Yin & Yang
How does the concept of
yin and yang relate to food?
adherence to this philosophy can be found in any
Chinese dish, from
stir-fried beef with broccoli to sweet and sour pork. There is always a
balance in color, flavors, and textures. However, belief in the importance
of following the principles of yin and yang in the diet extends further.
Certain foods are thought to have yin or cooling properties, while others
have warm, yang properties. The challenge is to consume a diet that
contains a healthy balance between the two. When treating illnesses, an
Oriental physician will frequently advise dietary changes in order to
restore a healthy balance between the yin and yang in the body.
let's say you're suffering from heartburn, caused by consuming too many
spicy (yang) foods. Instead of antacids, you're likely to take home a
prescription for herbal teas to restore the yin forces. Similarly, coughs
or flu are more likely to be treated with dietary changes than antibiotics
or cough medicines.
Almost no foodstuff is purely yin or yang ‒
it's more that one characteristic tends to dominate. This is why there
is not complete agreement among experts as to which foods exhibit yin or
yang forces. It also reinforces that it is not so much the individual
ingredients, as the the balance and contrast between ingredients in each
dish, that is important. Interestingly, cooking methods also have more of a
yin or yang property.