Do I have your attention with my cheesy title?!!!
You guessed it, the kidneys are the focus of my second blog on organ health!
These precious little organs go about their day by regulating the body’s water content, as well as regulating salt balance in the body. The kidneys have the special ability to differentiate between vital substance and waste products.
They are also involved in the production of the hormone renin which is responsible for regulating blood pressure.
The adrenal glands are located directly on top of the kidneys and they produce secretions that make the activities of the kidneys possible. These special glands are responsible for facilitating the body’s strategies for coping with stress.
When we are stressed (a common side-effect of the lead up to the Festive Season) these little fighters output the stress hormone cortisol. Whilst normal amounts of cortisol can be very helpful, excess exposure to cortisol can disrupt many bodily processes which can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, sleep problems and weight gain.
So, how can you go about nurturing your kidneys and adrenals?
Here are some ideas:
You guessed it, staying adequately hydrated is really important, especially during times of stress and during the hotter months. Add slices of lemon and fresh mint to make water more interesting!
Reduce your intake of salt:
Replace salt with delicious flavours such as lemon juice, garlic, pepper, spices and fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, oregano.
Kidney and adrenal friendly foods:
Kidney beans (of course!), adzuki beans, millet, celery, blueberries, blackberries, sardines, eggs, parsley, brown rice.
Adzuki beans and parsley = a powerful pair!
Adzuki beans look like a small kidney bean. They tonify kidney and adrenal function. They are a rich source of protein, as well as magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc as well as important B vitamins. As with all beans and legumes it is best to soak and cook your own, rather than using canned foods. Canned foods often have a high sodium content, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to eat foods which have been sitting in a can for goodness knows how long! It takes a little more effort and organization to prepare your own beans, but the health benefits are well worth it.
Parsley is a highly nutritive food. It contains huge amounts of Vitamin C (which supports adrenal function), chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium and iron. Parsley acts as a mild diuretic and strengthens the adrenal glands. It also counteracts halitosis (bad breath) and poor digestion.
Adzuki Bean Salad
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish
2 cups cooked adzuki beans (drained)
2 spring onions (white and green parts), sliced
1/4 cup coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
juice of ½ to 1 lemon (according to taste)
Place the adzuki beans, spring onions, coriander and parsley in a bowl.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, flaxseed oil, and black pepper. Pour over the beans and toss to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to combine.
Add lemon juice and slices of avocado. Serve & enjoy!
Wishing you (and your kidneys!) a happy and peaceful Festive Season,
I look forward to sharing more words of wisdom with you in 2016,
Herbaceous Gift Vouchers are available again this year!
Vouchers can be used for Massage, Naturopathy and Meditation, and they make excellent gifts!
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