The kidney organ network in TCM is responsible for the body’s ability to eliminate waste through the urine, and also storing reserves of energy (Qi). A diagnosis of kidney yin deficiency means that the reserves that moisten and nourish the body are weakened and unable to perform their functions. Eating foods that include enriching and fluid building foods, and avoiding overly hot, spicy food can help to preserve and restore kidney yin.
For kidney yin deficiency, the ratio of food groups should be as follows:
40% easily digested complex carbohydrates like grains and root vegetables
40% cooked vegetables
Foods that Benefit Kidney Yin
* include plenty of fluids in the form of soups
wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley
eggs, dairy in moderate amounts, yogurt, tofu, tempeh
nuts, seeds, adzuki beans, black beans, mung beans, black soy beans, kidney beans, black sesame seeds
pork, chicken, duck, eggs, organic bone marrow
mackerel, sardines, oysters, mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid, perch, seaweed, kelp, eel
zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, spirulina
apples, banana, blueberries, blackberries, melons, peaches, mulberries, mango, coconut
olive oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil
Foods to Restrict or Avoid
chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi, coffee, vinegar, pickles, tea, lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game birds, citrus
*also avoid cigarettes, alcohol, recreational stimulants
Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, Vol. 2. MacLean & Lyttleton. University of Western Sydney: Australia. 2002.
Chinese Dietary Therapy. Liu, J. Churchill Livingston: Edinburgh.1995.
The Healing Cuisine of China. Zhao & Ellis. Healing Arts Press: Vermont. 1998
This factsheet is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is meant to complement rather than substitute for a consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner