Cholesterol

Scrambled Tofu

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Scrambled egg tofu

Ingredients;
  • 500gms. organic tofu, firm
  • 1 x sliced leek or diced onion
  • 1 x clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 x diced tomato (optional)
  • chopped chives (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1/2  tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4  tsp. each of; cumin powder and coriander powder (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp stock, water or bone broth (water or vegetable stock if vegetarian or vegan)
  • butter (or alternative if vegan)
Instructions;
  1. Drain the tofu from the water.
  2. Heat a medium frypan (if frypan isn’t non-stick, you’ll need to have it well-greased) over medium-high heat. You can a little knob of butter (or alternative) too regardless for an even creamier taste.
  3. Fry off leek or onion and garlic.
  4. Add tomato and chives, if using.
  5. Add tofu and spices together. Using a spatula, cut up the tofu in the pan to look like scrambled eggs.
  6. Once incorporated, add the vegetable broth (1 tablespoon at a time) bringing the broth to a boil and allowing to fully absorb into the tofu each time.
  7. Remove from heat and season with sea salt and pepper as desired.

Serves 2-3

Paleo Naan Bread-Linseeds and Coconut Flour

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chapati

Ingredients;

  • 2.5 Tablespoons of ground linseeds (flaxseeds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or thick coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut oil or ghee for cooking

Directions;

  1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until combined well. It won’t be quite a dough consistency but it’s also not going to be quite as runny as pancake batter.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon or so, of ghee or coconut oil in a frypan over medium high heat.
  3. Drop about two to three large tablespoons of batter into the hot pan.
  4. Wet your finger with water and tap down the batter to help spread it into a circle shape.
  5. Cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden

Notes;

This makes about 4 fairly large Naan Breads.

Master Elixir Recipe

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iphone-5-up-to-1-4-15-017

Ingredients;

Equal parts;
  • turmeric root
  • chopped garlic
  • diced onion
  • chopped hot chillies (wear gloves and be prepared to have your sinuses cleared!)
  • grated or sliced ginger
  • grated horseradish
  • chopped carrot
  • chopped apple
  • diced celery
  • orange and lemon pieces

Optional;

  • mustard seeds
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • juniper berries
  • Himalayan salt

Apple Cider Vinegar (make sure it’s organic with the “Mother”)

health-elixir

Instructions;

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the vinegar.
  2. Fill 2/3 of a large jar with the mixture. Make sure the jar seals well.
  3. Pour in the apple cider vinegar on top of the mixture until it fills up to the top.
  4. Close tightly.
  5. Shake well.
  6. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. Shake well as often as possible, at least once a day.
  7. After 14 days, strain it through a muslin cloth, into a bowl, to pour into a jar.
  8. Squeeze well to make sure all the juice comes out.

This elixir will be VERY HOT, so start with small amounts, maybe use it as a salad dressing first and then build up the amount as your taste buds get used to it. It’s best not to dilute it with water.

kombucha

This elixir may help with;

  • stimulating the immune system
  • feeding beneficial gut bacteria as a pre-biotic
  • killing harmful gut bacteria and yeasts (including candida)
  • stimulating metabolism
  • weight loss by increasing satiety (a feeling of fullness) and reducing appetite
  • reducing blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure
  • regulating blood sugar levels
  • alkalising the system by regulating the pH level
  • preventing and reducing indigestion and reflux
  • detoxification of the liver
  • cleansing lymph nodes of toxic waste
  • soothing and healing mucous membranes such as throat, gut lining, urinary tract
  • inhibiting and reducing muscle cramps
  • reducing post exercise muscle fatigue

As this is a fermented drink, it may cause issues for those suffering from high levels of histamines. Come and see me to reduce histamine levels naturally.

