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Food of different energies
The following foods are arranged by their different energies
Bamboo shoot, banana, bitter gourd, clam (sea and freshwater), clamshell, crab, grapefruit, kelp, lettuce, lotus plumule, muskmelon, persimmon, salt, sea grass, seaweed, star fruit, sugar cane, water chestnut, watermelon.
Apple, barley, bean curd, chicken egg white, Chinese wax gourd, common button mushroom, cucumber, eggplant, job's-tears, lettuce, lily flower, longevity fruit, loquat, mandarin orange, mango, marjoram, mung bean, oyster shell, pear, peppermint, radish, sesame oil, spinach, strawberry, tangerine, wheat, wheat bran.
Black pepper, cinnamon bark, cottonseed, ginger (dried ginger), green pepper, red pepper, soybean oil, white pepper.
Abalone, apricot, beef, beetroot, black fungus, black sesame seed, black soybean, cabbage (Chinese), carp (common carp, gold carp), carrot, castor bean, celery, cherry seed, chicken egg, chicken egg yolk, corn, corn silk, crab apple, cuttlefish, dry mandarin orange peel, duck, eel blood, fig, grape, guava leaf, honey, horse bean, hyacinth bean, kidney bean, kohlrabi, licorice, lotus fruit and seed, milk (cow's and human), olive, oyster, papaya, peanuts, pineapple, plum, polished rice, pork, potato, pumpkin, radish leaf, small red or adiuki bean, rice bran, saffron, shiitake mushroom, sour plum, string bean, sunflower seed, sweet rice, sweet potato, taro, taro flower, white fungus, white sugar, yellow soybean.
Apricot seed (bitter and sweet apricot), brown sugar, caraway, carp (grass carp), cherry, chestnut, chicken, chive, chive seeds, chive roots, cinnamon twig, clove, coconut, coffee, coriander (Chinese parsley), date (both red and black), dill seeds, eel, fennel, garlic, ginger (fresh ginger), ginseng, grapefruit peel, green onion leaf, green onion (white head), guava, ham, kumquat, leaf mustard, leek, litchi, longan, maltose, mutton, nutmeg, peach, raspberry, rosemary, shrimp, spearmint, squash, star anise, sunflower seed, sweet basil, sword bean, tobacco, vinegar, walnut, wine.
Asparagus, cuttlebone, hawthorn fruits, malt.
What are the energies, flavors and other properties of food?
In Western diet, foods are evaluated for proteins, calories, carbohydrates, vitamins, and other nutritional contents. However in Chinese diet (and that includes herbs), one looks for not only vitamins and minerals but also the energetic properties of food like energy, flavor and movement. Other less importance aspects include meridian tropism and common and organic actions. These refer to specific internal organs or the meridians on which the foods can act. For example, celery acts on the stomach and lungs, carrot on the lungs and spleen.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), foods are just as herbs that can be selected and prepared appropriately to tonify, cleanse and regulate the body.
|1.||The five energies of foods|
Here are some food samples with different energies.
To seek a balance in diet, we can define food as predominantly yin or yang. If you eat predominantly yin foods, your body will be capable of producing more yin energy - darker, slower-moving and colder. In contrast, eating predominantly yang foods will produce more yang energy - faster, hotter and much more energetic. It's helpful to remember certain rules to determine the type of energy a food produces:
|2.||The five flavors of foods|
|Different flavors have their respective important effects upon the internal organs:|
|3.||The movements of foods|
|Food acts on the body through specialized movements. Depending on the properties of food, food moves in different regions within the body and can drive qi (vital energy) in the same direction as well. TCM claims that disease is caused when any of the external or exogenous evils exert too much influence on our body, foods that have specialized movements can be used to counter these evils. For example, when a person suffers from mild flu (which caused by exogenous wind invasion), foods with a floating action such as green onion and fresh ginger can expel the evils out of the body.|
|TCM has classified the movements of foods into four aspects.|
|In general, foods like leaves and flowers and those with light and loose qualities possess a tendency to move upwards or outwards; while roots and seeds and fruits that are heavy and hard in qualities possess a tendency to move downwards or inwards. However there are many other exceptions and some foods can move in two directions e.g. lettuce possess both downward and inward movements.|
Chinese System of Food Cures Prevention & Remedies by Henry C. Lu.Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1986.
