The Chinese believe that to achieve bodily harmony, you must
balance your intake of yin (cool, bland) foods with yang (the
rich and hot). They further believe that winter is yang season
(the time for spicy, heavy food) and summer yin; that new
mothers should eat yang foods, as should the chronically fatigued.
Yin foods, on the other hand, are recommended for the irritable.
The Chinese classify ailments as yin (cold) or yang (hot)
and believe that as the body ages, it becomes increasingly
yin. Such yin diseases as anemia are treated with yang foods,
and assorted yang infections (sore throats, measles, etc.)
with yin foods. Not all Chinese agree on which foods are yin
or yang, but as a general rule, they break down as follows:
Bean curd and sprouts, all bland or boiled foods, the cabbage
family, carrots and celery, cucumber, duck, some fish and
fruits, American ginseng, most greens, honey, melons, milk,
pears, pork, potatoes, seaweed and soybean products, white
turnips, water and watercress, winter squash, most white foods.
Bamboo, beef, broiled meats, catfish, chicken and chicken
soup, eggs and eggplant, fatty meats and fried foods, garlic
and ginger, Korean ginseng, glutinous rice, green peppers,
hot and spicy foods, leeks and onions, liquor, mushrooms,
peanuts, persimmons, pig's knuckles and pork liver, red foods
(beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) sesame oil, shellfish, sour
foods, tangerines, vinegar and wine.