It’s not every day you take a questionnaire to see what you should eat for the next week. More unusual then are the questions asked in the five-minute online survey, which broaches topics like your mental wellbeing and even stool type. I can barely recall what I ate the day before, let alone my poop texture the past week.
I know, I know, it’s not comely discussing faecal matter and food in the same sentence, but these guys are on to something. Just like how our health is very much determined by our diet, what, uh, results from our diet is just as telling. It’s the very expertise of the Singapore-based AMILI, Southeast Asia’s first and only precision gut microbiome company.
To answer your question, a microbiome is a collection of communities of bacteria, viruses and fungi. In a human, the gut is home to a large microbiome and can weigh up to 2kg #funfact. “The survey is based on a large dataset of Asian microbiomes,” says Dr Saishreyas Sundarajoo of clinical affairs at AMILI. “This data comprises microbiome information on different bacterial strains, genera and phyla, along with key metadata points like age, gender, disease state and medication.”
Over the last two years, Sundarajoo took the extensive research carried out on different foods in Asia and mapped them according to how they help the microbiome. This analysis was similarly conducted on the ingredients of Umami Chefs dishes and categorised accordingly.
“With these insights and basing it on cellular pathways, and on top of what we know certain bacteria do clinically, we came up with a list of questions that could correlate diet and health by looking at an individual’s responses to some key questions,” he says.
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The outcome is divided into three distinct plans: ‘Think Well’ for brain health; ‘Live Well’
for heart, liver and gut health; and ‘Feel Well’ to boost the body’s ability to metabolise food. A bottle of Perfor+Me probiotics based on your profile can be purchased alongside the plan from December onwards.
Now, meal prep is no foreign concept, thanks to the numerous lockdowns disguised under less stifling names and gym buffs. Food tech company Esseplore, which also helms FeastBox, Gourmand and Smokehse, uses blast-freezing technique on the meals to retain nutrients and taste. Then, engaging a carefully managed cold chain delivery process to ensure no degradation to food quality during transport.
Unlike other meal subscriptions, your food does not arrive in bento boxes but is sealed in bags of separate components. Meaning you get the freedom of mixing up your carbo base (the konjac rice is an interesting one) with the variety of mains. If the amount of plastic scares you, these pouches are actually biodegradable, food grade and BPA-free. However, the sous vide method of reheating seems to not work as well as microwaving when defrosting.
From the light chicken soup to the savoury oxtail stew, there’s a comforting homemade element to the taste. Should you want to skip the steps to choose a plan or individual dishes directly, you can. Plant-based, low-sodium, diabetic-friendly and keto are all supported by nutritionist to meet these needs. So, what will you choose to eat?
Find out more about their gourmet ready-to-heat meals on Umami Chefs.