Improving Digestion and Diet: Yang Deficiency and Warming Foods

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With a diagnosis of Yang Deficiency, a patient might experience any number of the following symptoms:
Cold limbs
Loose stools with undigested food
Abdominal distension and pain
Symptoms feel better with heat or pressure
Water retention
Difficult urination
Feeling cold

Warming foods

In general, it is best to eat warm, cooked foods, plenty of vegetables, soups and stews. Be sure grains are well cooked and easily digestible.

Dried ginger: Use with black beans, aduki beans, lentils or any other foods. Use fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, basil, rosemary, fennel, dill, anise, caraway, carob pod, cumin, or angelica root in teas and foods regularly. Warming grains: oats, spelt, quinoa, sunflower seed, sesame seed, walnut, pinenut, chestnut, sweet brown rice and its products.

Neutral grains: rice, corn, buckwheat and rye. All other grains, such as wheat, millet, tempeh and barley, are cooling and should be used sparingly.

Warming vegetables and fruits: parsnip, mustard greens, winter squash, sweet potato, kale, onion, leek, chive, garlic, scallion, cherry, citrus peel and dates.

Most intensely warming foods: hot peppers. These must be used sparingly or they will have a cooling effect.

Warming unrefined sweeteners: barley malt, rice syrup and molasses to be used sparingly or they will have a cooling effect.

Drink room temperature to hot liquids. Avoid chilled or cold liquids.

More soups, fewer salads. If you eat a salad, drink a cup of warm tea first so the vegetables can get warmed and softened internally.

It is also recommended to minimize alcohol, artificial sweetners, chilled, frozen foods and liquids coffee, caffeine and other stimulants.

Information in part from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford