Yang foods should be eaten in winter and only in moderation in the summer, as they are warming. The actual temperature at which food is served does not change its intrinsic qualities significantly, but cooking and storage methods can have important effects.
Chicken ... Yang Foods
Chicken is a warm and sweet yang food that helps to combat cold, strengthen Qi, tonify jing, and warm the Middle fiao.
It is used in many therapeutic dishes throughout China. Traditionally, after childbirth, it is made into a soup with Dang Gui and eaten as a stimulating food.
Avoid chicken salads on hot, sunny days, but stir-fry plenty with soy sauce or a pinch of cayenne in winter. Chicken liver is also warming; use it in winter pates.
Herring ... Yang Foods
While many fish are cooling, others are neutral and more stimulating. Herring comes into this category and it is an ideal yang food for winter.
Roll your herring fillet in beaten egg (neutral), cover with oatmeal (also warming), and bake in the oven for a warming supper dish.
Herring is an oily fish and helps to combat dryness and tonify any deficiency. It warms the Middle Jiao and is a good supportive food in convalescence.
Lamb ... Yang Foods
Lamb and lamb's kidneys are both yang foods, although some Chinese regard the kidneys as rather more warming than the meat. They are good to combat damp and chills, and help to strengthen yang, Qi, and Blood. Lamb's kidneys are also believe - in Doctrine of Signatures fashion, whereby a plant's properties are indicated by its appearance - to help the Kidneys, so are recommended for tinnitus, deafness, impotence, or urinary problems, which are all associated with Kidney energy.
Lamb itself is seen as more warming for the Stomach and Spleen -useful for diarrhea and stomach chills.
Leeks and Onions ... Yang Foods
All members of the Allium family are warming, onions rather more so than leeks. Both are regarded as yang, and help to stimulate Qi and move congealed Blood.
Leeks are often recommended for people suffering from diarrhea, while onions are good for colds, watery nasal catarrh, and stomach chills. Onion soup is an ideal winter warmer, as are stir-fried sliced baby leeks with chicken or thinly cut slices of lamb fillet.
Peaches ... Yang Foods
Although most fruits are more yin in character, peaches have a tendency to yang. They are warming and stimulating, and will tonify Blood and Qi, helping to expel cold and lubricate the system. The seeds are used in herbal medicine, while the fruits are important in food therapy.
Duck (neutral) can be made into a warm winter dish by serving it with slices of peach or a peach sauce. An excess of peaches can be damaging; eating too many peaches in summer could lead to Internal Heat syndrome. Cool your peaches with home-made ice cream and raspberry coulis, as in a peach Melba, when the weather is very hot. Apricots, although very similar to peaches, are more neutral in temperature.
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