The Tao of Food, Richard Craze and Ronifjay, 1999 Godsfield Press.
Chinese Food: a Holistic Therapy by Tom Neuhaus, www.hopedance.org
Medicinal Food in China by Junshi Chen, M.D. http://newcenturynutrition.com
Cooling the Summer with Food: An Introduction to Medicinal Foods by Yanfang Wang, M.D., Ph.D. http://newcenturynutrition.com
Yin-Yang Balance and Food Choice
Whether you turn to acupuncture or allopathic medicine for healing, choosing the right foods for your constitution will speed your progress.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), health is a state of balance in which food choice is key. As a longtime nutritionist I can report profound positive changes when people get their food selections right.
Nutritional balance from a TCM perspective is far different from that of Western nutrition. Modern nutrition science is based on knowing the chemical composition of foods and the biochemical pathways of the body. Western nutritionists quantify nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat, then group foods accordingly, with a one-size-fits-all serving recommendation.
The Food Pyramid, for example, groups bread, pasta, grains, and potatoes together as “carbohydrates” and suggests 5 to 8 servings. According to TCM, however, bread and pasta are damp and cooling, and thus are not recommended for someone overweight, bloated, or suffering sinus congestion. Sprouted grains, rye, and wild rice, although also carbohydrates, do not contribute to dampness because they have energetic properties different from flour and can actually be helpful for people with such yin conditions.
Understanding Yin and Yang Foods
According to Eastern traditions the forces of yin and yang are energetic qualities that shape everything in the universe, including our health. The Chinese symbol for yin is the shady side of a hill, while the symbol for yang is the sunny side. Thus yin qualities include coolness, dampness, and darkness, relative to the yang qualities of warmth, dryness, and light. Winter is yin, while summer is yang, and night is yin while day is yang. Arthritis made worse by cold weather is a yin condition. A red, inflamed rash brought on by heat is a yang condition. A ruddy-faced, irritable man with high blood pressure is relatively yang. An anemic, melancholy woman is relatively yin.
Yin foods tend to be cooling and/or moistening for the body. Yang foods tend to be warming and drying. This has less to do with the actual temperature or moisture of the food and more to do with its “energetics.” Boiled spinach for example, is cooling and moistening, as is baked tofu. Chilled wine is warming, as is roast beef. Toast, while dry to touch, actually moistens the body. The effects of such food qualities on health have been observed for thousands of years.
Your acupuncturist is trained to balance your body’s constitution. By observing your body and understanding the energetics of food, you can make food and activity choices to speed your body’s healing progress. Imbalance can come from an excess, or deficiency, of yin or yang. Although more complex than this, the following is an overview of yin and yang patterns of imbalance and the food choices that can help restore balance. Your constitution is ever changing, so be sure you adjust with the seasons and your life situation.
Yin Patterns of Imbalance
Tendency to feel chilled
Urine tends to be clear
Dresses warmly, likes heat
Tendency toward loose
Pale complexion stools
Preference for warm food/drinks
Slow metabolism drinks
Soft, fleshy muscles
Often tired, sleeps a lot
Tendency to feel depressed
Health worse in cold pressed weather
A cold pattern often occurs in vegetarians or those who eat primarily raw foods, especially when they live in the cold. Cold can also set in with age and may be combined with dampness. Regular, warming aerobic exercise is essential. Healing food choices include warm lamb or beef dishes, dark poultry, meat-based soups and stews, free-range eggs, eel, trout, and wild salmon. Beneficial vegetables include cooked root veggies, baked winter squash, onions, and mustard greens. Nuts and seeds are warming, as are butter, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and pepper. Helpful grains include oatmeal, quinoa, and buckwheat. Food and drinks are best eaten cooked and warm. Salads, raw fruits, frozen desserts, pasta, white flour, and iced beverages should be minimized.
Strong dislike of humidity
Stuffy nose, postnasal drip
Health worsens in dampness
Retention of fluids
Little thirst or hunger
Overweight, soft fat
Urine tends to be cloudy
Puffy eyes or face
Easily short of breath
Feeling of heaviness especially in lower body
Dampness can be associated with cold or heat and is exacerbated by damp living conditions. Chronic dampness is brought on by eating on the run, excessive worry, or from a diet rich in fried foods, breads, pasta, commercial dairy, ice cream, and other sweets. Too many salads and raw fruits weaken digestion and lead to dampness. Aerobic exercise is essential for balance.
