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Fasting and the Microbiome

Updated: May 28, 2020

Salam everyone and I hope that the week has been great for you! Today we'll be discussing the benefits of fasting on the microbiome and more importantly, what to eat to improve it.

Err...micro who? (A really quick but actually not so quick explanation )

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes exist in us, mainly inside our intestines and on our skin. There are about 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body and only 30 trillion human cells. So yes, you're more bacteria than human! Congrats!

Also, you have 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome which controls your digestion, immune health, hormones, neurotransmitters, absorption of nutrients, mitochondrial function, adrenal status and proper inflammatory response.

Fasting stresses your body and turns on autophagy, where your cells repair and clean up waste and toxins.This prevents chronic disease and helps you live longer.

Dysbiosis is an imbalance in your gut bacteria (too little good, too much bad bacteria). Bad bacteria loves junk and sugar, and messes up the work of the good guys.

A whole day and whole month of fasting literally starves out the bad guys. But every time you hit Maghrib? And Raya? Sugar overloaded kueh2, desserts, high carb meals, drinks, etc.

Plus minus equals zero. That food coma bloatedness is NOT the Back To Fitrah feels...

So how do you re feed after a fast? Focus on food that is kind to your stomach and prebiotics that feed your good bacteria. Plant based.

Rehydrate firstly with water and dates. Dates contain glucose, fructose, sucrose, fiber, potassium and vitamin A. They increase blood sugar levels, and stabilize them at the same time.

Easily digestible soups and steamed veg. Fiber rich plant foods. Fruit (max 2 servings a day) Food containing healthy fats (organic extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter) Small amounts of slow cooked meat.

Bone broth contains important amino acids like glycine and glutamine that offer nourishment to the digestive tract as it starts to process food again. Add a little Himalayan salt for added minerals.

(Bone broth is not to be confused with the oily, red colour added sup tulang!)

If you think you're deficient in your good microbiome, either through repeated courses of antibiotics or deficient/poor diet, supplement with a daily probiotic (100 billion cfu). Add probiotic rich tairu/plain yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, kefir drinks etc to your diet.

So these are your guidelines, and I hope they will be useful in helping you choose your varied recipes. Remember that healthy food need not be bland! Adding different spices and herbs provides flavour and richness to your food. Modify existing recipes to a healthier plant based version.

All the best, happy Iftar later and take care!

Admin Doula Dil

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