5 Elements Cooking
Chinese 5 Elements Cooking
5 elements cooking takes an holistic approach to maintaining health and well being. As part of a healthy balanced diet 5 elements cooking aims to promote harmony between the body and mind. In general terms a deficiency in any of the five yin and yang organs can be addressed by eating food which affects the element/s that needs to be strengthened and avoiding foods which weaken it. In western culture we often say “we are what we eat” which is a good thought to bear in mind when reading this introduction to 5 elements cooking.
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|Elements (Wu Xing)||Wood (mu 木)||Fire (huo 火)||Earth (tu 土)||Metal (jin 金)||Water (shui 水)|
|Benefits||Green colored food is supposed to benefit your liver, gall bladder, muscles, eyes and joints.||Red colored food is supposed to benefit your heart, small intestine and brain.||Yellow colored food is supposed to benefit your spleen and digestive system.||White colored food is supposed to benefit your large intestine, nose, lungs and respiratory system and skin.||Benefits your kidneys, bones, urinary bladder, reproductive organs and ears.|
|Taste||Sour||Bitter||Sweet||Pungent / Spicy||Salty|
|Yin organs (Zang)||Liver||Heart, pericardium||Spleen, pancreas||Lungs||Kidneys|
|Yang organs (Zu)||Gall bladder||Small intestine||Stomach||Large intestine||Bladder|
|Vegetables & fungi||Green colored vegetables including Chinese leeks, green bell peppers, wasabi, green peas, lettuce, string beans, broccoli, wasabi, avocados, zucchini (courgettes) etc.||Red colored vegetables including, sweet potato, carrots, chilli, red pepper, tomatoes, beets, okra, dandelion root, red bell peppers, scallions etc.||Yellow colored vegetables including sweetcorn, taro, yellow sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow peppers, soy beans, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga/swede, ginger, spinach etc.||White colored vegetables including onions, daikon (radish), garlic, bamboo shoots, asparagus, white wood ear fungus, celery, cucumber, mustard green etc.||Black colored vegetables including Eggplants (Aubergines), seaweed, Shiitake mushrooms, kale, wood ear fungus, water chestnuts etc.|
|Fruit||Plums, green grapes, lemons, limes etc.||Apple, strawberry, goji berry, dragon fruit, cherry, persimmon etc.||Jujube (Chinese date), oranges, star fruit, lemons, pineapples, papaya, figs etc.||Peaches, pears, bananas, melon, winter melon, apricots etc.||Chestnuts, blueberries, black grapes, raisins, mulberry, pomegranate, raspberry, watermelon etc.|
||Wheat, oats, rye||Amaranth, corn||Millet, barley||Hemp, rice||Buckwheat|
|Legumes, pulses & beans
||Mung beans, green lentils, lima beans etc.||Red lentils, red beans etc.||Chick peas/garbanzo peas etc.||Navy white beans etc.||Black beans, aduki beans, kidney beans, pinto beans etc.|
|Nuts & Seeds||Brazil nuts, cashew nuts etc.||Sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts etc.||Pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts etc.||Almonds, white sesame seeds, lotus seed etc.||Black sesame seeds, walnuts etc.|
|Other foods||Brown sugar.||Egg yolk, bean curd, honey.||Rice, noodles, tofu/bean curd, rock sugar.||Sweet bean sauce.|
|Liquids||Milk, soy milk.||Black tea, black vinegar.|
|Avoid / Caution||Soft diary||Chocolate, sugar||Meat||Eggs||Cheese|
|Tea ceremony settings||Spring wind
yellow, up and down.
Important! This ADDucation list is published for information only. Chinese 5 elements cooking is not a diet so please seek professional advice before making changes to your diet.
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- This list of was compiled by Joe Connor, last updated 16 Feb 2020.
- Spotted a mistake or do you have a suggestion to improve our 5 elements cooking list? Please add your comments below…