The Five Elements Diet – What is It?

The Five Elements Diet not only sounds historically rich, it is.

It has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine and the first traditions of this nutrition concept are more than 3000 years old.

Consequently, this diet not only had 3000 years to be applied, but also to be improved and perfected by its users. It looks back on an immensely long history that speaks for itself.

What advantages and disadvantages the diet has overall, what the diet plan looks like, what risks there are, how it works and much more can be found in the following guide.

What is the Five Elements Diet?

As already mentioned in the introduction, the so-called Five Elements Diet is a teaching from traditional Chinese medicine that can look back on an impressive 3000 years of history. The concept of this diet is based on the belief that the human being is provided with a natural

The life energy that he receives at birth from his parents, the so-called “Qi”, comes into the world. In order to live a long, good, satisfied and happy life, a person has to increase his “Qi”.

There are two ways to do this:

  • 1. breathing and relaxation exercises
  • 2. a healthy and balanced diet

But what does it have to do with the Five Elements? The 5 elements are natural elements to which certain foods have been assigned. Each element is associated with certain foods.

These elements are:

  • Fire: Bitter food
  • Earth: Sweet dishes
  • Metal: Hot dishes
  • Water: Salty dishes
  • Wood: Sour Foods To get a

In order to be able to arrange a balanced meal, it is necessary to distribute the food according to its elements, so that the organism has enough of each element and diseases and other ailments are averted from the outset.

One can use the theory of the 5 elements thus as Di?t, also for shorter Di?t intentions, but in the reason it is a durable and/or permanent conversion of the nourishing habits.

How does the diet work?

All in all, this diet is very simple. The only thing you have to do is to stick to the above-mentioned guidelines of the corresponding element distribution.

But this is often easier said than done. Especially in Europe, some flavours are defined differently than in traditional Chinese medicine. Likewise, the age of this doctrine makes some combinations somewhat alien to today’s tastes and it is also alien, since Chinese cuisine in China usually has nothing in common with what Europeans know from Chinese restaurants.

That is why there are some people who try to rewrite recipes and the like on today’s European conditions so that the Five Elements Teaching can be applied effectively here as well. It should be neither starved nor fasted! All we have to do is change our diet so that we can live healthier lives.

Here are a few examples of food per element:


  • endive
  • artichokes
  • fennel
  • Broccoli and much more.


  • Dried fruit
  • honey
  • fresh fruit (no refined sugar)


  • chilli
  • radish
  • onions
  • Garlic etc.


  • table salt
  • dried fish


  • citrus fruits
  • various herbs etc.

→ Suitable side dishes are rice, millet, buckwheat or barley. Sometimes the addition of pulses is also permitted – especially if there is no feeling of satiety after eating.

→ The vegetables must always be steamed. Raw vegetables are absolutely not recommended. The quantities of vegetables consumed are irrelevant. With fruit however one should not exceed one to one and a half pounds per meal.

→ Seasoning with fresh herbs is permitted. Dried spices should be avoided.

→ Oils produced by cold pressing can be used. However, some foods should be avoided completely, which includes

  • (Refined) sugar
  • Coffee and black tea
  • Bread and pastries of all kinds Animal proteins
  • Potatoes All alcoholic beverages

Time & Duration

How Long Does A Five Elements Diet Last ?

Basically, the Five Element Teaching is designed as a permanent solution. Therefore, it lasts a lifetime. However, it is also possible to rewrite this teaching into a diet format.

It should then last between three and fifteen days. However, there are no upper limits.

However, if you decide to use it purely as a diet at first, it is important to note that many dishes should be eaten in smaller quantities in order to achieve a good effect. If one adopts the 5 elements doctrine as a constant nutrition concept, the quantities usually increase.

Weight loss?

How much can one lose with the diet?

One can assume to lose about half a pound of weight every day. With stronger food reduction up to one kilo.

The weight is however after conclusion of the Di?t fast again on it, if one falls back afterwards into old patterns. In order to keep the new dream weight, a permanent change to the Five Elements Teaching or similar is necessary.

Diet plan compact

A typical menu could look like this:


  • Buckwheat porridge with
  • fresh fruit and
  • some honey,
  • with green tea


  • 150gr rice,
  • steamed kohlrabi and
  • fresh cress


  • Millet with
  • Root vegetables and
  • wild garlic
  • However, the menu sequences are highly variable.

Risks of the diet

The risks of this diet are manageable to non-existent. Allergic reactions to ingredients are more likely than any deficiency symptoms.

Advantages and disadvantages

Below you will find the pros and cons of the diet in the

Overview. Pros: +

Long testing through tradition Large selection of food Hardly any risks

Cons: –

  • Difficult to implement true to original in Europe
  • Vegetables must not be eaten raw
  • No coffee and no sugar.

Questions & Answers

Is it hard to keep up with the diet?

No, it is not. Since one may serve oneself a broad pallet of food in sufficient quantity. Possibly, however, caffeine withdrawal.

What symptoms can occur?

As a rule, no symptoms occur Except for the above-mentioned caffeine withdrawal, no symptoms are to be expected.

What does the diet cost?

Presumably no additional costs arise from this diet, since no particularly expensive or exotic foods are involved.

How well is this diet applicable in Europe?

You can’t eat a 100% authentic five element diet in Europe, the market doesn’t give that away. But Europeanized variants of this diet are quite conceivable.

Is there a yo-yo effect?

This can happen if you fall back into your old (bad) patterns after the end of the diet.

Can this diet simply be implemented in everyday life?

It works without problems, as long as you are primarily at home. During restaurant visits it can be difficult to find appropriate dishes.

How do I learn all the details?

Here the net offers a large selection of free help, but there are also brilliant books on the subject, from which you can learn a lot.

Where can I find help with the implementation?

You have to look around for traditional Chinese alternative practitioners in the area. They are happy to help with the Five Elements Diet and also know a lot about it.

5 Element Diet: Our conclusion!

The Five Elements Teaching rightly looks back on a proud 3000 years of existence. Whether as a diet or a permanent solution – this teaching helps to lose weight and stay healthy. Only to be recommended.

Fan of everything health and fitness related. My mission is to share my knowledge and experience with as many people as possible and help them to find their ideal path to perfect health.

Leave a Comment