by Stephen Lau
For thousands of years, the Chinese have demonstrated the art as well as the science of healthy eating, based on the concept of balance and harmony.
The concept of “Yin” and “Yang”
For centuries, Chinese healthy eating has focused on the importance of balance and harmony, manifested in the concept of “yin“ and “yang“ (represented as the female andmale, respectively, or any two opposing forces in Nature that balance and complement each other, resulting in perfect harmony).
“Yin” is always within “yang“; likewise, “yang” is always within “yin.” In other words, all things are both “yin” and “yang” simultaneously, and they are inter-dependent on each other.
The terms “yin“ and “yang“ describe the opposite yet complementary energy states in the universe. A balance between the two polarities can help you stay in beneficial energy alignment, which is fundamental to wellness. “Yin” embodies negative electrical charge and contractive energy, while “yang“ demonstrates positive electrical charge and expansive energy.
The balance of “yin“ and “yang“ is reflected in the Five Elements.
The Five Elements
This concept of balance and harmony originates from the Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), which not only are fundamental to the cycles of Nature, but also correspond to the different organs of the human body. In addition, each of these elements also corresponds to a specific color.
These five elements not only balance but also complement each other to create harmony.
To illustrate, water nourishes trees or wood, without which there will be no fire, and without fire, there will be no earth, and without earth, there will be no metal. Fire useswood to heat metal from earth to produce water through condensation; without metal, there will be no water, and without water, there will be no wood (trees), and without wood, there will be no earth, and without earth, there will be no metal. These five elements areinter-dependent on one another for existence in the form of a cycle of Nature. They balance each other.
Wood corresponding to green
- Eat green vegetables, from asparagus to dark leafy greens, such as spinach.
- Eat green fruits, such as lime, and melon.
- Eat green seeds, such as pumpkin seeds.
- Eat green-colored beans, such as lentils, and mung beans; and grains, such as rye.
Fire corresponding to red
- Eat red vegetables, such as hot red peppers and bell peppers, or beets.
- Eat red fruits, such as red apples, or cherries.
- Eat red nuts, such as pecans.
- Eat red-colored beans, such as red lentils, and red beans; and grains, such as buckwheat.
Earth corresponding to orange and yellow
- Eat orange and yellow vegetables, such as pumpkins, squash, and yams.
- Eat orange and yellow fruits, such as mangoes, oranges, and papaya.
- Eat orange and yellow nuts, such as almonds, and cashews.
- Eat orange and yellow beans, such as chickpeas, and grains, such as corn and millet.
Metal corresponding to white
- Eat white vegetables, such as cauliflower, and daikon radish.
- Eat white fruits, such as bananas, and pears.
- Eat white nuts, such as macadamias, and pine nuts.
- Eat white-colored beans, such as soybeans and white beans; andgrains, such as barley and rice.
Water corresponding to black, blue, and purple
- Eat dark-colored vegetables, such as black mushroom, eggplant, and seaweed.
- Eat dark-colored fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, and raisins.
- Eat dark-colored nuts, such as black sesame, and walnuts.
- Eat dark-colored beans, such as black beans and navy beans; and grains, such as black wild rice.
Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine
According to the famous Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, health and longevity are contingent on balance and harmony of all five elemental energies. Therefore, you are recommended to eat a diet that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and grains, representing all the five colors of the Five Elements to give you healthy living for a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy Chinese drinks
The four-green drink
- Bitter melon, a popular Asian vegetable, is well known for blood glucose control. It contains a substance similar to bovine insulin, which has been shown in experimental studies to achieve a positive sugar regulating effect by suppressing the neural response to sweet taste stimuli.
- Celery is a good source of insoluble fiber as well as essential nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. In addition, it may reduce blood pressure, and block cancer cells.
- Cucumber has been associated with healing properties in relation to diseases of the kidney, urinary bladder, liver and pancreas. In addition, cucumber juice is an excellent skin tonic, making your skin radiant and youthful.
- Green pepper is loaded with vitamin C (a potent antioxidant) and beta-carotene (preventing cataracts).
Make the nutritious four-green drink by juicing them in approximately equal portions. Drink immediately.
The pine-needle drink
The pine needle drink is a perfect drink made from evergreen pine needles. Select your pine needles by picking the newest green ones from a pine tree. Wash the pine needles thoroughly. Put them in a cloth bag, and steep it in a pot of boiling water — if you don’t use a cloth bag, then strain the needles before drinking. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Pine needle drink is loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients to benefit the following:
- Heart disease
- Kidney ailments
- Sclerosis (inflammatory nerve disorder)
- Varicose veins
Eat healthy to stay younger and healthier for longer.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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