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The Yin and Yang of Food: How to Eat for Balance

Jessica Porter, MILF Diet, Yin and Yang of foodGood health is a state of balance where food choice is key. Learn how to harmonize yin and yang foods with these checklists from The MILF Diet: Let the Power of Whole Foods Transform Your Body, Mind, and Spirit, Deliciously.

Of course, the things we put into our mouths are made of yin and yang forces too, and they impart their distinct energies to us. Some natural foods create more contraction, heat, and pressure (more yang), while others have a relaxing, expanding, and cooling (more yin) effect on the body. Still others hang out in the middle. Natural foods help us maintain our balance.

But when we eat too many foods that contain extreme yin or extreme yang force, they make us lose our balance.

Let’s take a look. Here are foods and substances that carry strong, or extreme, yang force:

• Meat (beef, pork, lamb, venison, etc.)
• Poultry
• Eggs
• Salty cheeses
• Too much or bad-quality salt (and sodium in processed foods)
• Hard, dry baked flour products
• Caffeine (has strong yin, too)
• Some food additives and preservatives

Yang foods tend to contain more sodium and less potassium. They are saltier and denser, and have a contracting or drying effect on the body. Of course, you can eat some of these foods some of the time, but daily use and/or overuse of these substances causes the systems of your body to tip into excess tightness and contraction. Eating too much of them can make your overall energy too tight, intense, or overheated and may even make things clot, harden, or close. Consumed in excess, over long periods of time, these foods can help fuel conditions like high blood pressure, muscle stiffness, constipation, kidney stones or gallstones, atherosclerosis (or anything ending in sclerosis, which means “hardening”), heart disease, and cancers that are hard and found in the lower parts of, or deep within, the body, such as ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, and bone.

Clearly, we don’t want that.

But extreme yang force doesn’t work just on physical systems; it has some emotional and behavioral side effects, too:

• Chronic aggression
• Rigidity in thinking and behavior
• Being controlling and overly competitive
• Sexual obsession or compulsivity
• Materialism
• Inability to relax
• Self-absorption
• Closed-mindedness
• Lack of sensitivity to one’s inner world, one’s emotions, or other people
• The desire to dominate nature and others

Do you know anyone who fits this checklist? And how does he or she eat? Think about it. On the other end of the spectrum are the foods and substances that carry strong, or extreme, yin force:

• White sugar and other refined carbohydrates
• Milk, cream, butter, ice cream, and soft cheeses
• Tropical fruits and fruit juices (unless you live in the tropics)
• Tropical spices (unless you live in the tropics)
• Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers)
• Chocolate
• Alcohol
• Marijuana and other recreational drugs
• Caffeine (has strong yang impact, too)
• Artificial sweeteners
• Most prescription drugs
• Birth control pills
• Some food additives and preservatives

Yin foods often contain more potassium than sodium. Tropical foods are considered more yin because they have a more expansive and cooling effect on the body. Many extreme yin foods are highly processed and have been stripped of their minerals, and as you may have noticed, lots of yin things we ingest on a regular basis aren’t actually foods at all. For the most part, yin substances tend to release energy and send it to the periphery.


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