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Are You Yin, Or Are You Yang…your best diet, according to Ancient Chinese Medicine

Updated on August 21, 2015
Yin Yang Diet Balance
Yin Yang Diet Balance | Source

Chinese Medicine and a Yin Yang Diet: Use Food To Balance Your Yin Yang Nature

The theory behind Ancient Chinese Medicine and a balanced Yin Yang diet is actually the cornerstone of the newly popular Macrobiotic Diet, introduced in the 18th Century and popular with today's health enthusiasts. It emphasizes a grain based and balanced diet that avoids processed and highly refined foods, and most animal products. In other words, great for the vegans!

By taking this little survey, you will find out what your unique Yin/Yang nature is according to Ancient Chinese Medicine. Following that, you can check the corresponding foods that you can eat to enhance your Yin Yang diet balance. When I tried this out, it turned out the foods that my system type needed were actually foods I like anyway.

First, let's get a definition of Yin/yang:

1. (Philosophy) two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it[from Chinese (Peking) yin dark + yang bright] Source: The Free Dictionary

2. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (instead of opposing) forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, even your diet, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation. Source: Wikipedia

3. Yin and Yang is the concept of duality forming a whole. We encounter examples of Yin and Yang every day. As examples: night (Yin) and day (Yang), female (Yin) and male (Yang). Over thousands of years quite a bit has been sorted and grouped under various Yin and Yang classification systems. Source: Personal Tao


Yin/Yang Nature Types and Seasons

To see what specific cooling foods (Ying), or warming foods (Yang), you need for a balanced Yin Yang diet, the idea of Yin Yang natures in people is further broken down and described as seasons, where, for example a very 'Yang' person is a Summer Season and is described as highly energetic, where, with too much Yang, a person would be underweight. Also, too much Ying, and a person may be lethargic or sleepy.

Season colors in terms of wardrobe and complexion:

In trying to picture these types, I couldn't help but relate them to the metaphors popular today in wardrobing and complexion. In this consideration, this is how to visualizing the corresponding ideas of heavy and dark yang and light and bright yin.

Spring: The coloration is bright and sunny. Select hues that look as if they are bathed in sunlight such as bright shades of turquoise, watermelon and salmon.

Summer: Overall coloring is the most delicate and understated of all seasons. Avoid harsh contrasts by keeping the entire look calm and in complete harmony. Pastel shades of rose, periwinkle, and sage.

Autumn: Natural coloring is fiery, earthy, golden and natural. Wear both muted and rich, warm colors like the autumn foliage or exotic spice colors.

Winter: Coloring is crisp and distinctive, rich and intense in hair and eye color. Go for bold shades, black white, red and jewel tones.

Using The Yin Yang Principle

  • Everything in nature is a merging of the Yin Yang opposites
  • Perfection is equally balanced Yin and Yang
  • Each individual has a unique Yin Yang nature
  • Foods are also divided into Yin Yang diet groups
  • You can eat specific foods to re-balance your own Yin Yang

What's your Yin Yang diet nature?

1. Do you normally have warm hands or warm feet? If yes, add 8 (+8).

2. Do you normally have cold hands or cold fee? If yes, subtract 8 (-8).

3. Do you generally prefer cold winter to hot summer? If yes, subtract 4 (-4)

4. Do you generally prefer hot summer to cold winter? If yes, add 4 (+4)

5. For every 5 pounds you are over-weight, subtract 1 (-1 X ?)

6. For every 5 pounds you are under-weight, add 1 (+1 X ?)

7. Do you normally feel energetic? If yes, add 8 (+8)

8. Do you seldom feel tired, except every once in a while? If yes, add 4 (+4)

9. Do you normally feel lazy, but not tired? If yes, subtract 4 (-4)

10. Do you normally feel tired? If yes, subtract 8 (-8)

11. Do you fall asleep while on board a plane or riding in a (passenger seat) car:
Very often, subtract 8 (-8); Never, add 8 (+8); Easily, when a little tired, add 4 (+4); Occasionally, even though not tired, subtract 4 (-4)

12. Would you describe your sex drive as very high? If yes, add 8 (+8)

13. Would you describe your sex drive as very low? If yes, subtract 8 (-8)

13. Do you enjoy sex more than food? If yes, +4

14. Do you enjoy food more than sex? If yes, -4

Now divide your total by 5. You should have either a positive or negative number no higher than 8. My score ended up being 3.


Your Yin Yang Nature Score

5 through 8: Summer Yang

1 through 4: Spring Yang

0: Nuetral, perfectly balanced.

-1 through -4: Autumn Yin

-5 through -8: Winter Yin

My score of three puts me in the Spring Yang category, which happens to mirror my season appearance theory of Spring Colors. I have blue eyes and can't wear black, and I do like turquoise and pink colors for my wardrobe! Coincidence? Maybe.