Helpful foods include lightly cooked greens including broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, and kale. Fish and grilled or roasted meats and poultry are balancing. The best grains for a damp pattern are rye, jasmine, and basmati rice as well as sprouted grains. Radishes, turnips, pumpkin seeds, green tea, and bitter foods and herbs help to dry dampness.
Sweets, dairy, and starchy foods contribute to dampness. Ice cream, lasagna, white bread, and milk should be avoided.
Yang Patterns of Imbalance
Tendency to feel warm
Tendency to be talkative
Uncomfortable in hot weather
Urine tends to be dark
May suffer fever blisters, canker sores
Dresses in short sleeves
Tends toward ruddy complexion
May suffer headaches, nose bleeds, bleeding
High blood pressure gums
Often thirsty, craves cold drinks
Sleep often restless, disturbing dreams
Tendency toward impatience, irritability or anger
May be constipated
A heat pattern often shows up in hot weather or with stress. Overwork, alcohol, and sugar heat the body. Meditation, walks in nature, swimming, and/or yoga are ideal for balancing the agitated nature of a heat imbalance. Ideal foods are salads, cucumbers, and lightly cooked green leafy vegetables especially spinach and watercress. Vegetables of all kinds are helpful whereas meats should be limited.
Other cooling foods include melons, pears, bean dishes, mung beans, sprouts, sushi, non-spicy soups, and lots of water. Alcohol and sugar are best avoided. Mint is a beneficial cooling herb whereas pepper, garlic, ginger, and onions should be reduced.
Dry skin, dandruff
Cravings for sweets
Dry stools, constipation
Preference for warm liquids in small sips
Dry throat or eyes
Can easily become both hot or cold
Thin body type
Easily stressed, irritated or frustrated
Rosy cheeks, especially after exercise
A dry pattern is a deficiency of yin, or fluids. Hormones, skin oils, saliva, digestive juices and secretions provide us our yin element. Fluids are akin to a car’s antifreeze; when low you can easily overheat or freeze. We see dryness at menopause, or as we age and skin becomes dry. Although hot flashes feel like heat, they are a sign of diminishing yin, which allows the normal heat of the body to go unchecked. Stress also depletes yin.
Remedies include meditation, yoga, walks in nature and gardening. Beneficial fats are critical. Healthful choices include fatty fish, free-range eggs, grass-fed butter, goat and sheep cheeses, olive and coconut oil, dark poultry meat, pork, nuts, and avocado. Soups and stews rich with grass-fed animal fats are very helpful. Other moistening foods include black beans, green beans, Napa cabbage, winter squash, yams, sea vegetables, millet, whole wheat, fermented soy, and shellfish.
All types benefit by choosing foods according to the seasons.
Summer foods such as salads, cucumbers, and melons are ideal for hot weather. Conversely meats, root vegetables, hot soups, and stews are most nourishing in winter. Pay attention to your body and choose the foods that naturally seem balancing.
A list of Acid / Alkaline Forming Foods
More Ranked Foods: Alkaline (pH) to Acidic (pH)
Alkaline: Meditation, Prayer, Peace, Kindness & Love
Acid: Overwork, Anger, Fear, Jealousy & Stress
Extremely Alkaline Forming Foods - pH 8.5 to 9.0
Extremely Acid Forming Foods - pH 5.0 to 5.5
9.0 Lemons 1, Watermelon 2
8.5 Agar Agar 3, Cantaloupe, Cayenne (Capsicum) 4,
Asparagus 6, Endive, Kiwifruit, Fruit juices 7, Grapes
5.0 Artificial sweeteners
5.5 Beef, Carbonated soft drinks & fizzy drinks 38,
Beer 34, Brown sugar 35, Chicken, Deer, Chocolate,
Moderate Alkaline - pH 7.5 to 8.0
Moderate Acid - pH 6.0 to 6.5
8.0 Apples (sweet), Apricots, Alfalfa sprouts 9,
7.5 Apples (sour), Bamboo shoots, Beans (fresh green),
6.0 Cigarette tobacco (roll your own), Cream of Wheat
6.5 Bananas (green), Buckwheat, Cheeses (sharp),
Slightly Alkaline to Neutral pH 7.0
Slightly Acid to Neutral pH 7.0
7.0 Almonds 17, Artichokes (Jerusalem), Barley-Malt
Amaranth, Artichoke (globe), Chestnuts (dry
7.0 Barley malt syrup, Barley, Bran, Cashews, Cereals
Blueberries, Brazil nuts, Butter (salted), Cheeses
Neutral pH 7.0 Ñ Healthy Body Saliva pH Range is between 6.4 to 6.8 (on your pH test strips)
Butter (fresh unsalted), Cream (fresh and raw), Margarine 26, Milk (raw cow's) 27, Oils (except olive),
NOTE: Match with the numbers above.
