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Lentil-vegetable stew: food for your slimming bacteria

January 14th, 2021  

The success of our dream body is not only determined by hormones and the ratio of calorie intake to exercise – the bacteria in your gut also play their part in this. Your gut microbiome determines how the food you eat is utilised by your body. There are bacteria that we tend to call “fattening bacteria”, such as the Firmicutes, and bacteria that we call “slimming bacteria”, such as the Bacteroidetes. However, a healthy gut flora is not characterised by an “either-or” of these bacteria. It is more important to have a high diversity of bacteria that lives flexibly in a natural rhythm. 

You can read more about the connection between weight and the gut microbiome in our blog article: Obesity – is the cause in the microbiome?

So that we can start the new year fit, we have picked out a microbiome recipe to feed your slimming bacteria. We want to make clear once again: we don’t recommend “short-term diets”, but a permanent change of diet and lifestyle. For this, we keep sharing recipes for you and your microbiome. The nutritional recommendations you receive from the myBioma microbiome analysis are also intended to be integrated into your daily diet on a permanent basis.

The lentil and vegetable stew is easy to prepare, very healthy, vegan, and above all delicious. Best of all, you can make a larger portion of it right away, because it not only tastes even better when cooled and reheated a second time, it also has a very special effect on your microbiome – more on that later.

Lentil-vegetable stew

Especially in this cold season, a hot, warming stew is ideal. Lentils are also an absolute power food for your gut microbiome. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and are a healthy plant-based source of protein. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits for your health, especially for your gut microbiome:

Lentils – an inexpensive superfood

The great thing about lentils is that although they contain carbohydrates, they have a very moderate effect on blood sugar levels. And not only that: this positive effect not only works within the meal in which they are eaten but also in the meal that follows, even if an entire night is in between (1). This effect is also known as the “second meal effect”, which means that in this case lentils, with their low glycaemic index (GI) (i.e. low impact on blood sugar levels after consumption), also have a blood sugar-regulating effect on the meal that follows (2).

Why you should let your stew cool down and reheat it again

When we cook starchy plant fibres (such as potatoes, legumes, rice, etc.) and let them cool down again, so-called resistant starch is produced. This starch cannot be broken down by the enzymes in the small intestine and thus reaches the large intestine, where it is food for the gut bacteria there – especially our “slimming bacteria”, the Bacteroidetes, are happy about it. So as already mentioned above: it is worth cooking a larger portion! (3,4)

But even fresh, the stew is a feast for the good bacteria in your microbiome. The preferred food of Bacteroidetes is vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes anyway. So try to include more of them in your daily diet. The German Nutrition Society recommends at least 30 g of dietary fibre per day. That is, for example, 3 slices of whole-grain bread, 3 potatoes, 1 apple or 2 carrots. (5,6)

What you can do to reduce flatulence

If you have difficulty digesting legumes and are prone to bloating, the spice cumin can be helpful: The cumin aldehyde contained in cumin supports the production of digestive juices such as saliva, gastric juice, bile, and pancreas, which has a positive effect on your digestive processes and can thus improve them. Cuminaldehydes alleviate flatulence in particular. Dietary fibres, such as legumes, become easier to digest with the addition of cumin. (7)

What the other ingredients can do

Garlic

Garlic is a prebiotic food and boosts our immune system, in addition to building up good bacteria in the gut. Garlic has proven antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties and can also reduce abdominal pain (8,9,10,11).

Garlic - a natural prebiotic
Garlic supports the immune system and builds up beneficial gut bacteria

Apple cider vinegar

Due to the fermentation process, apple vinegar contains lactic acid bacteria that have a positive effect on your intestines (12).

Olive oil

The omega-3 fatty acids contained in olive oil promote positive gut bacteria (13, 14, 15, 16).

Onion

Onions are a prebiotic food and support the good gut bacteria, such as Bacteroidetes, in their growth. (17)

Onions support slimming bacteria
Onions support the growth of slimming bacteria

Let’s get to the recipe: vegetable lentil stew – how to make it!

The ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 small red peppers
  • 2 potatoes (250 g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 180 g Puy lentils / green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt
  • Black pepper from the mill
  • 1 tbsp apple vinegar
  • Parsley
  • (Coconut) Yoghurt
  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Also, peel and dice the carrots and potatoes. Roughly chop the celery and pepper.
  2. Fry the onions, garlic, and vegetables in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and approx. 750 ml water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the stew is creamy. Add water or vegetable stock if necessary.
  3. Finely chop the parsley and season with salt, pepper and vinegar. Serve in bowls and if you like, add a dollop of (coconut) yoghurt.

By the way, the original recipe comes from @klaraslife and can be found on the blog: klaras life – vegetarische und vegane Rezepte.

If you make the recipe and post it on social media, we would be happy if you would link to @mybioma and use the hashtag #mybiomakocht. 

So have fun cooking and feeding your slimming bacteria!

Refernces

(1) Wolever, T.M., Jenkins, D.J., Ocana, A.M., Rao, V.A. & Collier, G.R. (1988). Second-meal-effect: low-glycemic-index foods eaten at dinner improve subsequent breakfast glycemic response. Am J Clan Nutr, 48(4), 1041-1047)

(2) Fletcher, J.A., Perfield, J.W., Thyfault, J.P. & Rector, R.S. (2012). The second meal effect and it’s Influence on Glycemia. J Nutr Disorders Ther, 2, 2018.

(3) Vital M et al. Metagenomic Insights into the Degradation of Resistant Starch by Human Gut Microbiota. Appl Environ Microbiol. 84(23) (2018).

(4) Maier TV, et al. Impact of Dietary Resistant Starch on the Human Gut Microbiome, Metaproteome, and Metabolome. American Soc. Microbiology mBio 8:e01343-17 (2017).

(5) Filippis F, et al. High-level adherence to a Mediterranean diet beneficially impacts the gut microbiota and associated metabolome. Gut 65, 1812 (2016). 

(6) Tillisch K, et al. Consumption of Fermented Milk Product With Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology. 144(7):10.1053/j.gastro.2013.02.043 (2013).

(7) Menni C, Omega-3 fatty acids correlate with gut microbiome diversity and production of N-carbamylglutamate in middle aged and elderly women Sci Rep. 7: 11079 (2017).

(8) Martín-Peláez, S, et al. Effect of virgin olive oil and thyme phenolic compounds on blood lipid profile: implications of human gut microbiota. Eur J Nutr 56: 119 (2017).

(9) Europäisches Arzneibuch (http://www.edqm.eu)

(10) Ried K, et al. Potential of garlic (Allium sativum) in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance. Integr Blood Press Control. 7:71-82 (2014).

(11) Pallister T, Spector TD, Food: a new form of personalised (gut microbiome) medicine for chronic diseases? J R Soc Med. 109(9):331-6 (2016).

(12) Oriachad CS, et al. Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis. Clin Nut Experimental 6:25-38 (2016).

(13) Basilisco, G. & Coletta, M. Chronic constipation: A critical review. Digest Liver Dis 45, 886–893 (2013). 

(14) Singh RP, et al. Cuminum cyminum – A Popular Spice: An Updated Review. Pharmacogn J. 9(3):292-301 (2017).

(15) Robertson RC, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids critically regulate behaviour and gut microbiota development in adolescence and adulthood. Brain Behav Immun. 59:21-37 (2017).

(16) Mocking RJT, et al. Meta-analysis and meta-regression of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 6(3): e756. (2016).

(17) Lindseth G, et al. The Effects of Dietary Tryptophan on Affective Disorders. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 29(2):102–107 (2015).

Author

1 thought on “Lentil-vegetable stew: food for your slimming bacteria

  1. Thank you for this delicious and healthy lentil soup recipe. I made it was very tasty. I think I added more water will put less water next time. Overall the recipe is great.

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