Introduction to Macrobiotics (Part 2) – Yin & Yang Foods

Yin Foods

Yin foods have a tendency to cool the body, loosen muscles, reduce tension, slow down things, create the need for more sleep.

If eaten in excess, Yin foods can make you tired, cause anaemia, paleness, loss of appetite, loss of motivation, fear, and anxiety.

Characteristics of
Foods that are Yin 

  • rich in potassium
  • have a cooling effect on the bodybananas
  • make you feel more sleepy
  • grow well in warm or hot climate
  • grow faster
  • bigger
  • taller
  • softer
  • more watery
  • grow straight up in the air
  • grow sideways under the ground
  • leaves are bigger
  • leaf edge is smoother
  • cook quicker

Yang Foods

Yang foods on the other hand have a tendency to warm the body, tighten muscles, cause tension, speed up movement, and lessen sleep time.

If eaten in excess, Yang foods can cause fever, constipation, aggression, hostility, restlessness, and agitation.

Characteristics of Foods that are Yang

  • rich in sodium
  • have a warming effect on the body
  • make you feel more alert
  • grow well in cooler to cold climates
  • grow slower
  • smallercarrots
  • shorter
  • harde
  • less watery – drier
  • grow straight down into the ground
  • grow sideways on top the ground
  • leaves are smaller
  • leaf edge has more zigzags
  • cook slower

While no food can be classified as completely Yin or Yang, the use of terms: “more yin” or “more yang” reinforce the concept that nothing is absolute and that everything is relative.

As result, a carrot is considered more yang than a banana.

In addition, there may be a part of a food that is more yang e.g. the rind of a watermelon; while the inside of the watermelon is considered more yin.watermelon

One of the main principles in Macrobiotics is to create a balanced diet and to avoid excessive intake of extremely Yin or Yang foods.

Extreme
Yin
__________

Nightshades:

tomatoes

potatoes

capsicums

eggplant

Shiitake
mushrooms

Fruit

Spices

Herbs

Seasonings

Sugar

Alcohol

MSG

Soy Milk

Honey

Caffeine

Nicotine

Drugs

More
Yin
____________

Yeasted bread

Leafy greens:

asparagus

celery

Beans 

Dried fruit

Nuts

Milk

Tofu

Vinegar

Neutral
Yin – Yang
__________

Brown rice
Wheat
Azuki beans
Pumpkin

Cabbage

Seaweed

Sesame seeds

Sesame oil

Bancha tea

 

More
Yang
___________

Root vegies:

carrots

parsnips

turnips

daikon

Buckwheat

Extreme
Yang
_________

Meat

Fish

Eggs

Cheese

Salt

Miso

Tamari