Today I’m super excited to share with you my first vlog! Numero uno baby!
I’ve been wanting to start vlogging (video blogging!) for a while now because I want you to have the option of either watching or reading (or both if you like!)… but as you likely know we have so much going on here behind the scenes at THP I just never seemed to find the time!
Well today I finally bit the bullet, got out my camera & shot a vlog!
And carrying on from our latest series of posts diving deep into a particular system of the body (you can check out my thyroid post here & liver post here), my latest post is all about your INCREDIBLE kidneys & why oh why they’re so wonderful.
See, you might not know this… but they do a lot more than just detoxify your blood… In fact – as you’ll see from this video – poor performing kidneys can actually lead to issues like tinnitus or hair loss… crazy right?
In this video I’ll discuss your kidneys’ main functions from a Western & Eastern perspective (super cool stuff!)
The symptoms of dysfunctional kidneys
6 kidney loving wholefoods you can easily grow yourself to support your kidneys
Other awesome ways you can support your kidneys + what to stay away from which can otherwise harm them!
So click the play button below to watch the new vlog – or keep reading below if you prefer reading format!
Either way – Enjoy!
So, today I want to talk about an organ that’s incredibly important, but doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere near the level of attention that it deserves.
You know…we hear everyone talking about the gut or the liver & don’t get me wrong, I love my gut & liver! And having a healthy gut & liver is incredibly important – in fact, I wrote an entire post on the liver a little while back, you can check that out at here – but what I want to talk to you about today is the kidneys, see the kidneys play an essential role in our health, but most of the time they seem to be completely left out of the conversation!
So, here’s what we’re going to talk about… we’re going to talk about what the kidneys do & why they’re important, & we’re going to look at that from a Western & an Eastern (traditional Chinese medicine) perspective – really cool stuff!
We’re also going to talk about the symptoms of dysfunctional kidneys & some natural ways you can use to support them, including 6 kidney loving wholefoods you can easily grow yourself! (You know we have a bit of a thing for homegrown wholefoods!)
So, if you suffer from lower back pain, or ringing in your ears (also known as tinnitus), low energy or dark circles under your eyes – this post is definitely for you. There are other symptoms & we’ll talk about those shortly…
For now, let’s dig straight in!
YOUR KIDNEYS’ MAIN FUNCTIONS (from a Western Perspective):
So, the kidneys sit around your waist area on either side of your spine, they’re bean shaped & about the size of a fist…& they perform some super important functions in the body.
One of their main functions…& probably what they’re best known for…is filtering the blood of toxins & producing urine so those toxins can be excreted.
See, everything you put into your body, becomes part of you…you know that saying “You are what you eat?” It’s a cliché, but it’s true!
And if you’re eating processed or refined foods…things that contain a lot of sugar, additives, colourings, anything like that…your body is going to see it as a toxin & it’s going to end up in your blood, so it can be excreted…but if the toxic load gets too much it can put a serious strain on your kidneys, so you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can you reduce your toxic load & support your kidneys – we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Let’s just quickly go over the other important functions of the kidneys:
- They maintain pH balance inside the body, pH (or the potential of hydrogen) determines how acidic or alkaline the different systems of your body are, it’s a very important marker of health & it works on a scale from 0-14, 0 is very acidic, 14 is very alkaline & 7 is neutral. Now you want your blood pH to be a constant 7.4, slightly alkaline & it’s your kidneys job to keep it there
- They regulate blood pressure by controlling the amount of water that’s excreted
- They produce red blood cells – that’s a really big one, we need red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body
- They maintain fluid & electrolyte balance
- They activate Vitamin D, we know vitamin D is important for bone health, immune system function, it also reduces inflammation & even the risk of cancer. You can’t properly utilise vitamin D if you’re kidneys aren’t functioning properly!
Pretty important stuff!
So that’s looking at the kidneys from a western perspective.
YOUR KIDNEYS’ MAIN FUNCTIONS (from an Eastern Perspective):
Now let’s take a look at the eastern perspective. See, in eastern medicine, specifically TCM, the kidneys play an even bigger roll, eastern medicine takes a more holistic view of the body & considers the kidneys to be the root of life & the foundation of health.
They have control over our energy, our life force, our growth, hair, skin, nails, ears, reproduction, brain function, willpower, emotions (especially fear & anxiety), even our inspiration…pretty powerful stuff!
Now, let’s go over some of the issues you can expect to experience if you have dysfunctional kidneys:
- Kidney pain or stones
- Hair loss
- Brittle Nails
- Bladder issues
- Swelling of the feet or legs
- Cold feet & hands
- Lower back pain
- High blood pressure
- Confusion, trouble concentrating
- Sleep issues
- Dark circles beneath the eyes
- Ringing ears (tinnitus)
- Low energy
If you’re experiencing several of these symptoms, you could have some sort of kidney issue or dysfunction that needs to be addressed.
So, let’s take a look at some of the foods you can use to support your kidneys that you can easily grow yourself.
THE FOODS YOU CAN EAT TO SUPPORT YOUR KIDNEYS:
Beetroot* – Beetroot is a great source of B vitamins & contains powerful antioxidants that help to purify the blood of toxins, which helps to take the pressure off the kidneys.
Kale – Kale is packed with antioxidants & detoxifying compounds that help support & cleanse the kidneys
Spinach* – Spinach contains antioxidants that help to cleanse your whole body, especially the kidneys & they’re also a great source of important B vitamins
Garlic – Garlic contains powerful phytonutrients & helps to improve kidney function, reduce inflammation & also lower high blood pressure.
Ginger – Ginger helps to purify the blood & clear toxins from the kidneys
Turmeric – Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation & infections of the kidneys. Make sure you add some black pepper to your turmeric, that’ll significantly increase the bioavailability of the curcumin, which is the compound responsible for turmeric’s benefits.
Nettle – Also known as stinging nettle, nettle is a powerful detoxer that really supports the kidneys & helps to purify the blood & it also builds blood.
Other kidney loving foods include:
- Cherries & berries like blueberry & cranberry*
- Burdock root
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Omega 3 fatty acids
*Note, you may need to reduce your consumption of foods with an asterisk if you suffer from kidney stones.
Other things you can do to support your kidneys:
- Supplement with magnesium, vitamin B6 & E
- Keep hydrated & drink plenty of filtered water!
- Exercise regularly
- Castor Oil Packs
Now let’s take a look at some of the things that can put a strain on or weaken your kidneys…
THINGS THAT CAN STRAIN/WEAKEN YOUR KIDNEYS:
- Caffeine (including cacao!)
- Carbonated drinks
- Refined Salt
- Artificial sweeteners
- Conventional, non grass fed animal products
- Heavy metals
- Conventional cleaning products, cosmetics & personnel care products.
So… you now know how incredibly important your kidneys are & if you want to do more to support them, you want to include more nutrient dense, antioxidant rich foods into your diet that are going to support & help cleanse them (& you definitely want to stay away from the things that are going to weaken them!)
Thanks so much for hanging out with me here today, if you enjoyed this please share it with someone you think could benefit from it!