Bacteria – our friends?

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

Did you know that we cannot live without bacteria? Scientists found that people put in bacteria free environments failed to thrive! We live in symbiosis with bacteria and we need the good bacteria in order to survive! Yet we often don’t protect the good bacteria in and on our bodies. Bactericidal chemicals are everywhere in our lives from hand sanitisers, and antiseptic soaps to water filters and bottled water. No wonder we need help with survival then!

Even if you avoid antibiotics, you may be inadvertently having them if you consume animal products. A whopping 80% of the antibiotics produced in the world are fed to animals in our food chain! If you consume dairy products you are likely consuming antibiotics too. No wonder there is so much antibiotic resistance now. When the bad bacteria get us, we may have no way out, if they are antibiotic resistant!

Lets learn about, and respect our friends…. the bacteria.


Testimonial of Mayavi Khandelwal

SHARAN Health coach and Culinary Chef, Mayavi Khandelwal, shares her and her mother’s unique journey towards Health, as she describes how she has battled Diabetes and how her mother was cured of leukaemia simply by adopting the whole-plant based diet

Food for Mind by George Bernard Shaw


This traditional Korean dish is a great low-calorie source of fibre too. You can actually store it for a year, and use it to make sandwiches and in stir-fries or soups too, but just make sure you add it in the last to avoid cooking off the good bacteria.


  • 1 medium Chinese cabbage
  • ¾ cup sea salt
  • 1 tsp rice powder
  • 1 big radish , cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into small cubes
  • 1 apple or pear, ground
  • 1 medium onion, cut or ground
  • 50 gm garlic, ground
  • 10 gm ginger, ground
  • ½ leek, sliced
  • 100gm spring onion, cut 3cm length
  • 1 tsp sesame seed
  • 1/3 cup Korean chilly flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp date paste


Soak the Chinese cabbage with the sea salt for 5 hours. Make a sauce with the rice powder and 1 cup of water. After cooling the sauce, mix all of ingredients except Chinese cabbage. Wash the soaked Chinese cabbage in clean water 2 times and put them in a strainer to dry. Rub the Chinese cabbage with the sauce, put in a container with cover and ferment for 1-2 days depending on the temperature. Store in the refrigerator. You can store the kimchi for a year.

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If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We offer 3 possibilities from 1st Jan 2016.

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


Bacteria – Nature’s Gift to Us!

The word bacteria generally conveys a negative connotation. Yes there are bad bacteria, but there are good bacteria too! And they have a lot to do!

Healthy soil contains a large percentage of good bacteria which manufacture many essential nutrients for the plants to grow, and in turn provide nutrition to us. Bacteria are also the world’s greatest recyclers, as they break down dead and decaying matter. Imagine if they were not there, all dead trees, animals, birds, insects etc would not be gone!!

In the human body, friendly bacteria ensure our intestines function efficiently and also produce acids which curb the multiplication of bad bacteria. They also help in lowering cholesterol, beating belly fact, boosting one’s immune system, protecting the gut and preventing yeast infections.

However good bacteria can be easily destroyed by countless factors. It’s when the balance topples, with bad bacteria taking over, that we experience the signs of tiredness, chronic constipation, bloating and other digestive issues.

In fact Vitamin B12 is manufactured by bacteria too! Today due to our super-hygienic lifestyles, we have B12 deficiencies. It’s the pesticides and chemicals that are present in our fruits, vegetables and grains,  that are poisonous to us, not the bacteria! So the best solution would be to focus on strengthening our immune system with the right diet, rather than fighting the bad bacteria.

5 ways to ensure you maintain your Probiotics

1. Avoid Antibiotics

2. Consume fermented foods such as plant based yoghurts, khimchi, miso soup, fermented pickles, idlis and  dosas

3. Eat Organic 

4. Say no to GM foods 

5. Be stress-free

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight loss program and also conducts Health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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