Yang Deficiency Body Constitution

Understanding Yang Deficiency Body Constitution

In a healthy person’s body, the Yin and Yang energies are in equilibrium. When either of these energies become out of balance, the body will show symptoms and areas of discomfort.

When a person has a Yang deficiency body constitution, it means that the Yang energy in this person’s body is lower than average.

The Yang energy in our body plays an important role in maintaining our body’s natural defense system and keeping us warm and healthy. Hence you’ll find that people who are Yang-deficient will be more prone to cold-related diseases like cold-type cough, cold-type flu, etc.

The following symptoms are some of the obvious signs of a person with Yang deficiency body constitution:

  1. Cold hands and/or feet

    As the Yang energy in the body decreases, one of the first symptoms that a people will experience is the lack of warmth in the hands and/or feet. People of Yang deficiency body type will find that their palms and/or soles are cold even on days when the weather is warm.

  2. Lower tolerance of cold

    It is highly likely for a person of Yang deficiency body type to be more afraid of the cold than others. The reason is because Yang energy plays a vital role in keeping our body warm, so a person who is Yang-deficient will naturally be less resilient to the cold.

  3. Prone to diarrhea

    An individual with Yang deficiency in the spleen will experience diarrhea especially after consuming raw or cold food and drinks.

  4. Stomach, back, or knee area sensitive to cold

    A person of Yang deficiency body type may feel pain or cold in their stomach, lower back or knee area (depending on where the Yang deficiency occurs).

Common Issues With This Body Type

While it is common for the elderly to have Yang deficiency constitution, more and more younger adults are also having this body constitution before old age.

The following body issues are commonly associated with the Yang deficiency body type (from least to most severe):

  1. Sensitive to cold

    In the early stages of Yang deficiency, a person will find that he/she is more sensitive to the cold. When the surrounding temperature drops, they will be the first ones to sense the cold. Common symptoms include cold palms and/or soles, as well as feeling sensitive to cold or wind in their lower back or knee area.

  2. Lower back or knee pain

    Further progression of Yang deficiency will lead to soreness or pain in the lower back or knee area. This is a sign that the Yang energy in the body is further depleting.

  3. Lower immunity and prone to illness

    In severe cases of Yang deficiency, there is poor quality of life as the person feels cold most of the time and falls sick very easily.

Bringing Your Body Back To Balance

You do not need to be overly worried if you have a Yang deficiency body constitution (if you’re unsure of your body type, click here to take the TCM body constitution test).

By making adjustments to your eating and lifestyle habits, you can help your body to regain a state of balance and enjoy stronger immunity and better life quality!

Let’s check out what foods are suitable for your body constitution and the lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health!

Top Recommended Foods To Eat

Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods (which will be covered in a later section) is the first step towards bringing your body back to a more balanced state.

Foods that are highly suitable for people with Yang deficiency body constitution are those with inherent properties that boost Yang energy in the body.

Adding these foods to your diet or increasing the intake of these foods will help to improve your body constitution and return your body to a more balanced state.

Following are the top 5 recommended foods that will benefit you if you have a Yang deficiency body constitution (as a general rule of thumb, please consume all foods in moderation):

1. Ginger (Chinese Name: 生姜)

GingerGinger is warm in thermal nature, which makes it highly suitable for people with Yang deficiency.

Ginger provides great benefits for the spleen and lungs so it is an excellent food for people who are sensitive to the cold or get diarrhea easily.

If you find it difficult to add ginger to your meals, you can consider drinking ginger tea on most mornings. This will help to warm up your body and provide a boost in immunity against the external cold.

For more information on ginger, check out our blog post here!

2. Mutton (Chinese Name: 羊肉)

muttonMutton has been an effective food for people with Yang deficiency since more than 2,000 years ago. As the thermal nature of mutton is hot, it can help to provide a strong boost of warmth and heat for the body.

If you have severe Yang deficiency, it is recommended to drink mutton soup to improve your body’s resistance to the cold.

Mutton also has great benefits for the spleen, stomach and kidneys. If you have symptoms like soreness or pain in the lower back or knee area, consuming mutton or mutton soup will be an excellent choice because it can help to strengthen the Yang energy in your body and relieve these symptoms.

Do take note to avoid consuming mutton on days when you are having a flu or sore throat.

3. Chinese Chestnut (Chinese Name: 栗子)

Chinese chestnutAnother food that is highly suitable for people with Yang deficiency is the Chinese chestnut. The Chinese chestnut is also known as “肾之果”, which means it is the “kidney nut” and it has the property of boosting Yang energy in our kidneys.

In the past, Chinese chestnuts are used to treat symptoms like lower back and knee pain due to weak kidneys.

Nowadays, consuming Chinese chestnut is very convenient as they come in ready-to-eat snacks that are available in supermarkets.

Chinese chestnut is warm in thermal nature, which makes it a good addition to your meal especially during the year end season when the weather is cooler.

For more information on Chinese chestnuts, check out our blog post here.

4. Cherry (Chinese Name: 樱桃)

CherriesCherry is one of the rare fruits that is beneficial for people with Yang deficiency body constitution. Cherry has two main properties.

First, it can strengthen and boost the Yang energy in our kidneys. Second, it can strengthen the Yang energy and remove dampness in our spleen.

Both properties are great for Yang-deficient individuals and people who have a sensitive stomach.

For more information on cherry, check out our blog post here!

5. Prawn (Chinese Name: 虾)


Most seafoods are either cold or cooling in thermal nature and are not suited to be consumed by people who have Yang deficiency. But one exception is prawn.

Prawn is warm in thermal nature, which makes it an ideal food for people of Yang deficiency body type.

Some people may develop allergic reactions after eating prawns so do eat it minimally in the beginning and monitor your body reactions if you’re new to this food.

List of Recommended Foods

Apart from the top 5 recommended foods mentioned above, here are more food recommendations that are suitable for Yang deficiency body type.

Foods To Avoid

As mentioned earlier, avoiding the wrong foods is as important as eating the right foods in your journey towards achieving a more balanced body state.

For someone with Yang deficiency body constitution, it is best to avoid the following (or reduce intake as much as you possibly can):

  1. Cold drinks

    Consuming cold or icy drinks will further exhaust the Yang energy in your spleen and kidney and jeopardize your health. By avoiding cold drinks (or reducing intake), you are helping your body to rebuild its Yang energy and return it to a more balanced state.

  2. Foods that are cold in thermal nature

    It is advisable for you to reduce the consumption of foods that are cold in thermal nature (such as watermelon, bitter gourd and cucumber). On days when you’re enjoying these foods, it is recommended to eat them together with foods that are warm in thermal nature, like ginger.

Lifestyle Recommendations

Apart from making adjustments to your food choices, the following are additional advice to help you shorten the time to regain your body health:

  1. Keep your body warm

    First, always remember to keep yourself warm especially if the outdoors are cold or you know that you’ll be visiting a place with cold air-conditioning. Since your body is already deficient in Yang energy, it has very limited resources to protect you from the cold. Make sure you wear sufficient clothing to help keep your body warm. It is also a good habit to wear socks to bed especially during the colder months of the year.

  2. Get some sun

    A good way to rebuild the Yang energy in your body is to expose your back to morning sun for about 30 minutes daily (or as often as you can). In TCM, the back of our body is Yang and the front is Yin. Hence getting sun exposure on your back is a great way to build up the Yang energy in your body.

All the above lifestyle changes will help to improve your quality of life. Do give it a try!


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We sincerely wish you the very best of health!