As anyone who watched the Dublin leg of the MDNA show knows, at 53, Madonna can still keep up with the cool kids. Turns out, probiotics may deserve partial credit.
As the Vancouver Sun reports, Madonna’s on a new holistic diet centred around whole foods and probiotics. That means her personal chef Mayumi Nishimura is feeding the Material Girl lots of fresh veggies, soybeans, brown rice, millet, and quinoa. And the secret to digesting all of this healthy stuff? Probiotics. The suddenly trendy bacteria have captured the food landscape in a big way. Here’s what you need to know about these healthy critters.
For those who don’t know, probiotics are good bacteria. (Yes, there are good bacteria.)
“Bacteria” has a negative connotation. Hearing it makes us fear for illness, dread the thought of going to doctors, and immediately look for the closest bottle of Purell. The suggestion that bacteria could be in your food is even more unsettling.
In fact, there are millions of good bacteria that help your body process nutrients from food to in a way that combats obesity and increases immunity against illnesses.
Probiotic shortcomings of the Western diet
Ben Hewitt, farmer and author of Make Our Supper Safer, suggested in an interview that our reliance on processed food—with bacteria both good and bad removed—harms our body’s ability to tolerate ever-evolving bacteria in our environment.
A study by Italian gastroenterologists compared fecal bacteria of healthy children from urban Florence with healthy children from a rural village in Burkina Faso, Africa. The study found that the Italian children had bacteria ratios that may predispose them to obesity, while the Burkinabe children had two bacteria types that produce fatty acids to reduce inflammations.
A study published in the May 9 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that probiotics reduce the risk of suffering from diarrhea while on antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria, and often kill many essential good bacteria in your digestive tract. A diet rich in probiotics can help your stomach and digestive processes maintain homeostasis.
Australian gastroenterologist Thomas Borody, founder and medical director of the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, is famous for inventing a medical procedure that implants a pouch of good bacteria into patients’ colons. The procedure is currently not covered by most American insurance companies or Medicare, but has been revolutionary in treating numerous intestinal infections and diseases.
Interested in integrating probiotics into your diet? You can find probiotics in many yoghurts and supplements on Select Stores Dalkey shelves.