1. Excellent for EMERGENCY SUPPORT for colds, coughs, sore throats, heartburn, and gastro upsets. 2. Good for a yearly fast. For several days eat whole melon, chew pips well and eat also. Super alkalizing food. 3. Substitute for gelatin, more nourishing. 4. Stimulating, non-irritating body healer. Good for endocrine system. 5. Purifies kidneys. 6. Powerful acid reducer detoxing to produce acid urine temporarily, causing alkalinity for the long term. 7. Natural sugars give alkalinity. Added sugar causes juice to become acid forming. 8. Depends on vege's content and sweetness. 9. Enzyme rich, superior digestibility.10. High calcium content. Cornflour substitute.11. Elevates acid food 5.0 in alkaline direction.12. Vegetable content raises alkalinity.13. Substitute for coca; mineral rich.14. Winter squash rates 7.5. Butternut and sweeter squash rates 8.0.15. Genuine fermented for 11Ú2 years otherwise 6.0.16. Raw unpasteurized is a digestive aid to increase HCL in the stomach. 1 tablespoon, + honey & water before meals.17. Soak 12 hours, peel skin to eat.18. Sundried, tree ripened, otherwise 6.0.19. Using sea salt and apple cider vinegar.20. Contains sea minerals. Dried at low temperatures.21. Range from 7.0 to 8.0.22. Sprouted grains are more alkaline. Grains chewed well become more alkaline.23. High sodium to aid digestion.24. High levels of utilizable calcium. Grind before eating.25. Alkalinity and digestibility higher.26. Heating causes fats to harden and become indigestible.27. High mucus production.28. Mucus forming and hard to digest.29. When sprouted dry beans rate 7.0.30. Contain acid-forming benzoic and quinic acids.31. Full of iron.32. Unrefined wheat is more alkaline.33. High quality red wine, no more than 4 oz. daily to build blood.34. Good quality, well brewed - up to 5.5. Fast brewed beers drop to 5.0.35. Most are white sugars with golden syrup added.36. Organic, fresh ground-up to 5.5.37. Cheaper brands drop to 5.0, as does over-indulgence.38. Leaches minerals.39. Bleached - has no goodness.40. Poison! Avoid it.41. Potential cancer agent. Over-indulgence may cause partial blindness.
To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods. This chart is for those trying to "adjust" their body pH. The pH scale is from 0 to 14, with numbers below 7 acidic ( low on oxygen ) and numbers above 7 alkaline. An acidic body is a sickness magnet. What you eat and drink will impact where your body's pH level falls. Balance is Key !!!
We know, it sounds like it's too good to be true. But there actually are some things you can eat that spike the metabolism, trigger hormones that release fat, and eliminate toxins that make it hard for your body to shed unwanted pounds. Just be cautioned: For these foods to work their miracles, they must be consumed as part of a clean diet. That's right, don't expect to make up for a junk-filled day by noshing on a few fat-burning kale chips.
This king of vegetable is not only the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, it also helps suppress the appetite and clears toxins from the body. Four cups of kale (the amount you'd use for a salad) has 10 grams of fiber and enough detoxifying nutrients to super-charge your liver's detoxification pathways for 48 hours! A cleaner body means fewer cravings for sugar and fried food, your fat cells' greatest allies.
Easy meal ideas: Assemble a raw kale salad with avocado, yellow peppers, and grape tomatoes; try crunchy kale chips; or sip on a cooling green vegetable juice.
Who knew that food could talk to your fat cells? That's exactly what the phytonutrient sulforaphane in broccoli does. It stimulates an enzyme that tells your fat cells to burn fat.
