Hypertension

Beetroot Dip Paleo and GAPS friendly

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Beetroot

Beetroot Dip

  • 2 medium to large beetroots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  •  1 small onion
  • cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder* (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • (1/2 hot chilli, halved long ways)
  • Foil

 

(* If you don’t have garam masala, you can replace it with 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon & 1/8 teaspoon paprika)

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Place a piece of foil (long enough to wrap your ingredients in, so probably a bit longer than a roasting dish) on the table ready for your beetroot.
  3. Cut the stems off and scrub the beets carefully to remove dirt and most of the skin. Cut beetroot into chunks and place on the piece of foil.
  4. Peel onion and garlic, cut into chunks and place on the beetroot. (If you want your dip to have a bit of heat to it, cut a hot chilli in half long ways and add in.)
  5. Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with olive oil and squeeze on a bit of lemon juice.
  6. Wrap the foil carefully into a long parcel, place parcel in a roasting dish and roast until done (roughly 90 mins, check with a fork).
  7. When the beetroot is roasted soft, blend the ingredients until smooth. (I used a wand mixer, but blender would work just as well.)
  8. Add in olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garam masala, paprika and blend together.
  9. Season with salt & pepper and adjust spices until right.
  10. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold!

Image courtesy of Simon Howden 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.

 

Fish Bone Broth

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Fish bones

Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 non-oily fish carcasses from cod, sole, haddock, hake, etc.
  • 1 Tbs. ghee or butter (use coconut oil for dairy free option)
  • Vegetables: 1 onion or leek, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 celery stalks diced finely
  • 1 cup dry white wine, optional
  • Herbs, optional – 3-4 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves, ½ -1 tsp. peppercorns
  • Cold, filtered water, to cover
For extra gelatin (optional)
  • 1-2 fish heads, gills removed
Instructions
  1. Simmer veggies in Ghee, butter or oil over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Place fish carcasses, fish heads (if using), herbs and peppercorns over veggies, cover and simmer 5-10 more minutes. This will stimulate the fish to release their flavours before adding the water.
  2. Add wine (if using) and water to cover the carcasses and bring to a simmer and skim scum that forms on the surface. The scum won’t hurt you! It’s just some impurities that get released. This happens in all types of bone broths.
  3. Simmer gently 45-60 minutes.
  4. Strain broth from carcasses and veggies.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze, whatever you won’t use in that time, and use within 3 months

 

Notes:

Non-oily fish is necessary because the fish oils in fatty fish such as salmon become rancid in cooking.

The cartilage in fish bones breaks down to gelatin very quickly, so it’s best to cook broth on the stove top.

Make sure you use the carcasses from non-oily whitefish such as cod, sole, snapper, haddock and hake. Any non-oily fish works fine. Avoid oily fish like salmon, tuna, herring and swordfish (though their flesh works great in chowders and other fish-based soups).

Also, if possible, try to get some fish heads in addition to the carcasses. Generally speaking, you probably won’t get much gelatin from just fish carcasses.

Finally, as opposed to other types of bone broths, be sure to dice the veggies finely. This allows them to release their flavours more efficiently with the shorter cooking time.

Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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
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  • 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.

Heart Health At Equilibrium Natural Health

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Heart Health

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  • Has someone in your family had heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, or other cardiovascular conditions and you’re concerned what that means for you?
  • Are you concerned about high cholesterol or high blood pressure?
  • Do you worry about about the side effects of medications prescribed for blood pressure, high cholesterol, or insulin resistance?
  • Has your doctor told you to lose weight and exercise more, yet you don’t know where to start?

Starting with Prevention

Preventing a problem is by far better than trying to undo the damage done by years of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Naturopathic medicine can really help to reduce risk factors for heart disease and give you some really beneficial skills to minimise your chances of developing cardiovascular problems.

There have been plenty of studies demonstrating how diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can prevent and treat the heart and cardiovascular system. Being simply told to “eat better and exercise more” by their doctors, with no support or strategies about what exactly that means, isn’t really going to help.

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You may not realise that the wrong diet (and specifically, the wrong diet for your particular blood type), stress and lifestyle have a huge impact on heart health.The right type of food can make such a difference to reducing blood pressure and inflammation which is one of the main causes of heart disease, hypertension and high (oxidised) cholesterol.

Effective Natural Solutions

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In addition to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, there are many specific nutritional supplements or herbal medicines that can be beneficial for heart health. These supplements can help reduce the side-effects of your current medication, and can help you reach your heart health goals.

