Debra Betts - Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Yin Deficiency

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Yin represents the energy that is responsible for moistening and cooling bodily functions. When this energy is depleted your body begins to show signs of “heating up”. This is not a true heat but rather a lack of the moistening and cooling functions that are necessary to maintain a healthy balance. Foods to tonify Yin include;

Grains Barley, millet
Vegetables Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, asparagus, kelp, mung bean sprout, pea, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, tomato, water chestnut, yam, zucchini
Fruit Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, lemon, lime, mango, mulberry, pear, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon
Bean Adzuki, black beans, black soya, kidney, lima, mung
Bean Products Tofu
Nuts and seeds Coconut milk, sesame seed, black sesame seed, walnut
Fish Fish in general but especially clam, fresh water clam, crab, cuttlefish, oyster, octopus, sardine
Meat Beef, duck, goose, pork, pork kidney, rabbit
Dairy Cheese, chicken egg, cows milk, duck egg
Herbs and spices Marjoram, nettle
Oils and Condiments Honey, malt,
Supplements American ginseng, royal jelly

Foods especially useful to tonify Kidney Yin Deficiency.

Vegetables Potato, squash, sweet potato, yamAlfalfa sprouts, asparagus, kelp, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, yam
Fruit Lemon, lime, mulberry
Bean Aduki, black bean, black soya bean, kidney bean
Nuts and Seeds Black sesame seed
Fish Fresh water clam, oyster
Meats  Duck, pork kidney
Dairy Chicken egg


Examples of every day western foods that can be used to build yin


  • Fruit smoothies with honey and banana
  • Fruit salad made with the fruits listed above
  • Fish dishes with coconut milk
  • Omelettes with cheese
  • Asparagus and egg salads with sesame seeds
  • Tacos made with Kidney beans and topped with a small amount of cheese
  • Baked Potato stuffed with tofu with soya sauce and sesame seeds.
  • Pork and apple dishes
  • Miso soup with tofu and seaweed

Foods to avoid

It is important to ensure that stimulating foods are not being consumed, as these will only further depleate yin. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and strong heating/ pungent spices all belong in this category. Note. Yin building foods like yin tonifing herbs have a tendency to be congest the spleen and promote stagnation if large amounts are consumed.

It is therefore important to consume small quantities frequently rather than large helpings irregularly.

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