Millet Porridge

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millet
Ingredients;
  • 1/3 cup millet, rinsed and drained in a fine mesh strainer
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (almond, coconut, oat or soy milk)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons raisins, optional
  • Optional toppings: Pure maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of choice; sliced bananas, peaches, berries, or fruit of choice; nuts of choice, shredded coconut

quinoa-flakes

Directions;
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the millet through optional raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook at a very low simmer for 20-25 minutes, without stirring, or until the liquid is absorbed and the millet is the consistency of oatmeal or cream of wheat.
  2. Remove from the heat, drizzle with maple syrup or desired sweetener, and add toppings of choice.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oat and Chia seed Pancakes

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pancakes-with-berries
Makes: 6 pancakes
Ingredients;
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small-medium (120g each) over-ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, butter or ghee
  • To serve – berries with a drizzle of maple syrup, raspberry chia jam, berry compote or chopped Medjool dates, walnuts and maple syrup
Directions;
  1. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add bananas and mash into the eggs
  3. Add cinnamon, vanilla, chia seeds and oats and stir to combine well
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes while you prepare the toppings etc
  5. Heat a medium frypan over medium heat
  6. Add the oil, butter or ghee and melt
  7. Cover the bottom of the pan with melted oil/butter
  8. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop mix into the pan, allowing a little space between pancakes so you can turn them easily (I only cooked 3 at a time)
  9. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook a further 2 minutes on the other side or until cooked through
  10. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen towel and repeat with remaining mix
  11. To serve, top with yoghurt and jam, berry compote or chopped dates, walnuts and maple syrup

 

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Banana Beetroot Brownies

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Beetroot, Banana Brownie
Ingredients:

  • 3 large or 4 small beetroots, peeled and boiled until tender
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao or carob powder
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs or 75% dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)

Icing:

  • 60ml melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp beetroot juice (made from cooked beetroot)
  • A handful of fresh rose petals (pesticide free) to garnish
Directions:
  1. Blend the beetroot in a food processor into a paste.
  2. Squeeze the paste through a sieve and collect 2 tbsp of your beetroot juice to set aside for the icing (you may have to add 1 tbsp water to this). Keep the paste in a bowl.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Stir in the cacao nibs, dark chocolate bits, or nuts if desired
  5. Pour into a well-greased pan about 20cm x 20cm
  6. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.

To make the icing:

  1. Mix the melted coconut oil and beetroot juice together.
  2. Roughly drizzle half of it onto the brownies.
  3. Sprinkle with rose petals.
  4. Drizzle over the rest of the icing.

Porridge using soaked oats

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Jar of oats

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup oats, rolled or cracked – NOT the quick cooking kind, but the ‘old fashioned’ whole oats (organic is best)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tblespns plain whole milk yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 cup water

OPtional Extra’s;

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tblespns ground nuts & seeds such as; Brazil, almonds, walnuts, pepita’s, sunflower seeds & flax seeds.(Don’t use these if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Adding psyllium husks, chia seeds and slippery elm will increase the fibre content. (Don’t use chia seeds if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Coconut sugar, rapadura sugar, raw honey or real maple syrup (not maple flavouring) to sweeten.
  • Touch of butter, ghee, cream or milk, optional, but especially good for the kids
  • Other nice optional additions include; grated apple, chopped dried fruit such as; sulphur-free apricots, figs, sultanas or cranberries.

healthy breakfast ingredients

Preparation:

 

Mix the oats with warm water and whey or yogurt, cover and leave out (preferably not in the fridge unless the nights are hot) for at least 7 hours or overnight. In the morning, bring an additional cup of water to a boil with the sea salt. Add the soaked oats, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for several minutes. Remove from heat, stir in optional flax seeds and other fibre and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with the ghee, butter or cream and sugar, honey or real maple syrup.

