- Busting a common myth about drinking water
- How to help your kidneys do their job properly
- A tea that can help flush away toxins
Now that the hot weather’s here, you’ll doubtless hear the warning to drink plenty of water.
But how much water is ‘enough’?
And can you have too much?
For an activity that we ALL need to do every day, it’s amazing how much confusion there is about drinking water.
The most common answer you’ll hear is that you should drink eight cups of water every day (approximately two to three litres) and that’s ON TOP of your regular drinks like coffee, tea and juice.
But this is not true.
Unless you live in a very hot country, you need to consume around six to eight cups worth of water a day…
However, this includes the water you get from food (particularly fruit), juice or caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee… and yes, even alcohol.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go out and drink a couple of bottles of wine, then consider that your water intake for the day.
However, you can relax about having to down eight cups of water.
If you want to see the scientific argument that backs up what I’m saying, feel free to read this PDF report from the American Journal of Physiology
Can you ever drink too much water?
While it’s a rare occurrence, it is also possible to drink too much!
“A normal person with normal kidneys can drink as much as 17 litres of water (34 16-oz. bottles) if taken in slowly without changing their serum sodium,” says nephrologist Dr. John Maesaka.
But if you go above that level, you risk getting something called hyponatremia, which happens when the water dilutes the amount of sodium in your bloodstream.
This causes fatigue, weakness, confusion and even convulsions.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that your recommended water intake is also determined by how warm the weather is and how much physical exercise you are doing.
Also, as we age, we need to drink more water to compensate for changes in our body temperature regulation system.
It’s also important for flushing toxins out of your body…
Drink enough to take care of your kidneys
One of the main reasons to drink enough water in hot weather is to help your kidneys do their job.
Your kidneys are a vital organ, filtering waste from your blood so that it can be ejected as urine, and keeping the good stuff in.
But a poor diet can build up the toxin levels in your kidneys, stopping them from working at their best. Over time you can even develop painful kidney stones.
Step one is to stay properly hydrated so that your kidneys can flush away toxins.
There are some other steps you can take too…
Foods that flush out toxins
One of the best things to eat for healthy kidneys is fresh parsley. This herb is packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and iron.
What’s more, parsley is antimicrobial (kills bacteria), antihyperlipidemic (lowers blood fat), antihepatotoxic (prevents liver toxicity), and antihypertensive (helps lower blood pressure).
It’s also a diuretic, which means it helps you go to the toilet more regularly, helping flush out toxins.
An easy way to get more parsley into your system is to buy a fresh bunch, chop it up, mix it in with salad leaves and eat it for lunch.
Even better, add some garlic and vinegar!
- Garlic is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food that helps reduce kidney-damaging high blood pressure. It can also protect them from the effects of heavy metals like lead and cadmium.
- Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, which can dissolve uric acid and prevent toxin build-up and kidney stones.
So my tip is to make a dressing with 1-part apple vinegar to 3-parts olive oil, then add in some crushed garlic. If you’d like to sweeten it, a little teaspoon of raw local honey won’t do any harm.
Now add this dressing to your parsley salad.
That should do the trick!
Alternatively, you could try making a tea…
A recipe for parsley tea
Take a bunch of parsley, chop it up. Boil a pot of water, take it off the boil, after two minutes add the parsley and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain it into a mug. Let it cool a bit, then add honey and lemon.
The lemon is an important addition, as the citrate in lemons lowers the acidity of your urine and binds the calcium in your kidneys to keep it from crystallising. This helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Natural lemon juice can also help dissolve kidney stones so that you can pass them easily when you urinate (you can read more about all this in my book: The Lemon Book
As well as keeping your liver clean, this tea is revitalising and will keep you hydrated in the healthiest possible way – and, yes, it counts towards your daily water intake!
I hope you have a great weekend!