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How Can a Balanced Diet Keep Your Skin Healthy

Updated on March 12, 2011

In the West, a balanced diet is one that supplies all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. But in Eastern countries the interpretation of balance is quite different.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine foods are clas­sified in terms of their influence on the body's energies or chi. The right combination of foods preserves a sense of wellbeing by keeping the chi energy in balance.

According to Chinese medical thinking, the body's life force or chi energy flows along channels called meridians. When the energy becomes blocked or stagnates, it gives rise to various emotional and health problems which are reflected in the skin. For instance, from the Chinese medical viewpoint spots and skin blemishes may be due to an energy blockage in the liver and gall bladder meridian. A corrective diet uses foods that restore the flow of energy in this particular meridian and so clear the com­plexion.

It is a good idea to eat a spectrum of coloured foods relating to the five Chinese elements as they will help to balance the key meridians.

Opposites Attract

In Chinese philosophy everything in life includ­ing ourselves and the food we eat is described in terms of two opposing principles - Yin and Yang. Yin = female, dark, cold, negative, passive, earth,- Yang = male, light, hot, strong, positive, active, sun.

Keeping these two energy forces in balance is thought to hold the key to inner harmony and a sense of all-pervading equilibrium. Skin that is flushed and high-coloured suggests an excess of Yang energy which can be countered by empha­sising cooling Yin foods. On the other hand, when skin is pale and washed out it may benefit from a zing of fiery Yang energy.

Similarly, eating a diet composed predomi­nantly of Yin or Yang foods may provoke an existing skin problem. As most Westerners are unfamiliar with the energy qualities of different foods the safest way to strike a balance is to have lots of variety in your diet. Try to strike balance between eating hot, spicy Yang' foods like garlic and ginger, and cool, watery 'Yin' foods like cucumber and watermelon.

Full Of Flavor

A well-balanced diet is rich in flavor, too. Variety not only satisfies all the taste buds,- in Chinese philosophy different flavours also hone in on the various meridians and help to rebalance their chi energy. During the day aim to eat foods of all flavors to preserve a sense of balance.


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  • swedal profile image

    swedal 6 years ago from Colorado

    Thanks for that excellent tip Sinea.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

    I found that taking the Chinese herb Dong Quai makes my skin look much younger. Since it has hormonal properties, though, it needs to be taken with care.