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KEKO64 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vegetarian and Vegan “Bone Broth”

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Veggie stock

Ingredients:
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or regular if shiitake unavailable)
½ chilli, sliced (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tablespoon coconut or rice bran oil                                                                                                          1 Tblespn of dried wakame reconstituted in a bowl of water
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
5cm piece of ginger, peeled                                                                                                                           5cm piece of turmeric root                                                                                                                             1 bay leaf
2 1/2 litres water
1/2 cup loosely packed coriander leaves                                                                                                 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup spinach and/or kale
1 tspn sea salt
juice of ½ a lemon
Tamari to taste
1 Tblespn of organic light miso paste
1 tspn spirulina

 

  1. Heat the oil and sauté the onions, garlic, chilli and mushrooms together until soft.
  2. Drain the water off the wakame and combine with carrots, celery, ginger, turmeric and water in a pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and strain.
  4. Combine broth with sautéed mushroom mixture, coriander, spinach, kale, lemon juice, sea salt, tamari, miso and spirulina.
  5. Allow the heat of your broth to wilt the coriander, parsley, spinach and kale.
  6. Ladle into bowls or mugs and enjoy the spicy aroma of this fabulous gut-healing broth.

 

Cholesterol, it’s not all bad!

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heart butter

Cholesterol, and saturated fat, are not necessarily bad for you, especially in moderation with a balanced diet. The problem comes from trans fats, refined grains and carbohydrates such as; margarine, pasta, bread, pastry, pizza, fast food, desserts. Cutting these out of the diet can lead to a significant drop in bad cholesterol; LDL’s and VLDL’s (Low density lipoproteins and very low density lipoproteins) and triglyceride’s despite continuing to eat cholesterol-rich foods like red meat, eggs, cream, and butter. In fact, there’s good reason to question the popular theory of “lipid hypothesis” which suggests that dietary cholesterol clogs the arteries and leads to heart disease. LDL (bad) and VLDL (very bad!!)cholesterol builds up in the arteries not because you’ve been eating too many eggs, but in response to inflammation. This is triggered by a diet high in trans fat and processed carbohydrates, not a small amount of saturated fat. Cholesterol is the body’s bandaid, it is sent to repair damage to arteries caused by inflammation. When LDL’s are high, the concern is that it will be oxidised, by free radicals, and again that is due to inflammation.

Foods to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol and help reduce inflammation;

  • Eliminate trans fats from the diet
  • Avoid excessive saturated fats (coconut oil is the exception to this)
  • Oats
  • Pulses such as beans and lentils (they’re not pro-inflammatory like grains are)
  • Nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and macadamia’s) & seeds (sunflower and pepita’s)
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil (only cold as a salad dressing as it oxidates on moderate heat)
  • Cook with coconut oil or rice bran oil
  • Fish and other omega 3 fatty acids
  • Fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, citrus fruits (such as red grapefruit, just make sure you have it a few hours away from any BP medication), peaches, nectarines, plums and berries
  • ALL vegetables, try raising your daily intake to 9 serves a day. To do this, add veggies to meat dishes (such as grated carrot and zucchini to meat sauces and then have a huge mixed salad on the side)
  • Vary your veggies as much as possible, but have plenty of leafy greens, and raw salad items, alfalfa and mung bean sprouts are great, snow peas, capsicum, grated carrot and beetroot. Lightly steamed veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cooked veggies such as; eggplant, okra and pumpkin.
  • Foods rich in soluble fibre such as; skins on vegetables, celery, asparagus, artichoke hearts, chia seeds, psyllium husks, linseeds (also known as flax seeds). Soluble fibre forms a complex with cholesterol, that captures it and helps move it out of the body.
  • Onions, garlic and leeks
  • Green tea
  • A glass of red wine (but any more will have the opposite effect)
  • Raw Cacao

If you want to lower your cholesterol, you really need to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart disease, by addressing inflammation. So be sure that along with lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol you boost good (HDL) cholesterol and control inflammation by avoiding pro-inflammatory foods found here;

https://equilibriumnaturalhealth.com/2015/06/17/inflammation-and-how-foods-and-drinks-can-exacerbate-it-or-improve-it/)

Foods high in soluble-fibre;

Whole oats, oat bran

Oats contain soluble fibre, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Soluble fibre is also found in such foods as pulses, the skins of vegetables, chia seeds, psyllium husks, apples, pears, millet and prunes.

