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Based on Yin and Yang
To the Chinese, traditional medicine is not just a separate and distinct system of treatments, but rather an integral part of Chinese ethnology. Chinese convention is influenced by the concept of yin and yang which is the most important and distinct theory of Chinese medicine.
In the Chinese culture, it is believed that everything in the universe, including the diverse energies and flavours of foods, can be classified into yin and yang.
The Five Energies of Food
The five energies of food are cold, hot, warm, cool, and neutral. However, the actual adjectives cold, hot, warm, cool, neutral do not refer to the present state of foods.
It is also important to note that hot and warm energies are yang while cool and cold energies are yin. Spicy hot and sweet flavors are yang, whereas sour, bitter and salty flavors are yin.
For example, tea has cold energy; so even though you may drink hot tea, you are actually drinking a cold beverage. Shortly after the tea enters your body, its heat will be lost and as it begins to generate cold energy, your body begins to cool off.
It is interesting to see how important and relevant the energies of food in Chinese diet can be. Chinese ginseng has warm energy while the Western ginseng has a cool energy.
Bananas, which have cold energy, can be eaten cooked, with the peel, everyday to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
With a growing number of people seeking out Chinese medicine to lower cholesterol or Chinese medicine for diabetic diets, the energy of food has to be taken into account to avoid negative effects.
Body Types and the Energies of FoodHealth Tips
The Chinese also classify the human body into hot and cold types. One person�s physical health may be considered as being hot while another individual�s physical state may be cold. The person with a hot physical constitution should consume more food with a cold or cool energy and the inverse is true of an individual with a cold physical make-up.
This is the Chinese�s notion of a balanced diet, diseases prevention, and healthful living.