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Food Energy

Yin & Yang of Food

by Master Chunyi Lin

In China, food is thought of as medicine. Food as therapy is a concept that began thousands of years ago in China and is a core component of good health as described in the The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which is the Chinese medicine bible.


The concepts of Yin and Yang are key aspects of Chinese food therapy. Everything in the universe, including all foods, of course, is energy and the two basic forms of energy are Yin and Yang. As in all things, Yin and Yang need to be in good balance for you to experience the healthiest life and that is certainly true in what you eat.


Yang and Yin Food Energy

In this philosophy, Yang foods are believed to increase the body’s heat and Yin foods are believed to decrease the body’s heat. Yang foods increase the body’s metabolism while Yin foods are believed to decrease the body’s metabolism.


Energy of Fats and Water in Foods

Generally speaking, Yang foods tend to be dense in food energy, especially from fat, while Yin foods tend to have higher water content.


Food’s Color Energy

Color is another energy indicator. For example, foods that are red or white in color are Yang, while foods that are green or black are Yin. Foods that are yellow in color are neutral.


Root vegetables are Yin energy because they grow in the earth, while food with leaves that grow in the sun is Yang energy.


But these are only generalizations and like all generalizations there are exceptions.


 Just like in our Qigong Practice: Yang is in the Yin and Yin is in the Yang

For example, green leafy vegetables that grow in the sun may be Yang but the color green is Yin. So, among Yang you have Yin and among Yin you have Yang.


How You Cook Your Food is Energy Too

Cooking style is also an important part of this concept. For example, if you steam the food that is towards the Yin, if you stir-fry that is Yang. And cooking can change the energy, if you cook something slowly for a long, long time that becomes Yin.


Salad that is cold is Yin but salad this is hot is Yang, unless you cook it for a long time. These concepts can be very complicated and confusing, especially for the beginner but they are only concepts.


Choosing Balance is the Ideal

The ideal of Chinese food therapy is to eat both Yin and Yang foods to help keep your energy in balance. Energy balance is the key part in Chinese food therapy as in all things and the best way to find balance in your food is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is 60 to 70 percent vegetables, sprouts, seeds, beans and fruit and no more than 30 to 40 percent of other foods, meat or fish or other things. It is also important to eat a variety of different foods and not to eat the same foods all the time.


In doing so you will help to create Yin/Yang balance and remember that practicing your qigong can help you achieve and maintain that balance even more quickly and completely.


Practicing Qigong also helps you listen to your body. It helps you develop your sixth sense, your intuition so you feel the balance of good choices for yourself.


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