way of eating, following the flavors, is a good example of how to use the principles of Chinese medicine as preventive rather than palliative care – its basic tenet. Every person can manipulate his or her life force with food and self-care activities like meditation. We can manipulate that energy with needles, herbal prescriptions, moxa, manual therapy and other of our medicine’s modalities

Salt   Eggs   Red Meat   Poultry   Fish   Grains   Vegetables   Fruit   Sugar   Drugs/Alcohol

YANG                                             NEUTRAL                                               YIN


Yang foods. The most yang foods are sea salt, meat, eggs, poultry, fish and cooked vegetables. Plants that grow beneath the ground are more yang, while those that grow up in the air such as most fruit, are more yin. Cooked grains, cooked beans and cooked vegetables are in the middle.

Yin foods. Raw vegetables, and even more so fruits, juices, sugars, alcohol and drugs are more yin (watery and expansive). Also, anything made with water is much more yin such as soups, smoothies, and watery foods such as eggplant and all fruits. Dried fruits are less watery, but are still extremely yin due to their sugar content. Most raw plants and herbs are also very yin. Also, chopping a food into tiny parts, grinding it up, blending it, pureeing it, or juicing it also causes the substance to become much more yin in nature. In contrast, whole foods that are not chopped up are more yang

Yin Qualities:

  • Boiling
  • Poaching
  • Steaming


Yang Qualities:

  • Deep-frying
  • Roasting
  • Stir-frying

Types of Foods: 

Yin Foods Yang Foods
Bean Sprouts Bamboo
Cabbage Beef
Carrots  Chicken
Crab Eggs 
Cucumber Ginger
Duck Glutinous Rice
Tofu Mushrooms
Watercress Sesame Oil
Water Wine

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