The relationship between food, your body type, health and well-being

Diet Therapy

The relationship between food, your body type, health and well-being

Our food consumption, which is the daily food which we intake (including soup and water) has an enormous impact on our body’s heath.

Chinese medicine believes that human beings exist within the realm of heaven and earth, co-existing with other organisms, heaven and man complement as an united entity, a natural component of this earth. Because of this, the food that we consume and the environment we live in has direct impact on our body type, health and well-being.

From thousand of years of experience, Chinese medicine believes that food has Yin and Yang, warm and cool nature, and anti-diarrhoea properties. Most often the food we consume has their own unique properties, as a result the consumed food is also adjusting and balancing our body type. If what we consume is bad it will adversely affect our body type or increase the imbalance.

For example, if your body type is of a Yin and cold nature, it will be clinically expressed as: aversion to cold, cold extremities, frequent small amounts of stools, pale white tongue, lethargy etc. Those with this body type should choose to eat food of a warm nature to help correct your cold natured body type, thus allowing the body to reach a healthy balance, preventing or reducing sickness. One should consume more lamb (or mutton), prawns, apples, grapes, moderate amounts of red wine, moderately consume hot and spicy food, whilst avoiding or consuming less cold food, drinking more hot water or chrysanthemum tea and not green tea (because green tea is of cold and cool nature) etc.

Chinese medicine also believes that the five flavours of food have direct correlations with the five visceral organs. This relationship being derived from the principle of the five elements, whereby the five flavours enter and nourish the five visceral organs. The five visceral organs being the Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs and Kidneys. The complementing five flavours being sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. Meaning, when we consume food of different flavours it has a direct impact on the balance of the five visceral organs. If you are aware of an abnormality of certain internal organs, you can utilise the principle of the five elements in relation to the five flavours to adjust the corresponding organs. If you are unsure of this principle, you can obtain advice from your trusted Chinese practitioner.

If you over-consume certain foods or a flavour type, it can injure different internal organs. For example, sweet flavour can nourish the five visceral organs, however, over-consumption can affect the digestive function of the Spleen, injure the Kidneys, cause abdominal distension, heaviness of the extremities and painful waist/hips. Consumption of a little alcohol can counter winter chill, clear blood vessels and aid digestion. Over consumption of alcohol can injure the Liver and Heart organs, increase “heat” and inflammation, increase the likelihood of contracting blood stroke and hypertension.

Chinese tea, especially green tea, is light in fragrance, able to clear the head, reduce oily buildup within the intestines and help with digestion. Those who drink concentrated tea on an empty stomach will injure the Stomach and Kidney energy resulting in individuals becoming drowsy as if they were drunk.


Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.