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10 Habits for Healthy Kidneys

Turmeric has been shown to reduce free radicals and inflammation.

Your kidneys are powerful organs that serve many functions. They reduce the toxic burden in your body by filtering out toxins to which you are exposed during your daily life. Then, they excrete those toxins in urine to ensure waste products are eliminated from the body. They regulate water and mineral balance to ensure the proper hydration of your cells. And, they even regulate blood pressure through the secretion of hormones that fulfill this function. Without healthy kidneys, you could not be healthy. So, it’s time to show them some love by incorporating habits that support healthy kidneys into your life. Here are 10 habits that help build and maintain healthy kidneys:

Start Every Morning with a Large Glass of Water: Water is imperative to ensure the kidneys can function properly. Yet, many people are chronically dehydrated, making it difficult for the kidneys to filter out waste products and perform their many other functions. After a night of sleep the kidneys benefit from rehydrating as soon as possible after we awaken. Drink a large glass of water immediately upon rising and wait about 20 minutes before eating breakfast. Ideally, choose purified, alkaline water.

Switch to Plant-Based Protein: The kidneys, in addition to the many functions above, also process protein to separate out amino acids for use by the body and to eliminate any waste that accumulates from the metabolism of animal protein, including urea and ammonia, both of which can reach harmful levels if the kidneys can’t handle the amount of meat in the diet. Switching to a plant-based diet reduces the burden on the kidneys. Before you utter, “but how will I get my protein?” you might want to consider the many excellent plant-based protein sources, which include: nuts, beans, seeds, quinoa, avocado, coconut, bean sprouts, tofu, miso, tempeh, and dairy- milk and cheese alternatives.

Enjoy a Warm Compress with Kidney-Boosting Essential Oils: A warm compress with a drop of each lemon, eucalyptus, juniper berry, and rosemary essential oils diluted in a small amount of fractionated coconut oil, is a great way to improve the health of your kidneys. Plus, it just feels relaxing and healing. Choose only the highest quality of essential oils since they will be absorbed into your bloodstream. Apply the oils to your mid-back region just below the base of your shoulders, near the spine. Then soak a facecloth in hot water, squeeze it out, and apply over the oils. Then, place a dry towel over the hot facecloth. Relax for at least 5 to 10 minutes with the compress in place. If it starts to cool, soak the wet facecloth in hot water again, squeeze it out and reapply. Repeat on a daily basis for at least a week, preferably longer. Discontinue if you have a skin sensitivity to any of the oils.

Eat More Cranberries or Drink Pure, Unsweetened Cranberry Juice: Pure cranberries and cranberry juice, not the sweetened dried cranberries full of sulfites or the heavily sweetened juices, can eliminate harmful bacteria in the urinary tract. Eliminating infection-causing bacteria goes a long way toward keeping the kidneys healthy. Dilute pure cranberry juice with water or water and a splash of pure apple juice to make it more palatable.

Cut Back on Salt: While many bloggers claim that salt isn’t harmful in the diet, the claim suggests a lack of understanding about the role of minerals in the body. Sodium and potassium work in conjunction with each other. When sodium rises, potassium levels tend to drop, which is actually a dangerous health situation. The kidneys regulate these electrolytes in your body so cut down on salt to give them a hand with their sodium-potassium regulating functions. Use more herbs instead of salt.

Eat More Home-Cooked Meals: Most fast food and restaurant meals are packed with excessive levels of sodium. By switching to home-made meals you’ll give your kidneys a break from all the extra salt (provided you aren’t heavy-handed with the salt shaker).

Load Up on Vegetables: Vegetables are high in kidney-supporting potassium. By making vegetables the focal point of your meals you’ll automatically be giving your kidneys some love.

Eat Some Seaweed: Enjoy some docosahexanoic acid (DHA)-rich seaweed to help reduce inflammation in the kidneys (and elsewhere in your body). You’ll only need about a tablespoon of dried seaweed daily to reap the benefits. You can find hijiki (spaghetti-like strands), or kelp that can be added to soup, or kelp noodles that are delicious alternatives to other types of noodles and are perfect with Asian-inspired dishes.

Drink Green Tea: Green Tea contains potent antioxidants known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. EGCG helps to protect the kidneys and urinary tract from harmful substances. Ideally, drink three cups of green tea daily.

Take Some Turmeric: Add turmeric to your soups, stews, or curries or take a couple of curcumin capsules daily to reap the benefits of turmeric’s natural anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin. It can help reduce inflammation and free radicals in the kidneys, giving them the support they need to function optimally every day.

 

 

 

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The Cultured Cook Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health Lose Weight & Extend Your LifeDR. MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK, PhD, DNM is a celebrity nutritionist and international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include:  THE CULTURED COOK: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight, and Extend Your Life60 Seconds to SlimThe Probiotic Promiseand Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Reader's Digest Best Health, Health, Huffington Post, Reviews.com, WebMD, ThriveGlobal, and Care2.com. Learn more about her work at DrMichelleCook.com.

 
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Hello, Michelle,

Do you have an opinion, favourable or not, about PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI, otherwise known by its Spanish name of Chanca Piedra, or Quebra Pedra, translated as "stone crusher/breaker"?

There is much positive coverage of this herb on the Internet and my wife Lisa and I feel that it could be beneficial for our son Joel, 27 years old. He is profoundly disabled, physically and intellectually, and unfortunately has developed a serious kidney stone problem in the last few years which has already landed him with 2 bouts of sepsis in August and September.

His urology team are very reluctant to operate further, for several good reasons, and the longer-term approach looks like being "conservative management", with the consequent risk of further infections and a very worrying ever-increasing stone "load", especially in his left kidney, for his body to cope with.

Based on our online research so far, it appears that this herb is not widely used in Europe (we live in Ireland) but we could not bear failing to provide him with its benefits, even if these were limited to "merely" preventing further stone build-up or protecting him from infection (as opposed to actually reducing his current stone "load").

We are aiming to visit, with Joel, a reputable medical herbalist clinic soon (whose Facebook page carries an article by you, hence this message), but are keen to gather as much useful opinion as possible. This clinic has heard of this herb but says it is likely to recommend treatment based on herbs that are more indigenous to Europe, as opposed to Phyllanthus Niruri which is mainly (though not exclusively) found in South America. We don't dismiss European herbs by any means but Phyllanthus Niruri has really caught our imagination.

Joel is, incidentally, otherwise very healthy. He is out of hospital and on protective oral antibiotics for about another week. Other than that, he takes minimal medication: a tiny amount of Diazepam to help with spasticity, a suppository every other day to help bowel movements, and an anti-dribble transdermal patch (hyoscine). He has a PEG feed for all his food and hydration needs.

We do hope you are able to reply to this message and to share your opinion with us, positive or not. We would appreciate that.

William and Lisa

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Hi, I have your book the Cultured Cook - which I love! Today I wanted to make your Cultured Vanilla Ice Cream, but am not sure when to add the second cup of Almond Milk as it only talks of adding the first cup to soak the cashews. Could you help me out with this?

Thank you! Lori

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