Easy meal ideas: Sauté broccoli with lemon zest and chili flakes, mix broccoli and sweet Italian sausage together, or toss broccoli and summer squash with olive oil, mint, lemon juice, and pine nuts.
The fat in avocado is actually a triple-fat burner. Its monounsaturated fat plumps up cell membranes, enabling cells to better chat with fat-burning hormones. It also switches off the body's fat storage hormones. In addition, it boosts the metabolism by protecting the energy-producing part of cells from free radical damage. Bring on the guacamole!
Easy meal ideas: Eat half an avocado with sea salt and tomatoes for an on-the-go breakfast, add avocado to a spinach and green bean salad, or make an avocado smoothie with coconut milk and cinnamon.
Next time you want to discard those large nuts from the mixed nut selection, don't. They're actually little fat-burners. They help boost the metabolism by converting the thyroid hormone to its active form. They also bind up toxins that would otherwise store themselves in your fat cells and contribute to cellulite.
Easy meal ideas: Snack on Brazil nuts, drink Brazil nut milk with vanilla and cardamom, or sprinkle Brazil nuts on a mango, papaya, and citrus fruit salad.
Packed with omega-3 fats, fiber, and protein, these tiny seeds help suppress the appetite, fire up the metabolism, and turn on glucagon, one of the body's fat-burning hormones. The trick is to soak them for 15 minutes so they swell up to 10 times their size. Just as with oatmeal, the larger the seeds are, the quicker your stomach will release those hormones that let you know you're full—and hopefully satisfied.
Easy meal ideas: Make a chia seed pudding by soaking them in almond milk and then topping them with raw almonds, blend them with coconut milk and pineapple for a piña colada-inspired dessert, or eat a chia energy bar.
While you can't eat your way to a six-pack, you can strip abdominal fat by consuming wild salmon on a regular basis. The omega-3s in wild salmon help improve insulin sensitivity, which shrinks fat from your waistline. Wild salmon also activates the thyroid hormone for a faster metabolism.
Easy meal ideas: Poach wild salmon with a watercress and pink grapefruit salad, make a wild salmon ceviche, or eat smoked wild salmon with dill and mustard.
Oysters are your salvation when you're dieting and dining out. In addition to being low in calories—it's only 50 calories for six oysters—they are the richest dietary source of zinc, which helps to decrease the appetite and PMS-induced cravings.
Easy meal idea: Eat a few oysters at the raw bar with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of Tabasco.
Not all dietary fats are created equal. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chained-triglycerides (MCTs), which your body preferentially uses for energy, leaving less opportunity for them to be stored as fat.
This aromatic spice helps move glucose into the cells faster so our fat storage hormone, insulin, hangs around a lot less. But note: Eating a cinnamon bun doesn't count! You need to consume at least a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon to reap its fat-burning benefits.
Easy meal ideas: Add cinnamon to a vanilla smoothie, make an apple-spiced chia pudding, or toss cinnamon through warmed quinoa with raspberries and pistachios.
Coffee stimulates adrenaline, which sends a message to your fat stores to burn fat. When you drink coffee 20 minutes before a workout, it also acts as an ergogenic aid enabling you to train more intensely. The key is to make it caffeinated and black, as milk reduces its fat-burning potential. Also, if you drink more than one cup a day, coffee can start to interfere with your body's ability to regulate insulin, its fat storage hormone.
1. Delaying the Degenerative Diseases of Aging
2. Accelerating the Degenerative Diseases of Aging
3. The Prevention of Cancer: Do Pesticides Play a Role?
Online lecture series: http://garytaubes.com/lectures/
Click on above link for a range of lectures talking about the etiology of fat and obesity
First lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WWCCUPmZcQ&feature=related
Online lectures and video blogs by Jeffrey Bland
Additional Reading and Citations
Anti-nutrients and their impact on health
This is a list of published studies looking at the role and impact of anti-nutrients in
wheat. The list is called Wheat and Empirical Data and was compiled by Dr Loren
Cordain, Ph.D. – Colorado State University
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Yu Kang, OMD, L.Ac. is available to give workshops and lectures on acupuncture and alternative medicine at your company, group, church or organization. Topics include stress reduction; weight loss; acupuncture for infertility; diabetes, high blood pressure, menopause and pain management.
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