Why Everyone Should Give Thanks to their Kidneys
“The person with healthy, vital kidneys is active yet calm, courageous but gentle, accomplishes a great deal without stress, and balances assertive action with nurture.”
-Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods
When I read this I thought, “sounds like something I would like to put on a cover letter or in an about me section where readers might actually believe I embody these ideal characteristics.” Who knew my kidneys are what stand between the real-life me and the one my mind conjures up hypothetically? After I’ve spent hours hunched in front of my computer screen building up stress and tension in my shoulders, followed by splitting headaches and bursts of frustration, I would love to tell you that my perfectly healthy kidneys usher me through life with a gentle, stress-free calm…
At a time when more and more of us are uncertain about our health, the environment, the economy, jobs and international turmoil, and are balancing added stress from work, holidays and everyday life, giving our kidneys a little TLC may not be the first thing on our minds, but could really do us some good.
In eastern medicine traditions, the kidneys are considered the foundational element of balance throughout the body. When healthy, as Pitchford explains, one possesses balanced moods, strength, stress and health. When the kidneys are less than healthy, imbalance begins to manifest in numerous ways. Pitchford attributes a range of symptoms, from ear infections and hair loss to fatigue, reproductive issues, premature aging and excessive feelings of fear and insecurity, to an imbalance in kidney function.
That new wrinkle or gray hair you jokingly mention, or the nervous agitation you can just can’t shake after a long day of work may be a sign that your kidney function needs attention.
In Pitchford’s work with whole food healing and alternative medicine practices, he has discovered that many individuals who suffer from mood swings, insecurity, mild depression, weakness, lethargy and a lack of general happiness and motivation can benefit from improved kidney health. Not only do the kidneys impact your physical health through their role metabolizing the fluids in your body, they impact your mental and emotional health as well and work in tandem with your adrenal glands as your source of energy, warmth and vitality.
As more and more of us feel these symptoms creeping in to our every-day lives, paying attention to what you eat, how well you sleep, and the mental and physical tension you carry around with you can help you consciously nourish better kidney health. In turn, you can help your body maintain balance, mentally, emotionally and physically, which will also help imporve your overall internal and external health.
To better understand how to take care of your kidneys, here is a list of factors that can impend their function, followed by a list of those that can improve it.
- Toxins in food and water
- Excess protein
- Processed Foods
- Micro algae (chlorella, spirulina and wild blue-green)
- Nettles (a natural tonic to help purify the kidneys)
- Bee pollen or royal jelly (the best source of nutrients and a natural energy tonic)
- Sesame seeds
- Spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation or walking
- Adequate water intake (purified is best)
Check back Thursday for a kidney-nourishing nettle soup recipe and additional information on nurturing your kidneys through an increasingly difficult time of year.