Soluble fibre can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fibre a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oats provides 6 grams of fibre. make sure they’ve been soaked overnight for added benefits including easier digestion and balancing the gut microbiome. If you add fruit, such as bananas, or grated apple (with the skin on) you’ll add about 4 more grams of fibre. To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or bircher muesli.

Pulses and Legumes such as Lentils

Beans, peas, lentils, split peas, lima, kidney and navy beans, black eyed peas and peanuts are also wonderful sources soluble fibre: for example; every half-cup of cooked lima beans provides 3.5 grams. One study in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming a half cup of cooked dried pinto beans (2 grams of soluble fibre) daily for 12 weeks decreased LDL cholesterol by about percent.

Sweet Fruit

Eat whole fruit, not fruit juice (even freshly squeezed)

If you are going to eat something sweet, first make sure it’s fruit instead of sugar, pastries and desserts. But choose fruit, not fruit juice. The benefit of fruit comes from the fibre, so if you drink juice, you’re losing that wonderful benefit and essentially drinking water that’s high in fructose.

The soluble fibre in pears and apples is mostly in the form of pectin, and it is great at reducing LDL levels. Surprisingly, fresh pears contain even more pectin than apples do. Pectin binds with cholesterol and ferries it out of the body before it can be absorbed.

Chia Seeds

For every 30gms of chia seeds, you will be getting 10.7gm of dietary fibre (both the soluble and insoluble type) and 5 g of alpha-linolenic acid (alpha-linolenic acid is an essential omega-3 fatty acid). They also provide anti-oxidants which help reduce free radicals not only in the body, but are stabilise the omega-3 fatty acids in the chia seed itself.

Psyllium

Getting 10 to 12 grams of psyllium per day can decrease LDL cholesterol by 5 to 10 percent.

The outer husks from the seeds of Psyllium (Plantago ovato) are effective at lowering both the total cholesterol and the ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol, as it’s very concentrated in soluble fibre (it contains a whopping 70 per cent soluble fibre!) Soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol by binding to the ‘bad’, LDL, cholesterol and taking it out of the body.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids

Salmon

Fish

Eat wild, fatty, cold-water fish and consider a fish oil supplement. ( wild caught salmon, wild mackerel and sardines.) Fish is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, so aim for two or three portions a week. Make sure you choose wild, cold-water fish to reduce exposure to chemicals like mercury.

Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — may reduce the risk of sudden death.

Although omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL levels, because of their other heart benefits, it’s recommended that you eat at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines

You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don’t like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as ground flaxseed or chia seeds.

Organic or truly Free Ranging Eggs

Make sure you eat organic eggs (if from the supermarket) or locally sourced, truly free ranged eggs as they contain omega 3 fatty acids whereas caged eggs and supermarket “free range” contain only omega 6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory in excess.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won’t get other nutrients in fish, such as selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, choose a quality brand such as Metagenics, to minimise mercury exposure, and talk to me about how much you should take.

What else to do;

Reduce grains

Most cholesterol-lowering guides will recommend that you switch refined carbohydrates to whole-grain carbohydrates (such as whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain bread). This can help to a degree to lower your cholesterol especially if your diet has been high in starchy carbohydrates. But to really lower your cholesterol as well as reduce inflammation, which is just as significant to heart health and more significant for overall health it would be better to eliminate processed grains entirely.

Garlic

Garlic is wonderful for your cardiovascular system and as part of the allium family of plants it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Other great foods that reduce inflammation are: ginger, curry (particularly turmeric), and chilli’s.

Onions

Whether it’s leeks, chives, white onions, red onions, spring onions or shallots, these flavourful bulbs are great for reducing inflammation and healing your arteries. Onions also contain high levels of quercetain an important flavonoid that reduces cholesterol. Try to eat some every day.

