Digestive enzymes. You may have heard of them but do most of us really understand the mechanisms of these enzymes? Do they work? Is it just another health fad?
If your health and wellness is of the utmost importance to you, you might want to consider supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes if you don’t already do. Otherwise, if you are interested in living a healthier, better quality life or is suffering from a leaky gut (or digestive issues), digestive enzymes may be the solution you seek.
What Digestive Enzymes Do
Our bodies produce digestive enzymes on their own to help break down carbohydrates, proteins, fats, as well as minerals and vitamins. Once the foods we consume are broken down into nutrients, our bodies may readily absorb them.
The problem begins when our bodies do not produce adequate digestive enzymes, which could lead to poor nutrient absorption even if we maintain a healthy and nutritious diets. There are signs of lack of digestive enzymes to watch out for.
Deficiency in digestive enzymes may lead to skin rashes, acne and eczema, as well as headaches, chronic fatigue, low energy, mood swings and brain fog. You may also have trouble digesting fatty foods, which could lead to bloating, stomach pain, heartburn, gas and indigestion. Low digestive enzyme production can also result in a “leaky gut” or an unhealthy digestive track. Suffering from a lack of digestive enzymes can also cause lackluster skin, dull and thinning hair and brittle nails.
Those who suffer from Celiac disease, poor microbial health, poor colon health, food allergies, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance may also benefit from taking digestive enzyme supplements.
Some of the causes poor digestive enzyme production include lack of stomach acid and low-grade inflammation in the digestive system such as food allergies. Chronic stress may also be a pesky culprit. In this hectic world, our bodies undergo many stressors related to busy schedules, life changes and constant pressures. Our digestive enzymes production can be affected negatively as our bodies stay in “fight or flight mode” due to stress. As we age, we also produce less digestive enzymes.
Why We Need Digestive Enzymes Supplement
Our digestive system is the basis of our well-being. A poor digestive health is the root of many illnesses. The gut health is central to our immune and nervous system, which are both vital to our overall health. Digestive enzymes can help our bodies to absorb nutrients more efficiently. More importantly, if the state of our digestive system is poor, our bodies will have difficulty to digest all of the important nutrients in the foods we eat. Digestive enzymes also assist in processing difficult-to-digest sugars and proteins like lactose and gluten. For those with food allergies, digestive enzymes can counteract enzyme inhibitors found in wheat germs, potatoes, beans and peanuts, which are molecules that bind to an enzyme and prohibit its activity.
How to Correctly Take Digestive Enzymes
While adding digestive enzymes may deliver instant relief, it is important to take digestive enzymes according to the directions on the supplement itself. For most people, the best time to take digestive enzyme supplement is right before a meal. For optimum digestion aid, choose a plant-based enzymes and take it within 10-30 minutes before the first bite. It is helpful to note that if you forgot to take one before your meal, taking one at any point in time afterwards would still aid in digestion.
If you are looking for general relief from digestive pain, autoimmune condition (such as Celiac disease) or inflammation, take the supplement in between meals. When taken on an empty stomach, digestive enzymes act as a detoxifying aid and agent, removing waste and toxins in the body. This gives our liver and immune system a break, as they often work extra hard to cleanse our system.
What Digestive Enzymes to Take
While you may not be a strict vegan or on a plant-based diet, you may want to consider choosing plant-based digestive enzymes as opposed to animal-based enzymes. Plant-based enzymes are more pure and more effective type of digestive enzymes you may take. Plant-based enzymes are much more stable when compared to their animal-based counterparts. They are also able to survive our digestive system better as animal-based enzymes only assist in digestion after food has passed through our stomach.
Some of the main digestive enzymes you should take are:
- Amylase: Helps to split sugars and starches into easily-absorbed glucose
- Lipase: Breaks down fats into fatty acids
- Protease: Processes proteins into amino acids
Check out our favorite plant-based digestive enzymes: Super Human Enzymes by Elemental Wizdom. Super Human Enzymes is not only all-natural, it is made in small batches and is stored in miron glass, which maintains and preserves its freshness for a very long time. Super Human Enzymes is also free from gluten, soy, casein, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, sugars and dairy.
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