The 5 elements nutrition

What is the 5 elements nutrition?

The nutrition according to the 5 elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) is the third pillar of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Basically one wants to maintain and strengthen the Qi. Qi means as much as prenatal life force that we bring into the world and which we have to maintain and replenish again and again.

This is also done with daily food and fasting cures are not used in TCM, because this would attack the prenatal energy. Yin and Yang are used as the polar forces, meaning opposites such as light and shadow or hot and cold. If Yin and Yang are in balance, the energy can flow and that means health.

Food is divided into cool (Yin) and warm (Yang) food. Cold foods are more likely to be eaten in summer (tomatoes) and warm foods (green spelt, Brussels sprouts) more likely to be eaten in winter. The five elements are also assigned the five tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, hot, salty).

These five flavours in the form of spices (for example: lemon juice, paprika, honey, pepper, salt) are added to the food in a cycle (i.e. one after the other). 1. paying attention to the thermal effect of the food (hot and cold) 2. paying attention to all five flavours In TCM, obesity is caused by a lack of Qi (energy) in the spleen. The spleen is assigned to the element earth and the foods belonging to it are cereals such as rice, corn, millet, sweet vegetables, butter, cheese and veal and beef.

This results in a mixed diet that emphasizes plant foods and gives preference to those with a low glycemic index. From a nutritional point of view, this results in a positive choice of food. The natural seasonal availability is also partially taken into account.

The implementation of this form of nutrition is very complex, the principle of Yin and Yang as the basis of nutrition is questionable. The usually relatively high daily calorie intake (usually around 1700 kcal) allows only a very slow weight loss. The diet according to the 5 elements is more a world view and opens a different perspective on our daily food. For losing weight there are certainly more suitable nutritional forms and programs.

Procedure of the 5-elements diet

The 5 elements nutrition is understood as a permanent diet and is based on the five elements fire, earth, metal, water and wood. The element fire corresponds to the bitter taste and therefore food like rocket, beetroot or rye. Wood includes sour foods such as oranges, tomatoes, chicken, vinegar and wheat while earth corresponds to sweet foods such as potatoes, corn, butter, eggs, beef and carrots.

The element metal is associated with pungent taste and includes foods like onion and mustard, while the element water includes salty foods: water, salt, fish, legumes and olives. An optimal dish contains food from all five groups/elements. The 5 elements diet is based on an alkaline diet and classifies foods according to Yin and Yang.

Yin stands for cold foods, such as cucumber, tomato, green tea and milk, while Yang includes warm foods, such as dried fruit, fennel, meat, fish and spices. Neutral foods include legumes, cereals, carrots and cabbage. In the 5 elements diet, foods are evaluated according to the elements, yin and yang and the energy content of the food.

An ideal meal according to the 5 elements diet contains all five tastes, salty, sour, hot, sweet and bitter, and all five colours, i.e. green, yellow, red, white, blue and black. On the Internet you can find numerous recipes for the 5 elements nutrition, here and there even sorted by Yin and Yan. There is a philosophy behind this form of nutrition.

This means that it makes sense to read up on why which food may be consumed and how. There are plenty of books that provide recipes and background information on this form of nutrition. Depending on what you prefer, you can browse through internet pages or buy a recipe book.

The 5 elements nutrition can be done very well vegan. It is important to provide the body with all the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Soya, for example, can be an excellent source of protein. Vegetarians and vegans are advised to cook their food in advance to ensure that it contains enough energy.