What role do the kidneys play in circulation?
Your kidneys are responsible for various roles in the body, first and foremost filtering the blood. When blood enters the tiny nephrons of the kidney, waste products from digestion and other bodily processes are removed; at the same time, important minerals and water are reabsorbed back into the blood. This allows ‘clean’ blood to return to the heart and then circulate around the rest of the body, depositing oxygen and those vital nutrients to your organs and tissue.
The kidneys also contribute to the maintenance of healthy blood pressure. When blood pressure drops, the kidneys produce a hormone called renin which restricts urine flow and narrows the blood vessels to raise blood pressure back up to normal. On the other hand, when blood pressure is raised, the kidneys promote urination and dilate the blood vessels in order to bring it back down.
Additionally, the kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which stimulates the production of red blood cells. As we know, red blood cells circulate in the blood carrying oxygen to your organs and tissues. Without the haemoglobin in red blood cells, your blood would struggle to absorb enough oxygen to carry around the body.
3 drinks to help support your kidneys
Unfortunately, most people do not drink enough fresh, plain water. You should always make sure you drink plenty of water, as it is vital for so many processes within your body; your eyes, skin, bowels and brain are all affected by how much water you drink – and so are your kidneys!
Throughout the day, your blood is constantly travelling around your body, passing through the kidneys multiple times where the toxins are filtered out and minerals reabsorbed. Waste materials left over from processes like digestion leave the body through urine but, without sufficient water, the kidneys can’t expel these toxins efficiently. So you might find yourself getting ill more often than normal if you’re not flushing out waste products regularly enough. For instance, you may be more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or cystitis if you don’t drink enough water.
If your body becomes dehydrated, your kidneys will hold onto as much water as they can and this fluid retention can lead to unwanted bloating and swelling. Although it may seem like a counterintuitive remedy for excess fluid, drinking more water will help! Rehydrating your body (and your kidneys) will trigger urination as your kidneys get the signal that there is now enough water in the body to do so.
Plus, if your body becomes dehydrated, this can have an effect on your blood circulation too. When there is less water available in the body, your blood can become thicker and cause your blood pressure to rise. Untreated high blood pressure can result in various health issues, such as increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
You should also make sure to avoid drinks that can dehydrate the body; diuretics such as tea and coffee are common culprits here, as well as alcohol.
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2. Balance Mineral Drink
The kidneys are responsible for maintaining balance between fluid and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. These two minerals are constantly in competition with each other. Years and years ago, when the human diet consisted of lots of fresh fruits, roots and veg, potassium was easy to come by. Sodium, on the other hand, was scarce in our diet. Therefore, the kidneys are programmed to hold onto sodium and release excess potassium in order to keep this balance.
However, nowadays there are so many packaged, processed foods available, most of which contain high levels of salt; meanwhile, fresh fruit and vegetables are being consumed far less than they once were. Despite this, the kidneys are still inclined to conserve sodium and release excess potassium through the urine. When this balance is disturbed, the kidneys are forced to work even harder and nasty side effects can include swelling of cells and fluid retention.
A great way to replenish potassium levels is Balance Mineral Drink which contains a sensible dose of potassium, as well as vitamin D, magnesium and zinc. It comes in a handy sachet which you can add to water for a refreshing, strawberry-flavoured drink, or incorporate into a tasty fruit smoothie.
As well as this, you can up your intake of potassium-rich fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes. Read more about the sources and benefits of potassium here.
3. Golden Rod Tea
The last drink I would recommend for supporting your kidneys is Golden Rod Tea. Also known as Solidago, Golden Rod has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy to support the function of the kidneys. It is a gentle blend of five herbs – Golden Rod, Birch leaves, Horsetail, Knotgrass and Wild Pansy – which work synergistically to flush out toxins and cleanse the system.
Golden Rod, Birch and Horsetail contain flavonoids, which help to tone capillaries and improve blood flow, as well as saponins which take anti-inflammatory action in the body. Horsetail and Knotgrass also contain silica, which helps to repair damage done to the bladder lining; Wild Pansy is another source of flavonoids which contribute to the toning of capillaries. This refreshing tea is a great addition to your diet in order to help support your kidneys and your circulation.
Golden Rod can also be found in our Solidago Complex, which is another good way of supporting the kidneys and detoxifying the body by diluting the urine. This reduces the concentration of infective organisms which can cause irritation to the urinary tract.