Olive oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil doesn’t just make food taste better. The unsaturated fats found in olive oil have the added benefit of helping to cut LDL cholesterol levels without affecting HDL. Aim for about 2 tablespoons a day in place of other fats. Have cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil on salads, but don’t heat it up or cook with it as it becomes rancid at a low heat point. This means it oxidises and that means inflammation.

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. Rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

Eating about a handful (about 45 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Make sure the nuts you eat are raw, unsalted and aren’t coated with sugar.

All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a significant source of a plant compound called lycopene, which reduces levels of LDL cholesterol. Research shows that the body absorbs more lycopene if the tomatoes are cooked, so tined tomatoes are good or add tomatoes to your minestrone soup and stews as well.

Avocados

Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). According to a recent study, adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL levels.

Try adding avocado slices to salads, use it in place of butter on sandwiches or eating them as a side dish. Also try guacamole with raw cut vegetables, such as carrot sticks and cucumber slices, the kids love it!

Green tea and pot

Green Tea

Green tea has been shown in a meta-analysis of 14 studies, to significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels (by 7.20 mg/dL and 2.19 mg/dL, respectively). In some studies participants drank tea; in others, they took green tea supplements.

Red Wine and Grape Juice

A moderate amount of alcohol can raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by as much as 5 to 15 percent, research shows — and red wine is particularly beneficial because its polyphenol antioxidants may also lower LDL levels. If you’re not into red wine, grape juice can provide some of the same heart-healthy benefits, otherwise a supplement called resveratrol is the element in red wine and grapes that is responsible for lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation and protection against arterial damage.

Raw cacao dessert

Raw Cacao

Cacao polyphenols may also lower your LDL’s or “bad” cholesterol, and raise your HDL’s or “good” cholesterol levels.

In good news for chocoholics, a meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that raw cacao consumption lowered LDL cholesterol by more than 5 mg/dL in people at risk of heart disease.

The wonderful benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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iPhone 5 up to 1.4.15 017

I love Apple Cider Vinegar. It is one of nature’s gifts that has been giving it’s health benefits to people for centuries.

The Egyptian have been using it since 3000 B.C, even Cleopatra is said to have dissolved a pearl in vinegar and then drunk it! The Greeks and Romans (including Caesar’s army) drank it for it’s health properties.

Some of it’s many benefits include;

  • Balances blood sugar levels, which is great news for those or at risk of, or who suffer  from diabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS and Insulin resistance
  • Reduces heartburn
  • Improves stomach acid production (which naturally declines with age)
  • Helps reduce joint inflammation and pain
apple
  • It’s naturally rich in potassium, which is a key mineral for muscle growth, nervous system, and heart health.
  • The acetic acid may help reduce blood pressure and there is some evidence of it reducing LDL’s (the bad cholesterol)
  • A.C.V may encourage weight loss.
  • It is a potent microbial which helps to balance the microbiome in the gut
  • It may even protect against some forms of cancer
  • Effective treatment for asthma and possibly for other auto-immune conditions
  • Taken internally and applied diluted as a douche, may help with the unpleasant symptoms of candida

Apple Cider Vinegar also contains enzymes, pectin, B vitamins and folic acid. It stimulates acid production in the stomach and enzyme production in the gut that helps breakdown and therefore helps the gut to absorb nutrients more effectively. Because of it’s benefits to gut bacteria, it can support bowel regularity and increases the removal of toxins.

It also contains acetate which is the molecule our own beneficial bacteria, in the gut, manufacture. Acetate is thought to be responsible for helping the immune system to stop over-reacting to perceived foreign invaders or even our own tissues (as in asthma, hayfever and Rheumatoid arthritis).

How to take Apple Cider Vinegar

As A.C.V is an acid, it needs to be diluted in water. I usually recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of ACV in a small shot glass of water, twice a day, half an hour before meals (to help with digestion). Once you are used to the flavour, you can slowly increase it to 1 tablespoon twice a day.