With the Holidays upon us, we tend to eat more rich foods, drink more alcohol and indulge in sweets, candies and desserts. Digestive enzymes may be very helpful in our digestive processes and reward us with a healthier, better feeling tummy!
Digestive enzymes are absolutely essential to life. They digest our foods and then send the nourishing ingredients to the bloodstream to feed the organs, glands, cells and tissues as well as the brain. Many scientists believe that most lifestyle and degenerative diseases, and even aging are simply the lack of a continued and adequate supply of the necessary nutrients required to keep all of the body’s systems working properly.
Your body produces different digestive enzymes that it uses to break down the food that you eat. You may be eating healthy, but if your digestive enzymes aren’t getting those nutrients to your bloodstream, organs and cells, then you aren’t receiving all the benefits of that healthy diet. And those nutrients are what keep all of your systems, particularly your immune system, strong and healthy. As you are eating your food the digestive enzymes in your body are excreted from the glands in your mouth called the salivary glands, as well as the digestive enzymes that are found in your stomach. The small intestine in your body helps to move the digestive process along by allowing each of the digestive enzymes to work on specific foods.
Here is a list of some of the most recognized enzymes and their functions.
Pepsin- breaks down proteins into peptides.
Amylase- breaks down carbohydrates.
Phytase- breaks down carbohydrates.
Lipase- breaks down fats found in most dairy products, nuts, oils, and meat.
Sucrase- breaks down sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose.
Protease- breaks down protein.
Lactase- breaks down lactose(milk sugar).
Bromelain- breaks down protein.
Papain- breaks down protein.
Choosing a digestive enzyme:
You need the right type of enzyme for the foods you want it to break down to choose the right digestive aids. Think of the foods you have problems with and then choose a product that contains at least those types of enzymes for digestion. If digestive enzymes supplements are taken with a meal, these digestive enzymes begin their work immediately. The supplemental digestive enzymes will break down the food saving the body from having to release as many of its own enzymes. This allows the body to devote its attention to supplying more metabolic enzymes so the organs and tissues can carry on their daily work.
With the holiday season in full swing, it makes all the sense in the world to start a good regimen of adding digestive enzymes to your daily ritual. Just taking enzymes with each meal will help make that meal do the work it is supposed to do. And that is nourish your body.
Enzymes: What the Experts Know by Tom Bohager