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Luke McPherson Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture for fertility, IVF support, and pain relief... naturally

Acupunctue Blog

Acupunctue Blog

Yang Deficiency: How you can eat to build Yang

Posted on 11 October, 2019 at 0:35

Yang is responsible for warming and activating bodily functions. When Yang is deficient your body begins to slow down, displaying signs of tiredness, and inactivity and sensations of coldness.

Foods to boost yang include;

Grains: Wheatgerm, Sweet glutinous rice, Quinoa



Vegetables: Leek, mustard greens, onion, radish, scallion, squash, sweet potato, turnip, watercress

Fruit: Cherry, litchi, logan, peach, raspberry, strawberry

Nuts and seeds: Chestnuts, pinenuts, pistachio nuts, walnut

Fish: Anchovy, lobster, mussel, prawn, shrimp, trout

Meat: Chicken, lamb, venison, kidneys (both beef and lamb)


Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, caper, cayenne, chive seed, cinnamon bark, clove, dill seed, fennel seed, fennugreek seed, garlic, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory, spearmint, star anise, tumeric, thyme, white pepper

Beverages: Chai and jasmine tea

Common supplements: Algae

Examples of every day western foods that can be used to build yang, include

• Roast chicken with sage and thyme

• Roasted vegetables with and rosemary

• Rice porridge with cinnamon, nutmeg and a little brown sugar

• Leek and potato soup with black pepper

• Or by adding any of the many spices as listed above to dishes when cooking.

Foods to avoid. It is important to avoid foods that will further drain the body’s yang energy. Cold food and liquids fall into this category. Here ‘cold foods’ refers not only to those directly taken from the fridge but also to raw foods, as these require extra energy for digestion compared to pre-cooked foods. This may mean choosing a pasta salad over a green salad or switching from muesli to oat porridge for breakfast.

Using a warming method of cooking will also enhance the body’s energy by preserving yang, therefore soups, porridges and slow roasted foods become the dishes of choice for those with a predominate yang deficiency. The herbs and spices mentioned in the charts above are warming and as such in small amounts encourage digestion and circulation throughout the body. While it may seem reasonable to achieve an enhanced warming effect by using the stronger spices such as black pepper liberally, care needs to be taken as these can be used to excess, inducing sweating which in fact actually has a cooling drying effect on the body.

Source:Debra Betts author of “The essential guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth” © 2006

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