At Equilibrium Natural Health all the products available, including “Practitioner Only Prescribing” products, have been researched to ensure they have the right amount of each of the ingredients, as well as the most absorbable variety of each ingredient, so that you can be assured that what you think you are taking, is actually what you are taking.

Common heart health conditions helped by naturopathic medicine:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • Metabolic Syndrome / Insulin Resistance / Pre-Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Post-stroke
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart arrhythmias, palpitations
  • Peripheral arterial disease, venous insufficiency

Heart Healthy Foods to include regularly in your diet;

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  • Foods rich in potassium are good for reducing blood pressure. These include bananas (don’t over do these as they’re high in fructose), potatoes, yoghurt, avocado, fish, mushrooms, mixed leafy greens and spinach are high in potassium.
  • Beetroot is also fantastic for reducing blood pressure. If you have a juicer, juice these daily and drink plenty of the juice as well as eating the vegetable either grated raw (really nice with grated carrot in salads) or boiled and sliced. Throw some in the oven (skins on) next time your baking something. Once cooled they’re so easy to peel and can be used chopped up in a salad or reheated with other roasted veg for a really tasty lunch.
  • Colourful fruits especially kiwifruit, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches and nectarines.
  • Oats (soaked overnight for porridge or Bircher muesli is best), pulses (especially white beans), quinoa, kale, celery, capsicum, sweet potato and broccoli are all good for helping reduce blood pressure.
  • Garlic can reduce blood pressure by up to 4mg/Hg which is the same as blood medication. Beetroot can do the same. Onions and leeks are also good, just not as effective.
  • Reduce grains (as they’re pro-inflammatory) and refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and regular bread. Try zucchini pasta as an alternative. Much lower in calories than regular pasta, it reduces inflammation and adds more nutrients and all important soluble fibre.
  • Chia seeds, psyllium husks and linseeds are good sources of fibre and other nutrients (omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseeds).
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fresh food, prepared from scratch, minimise packaged foods that contain a multitude of flavourings, preservatives and salt.
  • Avoid foods that are labelled as “low fat” as they’ll be higher in sugar
  • Foods labelled as “low or no sugar” usually have artificial sweeteners added instead.
  • Green tea
  • A glass of red wine (but any more will have the opposite effect and avoid if you have high histamine levels)

Supplements that help;

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  • Magnesium supplementation can change the shape and condition of heart valves.
  • B vitamins can help rebuild the heart.
  • CoQ10 can re-energise every cell in the heart and can literally remould the size and shape of the heart after the onset of congestive heart failure.
  • The use of Omega-3 fatty acids can help in reversing heart damage caused by NEFAs (non-esterified fatty acids) caused by an imbalance of omega 6: omega 3 faty acids.
  • N-Acetylcysteine (also known as NAC) prevents damage from oxidised LDL cholesterol, increases nitric oxide (which opens up the blood vessels for improved blood flow), lowers homocysteine levels (raised homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease as it damages arteries, causing hardening of the arteries and blood clots.
  • Digestive enzymes can provide nutritional support for your body as it works to clean out the coronary arteries and repair damage to epicardial tissue surrounding the heart.
  • The use of heavy metal chelators such as coriander and chlorella can reduce the risk of an acute coronary event.
  • Regular supplementation of a tonic made with Motherwort, garlic, Ginkgo, cayenne and Hawthorne berry can rebuild the strength of the heart.
  • Proper dental care and the use of avocado oil, coconut oil and enzymes can reduce the incidence of periodontal disease, which reduces the chances of an acute coronary event.
  • Regular use of immune stimulators and anti-virals such as garlic decreases the risk of most inflammatory heart disease and the incidence of viral and bacterial infections that can adversely affect the heart.
  • Regular exercise can strengthen the heart and improve its efficiency even in your eighth and ninth decade of life.

Other things to do to help your heart;

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  • Dealing with any insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome and imbalanced blood sugar levels is critical for heart health
  • Pilates is a great form of exercise for visceral fat around the middle. Other forms of exercise are also good to help reduce abdominal weight and at the same time all exercise will help improve and stabilise blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D status is important for heart health. Vitamin D is important to reduce inflammation and minimises calcification (which stiffens) the arterial walls, and did you know that those deficient in vitamin D have a higher risk of cancer?
  • Krill oil, fish oil and fatty fish consumption are really important for heart health due to the omega 3 fatty acids by lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
  • Deal with stress with yoga, meditation or abdominal breathing techniques. Another effective stress reducer is; Meridian tapping or EFT. Psych K is a great technique that can address subconscious issues that may be causing ongoing stress, that just won’t go away.

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