The Yin and Yang of Grains
On the Yin–Yang spectrum of foods, grains are balanced toward the center for daily eating. The degrees of difference between one grain and another are relatively subtle in terms of yin and yang. Some determinants are the fat and moisture content, the shape, size, and color.
Starting on the yin side, corn has more liquid and is closer to being a vegetable. Oats are large and are higher in fats, which have a more yin influence. Quinoa is naturally more yin because of its higher protein content, and is soft when cooked.
Rice is near the center of the spectrum; sweet rice has a yin influence because it is softer and naturally glutinous. People who live in hot climates, such as India, favor long grain rice, because it is cooling to the body with a more yin influence.
Short grain rice has a more yang influence, and therefore more energizing and warming in fall and winter. Wheat is dry and warming to the body because it is grown in cooler climates. Next are amaranth and millet, which are small and round. Buckwheat has the most yang influence because it is grown in a cold climate, and it is very warming to the body.
Listed in the chart below are balanced grains, toward the center for daily use, and foods on a wider spectrum for occasional use.