Sum It Up And See What The Ancients Advise To Balance Your Yin Yang Diet

Once you have arrived at your Yin/Yang number and corresponding nature type, keep in mind this theory puts "0" as the perfect score, the perfect balance.

That means, if you are a high positive, you should choose foods from the high negative to balance your yin yang. So you choose the opposite of what your score is, negative fours could do well to choose from positive four foods, and so on.

The chart below lists foods according to their yin yang diet merit. I've eliminated quite of few things on my research list such as carp and horse bean, simply because either I don't know what it is, or wouldn't be able to find that sort of thing easily. Keep in mind, this is information from an 'ancient's' diet.

Yin Yang Foods Of A Chinese Medicine Diet

Yang (Summer)
Yang (Spring)
Yin (Autumn)
Yin (Winter)
(+8) Black and White Pepper, Red and Green Pepper, Ginger
(+4) Cherries, Chestnuts, Chicken, Chicken Livers, Coconut Milk, Dates, Eel, Guava, Lamb, Shrimp, Squash, Walnuts
(-4) Grapefruit, Star Fruit, Tomatoe
(-8) Sea Weed, Tofu, Goat Cheese
(+7) Avacado, Soybean Oil
(+3) Rice Bran, Sunflower Seeds, Wine
(-3) Barley, Cuttlefish, Lettuce, Plum
(-7)Boiled Spinach, Crab, Kelp, Sea Grass, Sesame Oil, Cucumber, Pears
(+6) Basil, Chives, Carraway, Cloves, Coriander, Dill Seed, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onion, Leeks, Nutmeg, Rosemary
(+2) Sesame Seeds, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Eggs, Coconut, Corn, Figs, Honey, Kidney, Kidney Beans, Kumquats, Lemons, Litchi Fruit, Marjoram, Milk, Papaya, Peach, Peanuts, Peppermint, Rice, Potatoe, Raspberries, Safron, Shitake Mushrooms, Soy Beans, String Beans, Sugar, Yams
(-2) Apple, Bamboo Shoots, Bananas, Egg Whites, Mandarin Oranges, Mangos, Musk Melon, Pepperment, Persimmon, Sugar Cane, Sweet Potato, Tangarines, Watermelon, Wheat
(-6) Bean Sprouts, Celery, Hops, Nappa Cabbage, Pineapple, Watermelon
(+5) Anise, Cinnamon, Spearmint
(+1) Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots, Coffee, Ginseng, Kohlrabi,
(-1) Abalone, Duck, Ham, Milk, Mussels, Oysters, Pork, Walnuts
(-5) Clams, Eggplant, Turnips, Toast
Source: Chinese Natural Cures, Henry Lu

Balancing Yin and Yang In Your Diet

From Healthline's Yin Yang Nutrition

"Traditional Chinese Medicine centers on the energy properties found in food. According to TCM, a balance of "hot" and "cool" foods is essential to good health.

The Properties of Yin and Yang and Diet
Yin and yang foods help to prevent certain conditions and to heal the body. The Chinese symbol for yin is the shaded side of a hill, signifying femininity, coolness, dampness, and darkness. In contrast, yang is the sunny side of the hill, signifying masculinity, warmth, dryness, and light. Yin foods are cool and moisten the body, while yang foods tend to warm and dry. Though they're opposites, yin and yang are complementary and essential to each other." Healthline, Yin Yang Nutrition

Ancient Chinese vs Today's Healthy Foods

Do you think this theory mirrors what you believe to be healthy food choices?

See results

Sugar-Free Foods

Click here to find a complete list of sugar-free foods for these stores:

  • Kmart Super Center, 1,221 discount stores, 3rd largest discount store chain in the world.
  • Safeway Inc., 1,458 grocery stores, 2nd largest supermarket chain in North America.
  • Sam's Club, 612 warehouse clubs, 8th largest U.S. retailer; 2nd largest U.S. warehouse club.
  • Walmart Supercenters, 3,016 plus discount stores, world's 2nd largest public corporation.


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    Post Comment
    • EGamboa profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Gamboa 

      4 years ago from West Palm Beach

      Thank you so much, revile! Very complimented that you stopped by.

    • EGamboa profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Gamboa 

      4 years ago from West Palm Beach

      Thank you revile, that really makes me want find out more. Thanks for reading!

    • rxville profile image

      Anita Zhafran 

      4 years ago from Earth Pharmacy

      Awesome hub, EGamboa! Yes. China has tons of unique healing systems, one of which is Yin Yang approaches.

    • EGamboa profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Gamboa 

      4 years ago from West Palm Beach

      I'm flattered you read it, being as food savvy as you are. Thanks for stopping by!

    • healthyfitness profile image

      Rick Grimes 

      4 years ago

      Apparently Im a Yin! Who knew? Very fun article :)

      Time to go grocery shopping !


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