There are a couple of fundamental theoretical frameworks of Yin and Yang, Chinese Medicine, and the Five Phases, in which FPNT (Five Phases Nutrition Therapy) is based on.
This article will discuss the holistic approach to nutrition and is not about a method to lose weight. It encourages the consuming of foods that promote the vital energy or chi of the body by recommending a wide variety of food selections consistent with the overall state of health of the body.
In Chinese medicine, Yin and Yang are the two basic components that maintain homeostasis in the body.
What is Yin-Yang?
Yin-yang is a Taoist philosophical concept found in Asian medicine, martial arts, painting, calligraphy, art and in all aspects of Asian thought. It presupposes that all things in the Universe, living or non-living, have complementary opposites.
For instance, cold/hot, evil/good, down/up, white black, and female/male. Since everything can be further divided into components of yin-yang, the list can go on ad infinitum.
Yin represents the female/negative principle while yang, the male/positive principle. Moreover, each individual, regardless of gender, is also comprised of these complementary opposites. The back of the body is yang and the front is yin. The feet are yin in relation to the head which is yang. The right side is yin and the left side is yang. The skin is considered yang in relation to the organs which are yin.
The qualities of yin-yang go beyond the visible structures within the body. This theory is also applicable to the hormones, chemicals in the brain, body fluids, and to all the cells in every organism. Tears and other fluids that are viscous and thin are yang while mucus and other thick body fluids are usually deemed as yin.
With regard to hormones, estrogen and testosterone are yin and yang hormones respectively. Brain chemicals such as serotonin are yin while dopamine is considered yang.
With regards to dietary matters, which are the main topic of this article, the metabolism of the body is also seen within the aspects of yin-yang. An individual with hypo-metabolism is in a cold or yin state while a person with hyper-metabolism is considered a yang/hot person.
FPNT (Five Phases Nutrition Therapy) plays a huge role in the normalization of these last two yin/yang opposites (cold/hot). Classifying foods as either yin or yang can lead to an infinite variety of food combinations and choices.
In FPNT, yin/yang foods are classified into five groups that are intimately associated with Chinese medicine’s Five Phases table of correspondences. In the West, this Five Phases table of correspondences is known as the Five Elements. However, “elements” is a poor translation of “xing,” which is the original Chinese word. A much better word is phases because it is the word that most closely relates to a constant state of flux or ‘change’.
Obviously, a “Hot-type individual” is a person who often feels hot. This person constantly thirsts for cold drinks, is susceptible to infections or rashes, has an excess amount of energy, has a reddish tongue or face, or who sweats freely. In Five Element Nutritional therapy, a “hot-type individual” is a “yang” person who needs more cooling or yin foods.
A yang type or hot type person will manifest signs and symptoms that may include an outgoing or aggressive personality, insomnia, irritability, easily angered, constipation, strong appetite, dry mouth, thirst, and a loud voice. Yang/hot type females may suffer from menstrual disorders.
Cold nature or cool foods have a balancing effect to the heat in the body. These foods generate a cooling reaction from the body. The following are some of the yin foods in Five Element Nutrition. They help lower/balance one’s metabolism.
A list of Cooling carbs and veggies in Five Phases Nutrition
• Winter Melon Seed
• Eggplant (Cooling)
• Winter Melon
• Daikon Radish
• Yam or Sweet Potato
• Squash (Zucchini, Summer Squash)
• Chinese Wax Gourd
• Chinese Cabbage
• Soybean Sprout
• Snow Pea
• Red & Green Cabbage
• Burdock Root (Gobo
• Winter Squash
• Bok Choy
• Bamboo Shoot
• Lotus Root
A list of Cold veggies:
• White Mushroom
• Bitter Gourd
A list of Neutral carbs/veggies:
• Taro Root
• Shitake Mushroom
• Chinese Black Mushroom
• Lotus Seed
According to the Five Phases Nutrition, a yang type or hot type person requires relatively cooling (yin) foods.
A list of cooling fruits in Five Phases Nutrition:
• Tomato (Slightly cooling)
• Peach (very cooling)
• Hawthorn Berry
• Chinese Prune
• Chinese Date (Red or Black Jujube)
• Apricot (toxic at high levels)
A list of Cold fruits:
• Mulberry (Slightly cold)
A list of neutral fruits:
A list of Cooling grains:
• Legumes, nuts, and seeds
• Wheat bran
• Mung bean (Very Cooling)
• Pearl Barley
A list of Neutral grains:
• Azuki (red) Bean
• Sunflower Seed
• Brown Rice
A list of Cooling animal products (poultry, fish, & meat) and miscellaneous foods:
• Chicken Egg
A list of Cold miscellaneous foods:
• Sugar cane
• Pork (Slightly Cold)
A list of Neutral miscellaneous foods:
• Honey (Neutral, unless heated)
• Milk & Milk Products
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