A Healthy Diet is Not Enough
Health does not just happen. The closer we peer into the human body, the more we appreciate the intricate and complex parts and processes it’s made of, including the digestive system. The digestion or breakdown of the food we eat does not stop at chewing. Natural chemicals, including acids, enzymes, and emulsifiers break down our food so our cells can absorb them.
You may have made several changes to your diet to improve your health. However, even if you do eat healthy foods, the nutrients will not do you any good unless they are inside your cells. Put simply, you are what you eat and absorb!
Do you still feel low in energy, indigestion, bloating, or gas after a meal? If this happens time and time again, it may be a sign that your digestion needs to be enhanced.
Digestive Enzymes – Why Supplement?
It’s uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing. Most importantly, it’s dangerous. When nutrients are not properly digested and absorbed, undigested food can cause inflammation which leads to a long list of digestive complaints. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, cramping, and malnutrition can occur.
Although certain diseases can compromise the body’s digestive processes, other factors can also affect the body’s secretion of enzymes. When food is processed or cooked, naturally occurring enzymes found in raw food are lost. Even a high-fiber diet can benefit from digestive enzymes due certain plant fibers that human enzymes are unable to digest.
The alarming increase in food allergies causes an ongoing inflammatory condition in the digestive tract that can also lead to reduced enzyme secretion. Those with celiac disease, for example, generally have low fat-digesting enzymes.
As we age, the quality and quantity of our naturally-occurring digestive enzymes declines. As these silent helpers reduce in number and function, the digestive system’s function gradually declines. Stress can also lead to problems with digestive enzymes. Even the simple act of hurrying through a meal can lead to uncomfortable symptoms that digestive enzymes can ease.
The Right Supplement
In order to see and feel a difference, the right supplement should be chosen. What should you look for in a digestive enzyme supplement? Look for a blend of enzymes to cover all your nutrients, especially one that includes a protease (protein-digesting enzyme), a lipase (to digest fats), and an amylase (to digest carbohydrates).
Key enzymes to look out for include:
· Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, helps prevent inflammation and enhances the absorption of the antioxidant quercetin (found in various fruits, wine, tea, and herbs).
· Papain is another enzyme that helps you absorb protein. In fact, it is so effective at making protein digestible that it has been shown to reduce inflammation and accelerate wound and burn heals.
· Hemicellulase: This enzyme, which breaks down a type of fiber called hemicellulose, can help prevent symptoms that tend to occur with a high-fiber diet (bloating, gas). Although a high-fiber diet is healthy and important for disease prevention, certain enzymes are needed to help human enzymes digest fiber more completely.
An effective way to reinforce the function of your own digestive enzymes is with EnergyFirst’s Greenergy, which is loaded with digestive enzymes. You can also supplement with EnergyFirst’s Enerzyme. This supplement even contains lactase to help those intolerant to lactose to ease digestive discomforts from dairy foods.
Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2000 May-Jun;63(3):55-7.