What are digestive enzymes, and why are they so important for digestion?
To keep it simple, our body naturally produces digestive enzymes (a complex protein) that help with the breakdown of foods within your digestive tract.
Although our body has its own ability to produce digestive enzymes when our digestive tracts aren’t working so well, the enzymes need extra support to help break down foods, so we can avoid tummy issues. Those issues include bloating, pain, diarrhea, nausea, etc.
So let’s look at how digestive enzymes can support digestion, and what natural sources we can get them from…
Why should you be taking digestive enzymes…?
- They enhance digestion
- They balance out digestive enzyme deficiencies
- They protect your intestinal walls from damaging molecules
- They prevent and help reverse nutrient deficiencies
- They prevent and help reduce bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and other gut issues.
So, where can we get our digestive enzymes from?
Pineapple is full of the protease bromelain. Bromelain helps the digestive system break down complex proteins into amino acids, which are then easily absorbed into the body.
Amino acids are responsible for regulating hormones and neurotransmitters.
If you’re an IBD’er – proceed with caution. Pineapple is quite acidic, which can cause discomfort. Alternatively, try bromelain supplements!
Honey is one of the most beneficial foods that you can eat for your digestive system. It is loaded with SO MANY digestive enzymes.
Diastases – they break down starchy carbs into maltose.
Amylases – which break down starchy carbs into maltose, also glucose.
Invertases – which break down sucrose, into glucose and fructose.
Proteases – which break down proteins into amino acids.
Maltose is a necessary compound for energy levels, as well as glucose and fructose.
Ginger is one of the healthiest spices to exist. It reduces inflammation and supports health.
Ginger contains a digestive enzyme, zingibain. Zingibain is a protease that helps break down proteins.
Furthermore, ginger has also been shown to help the gut keep moving smoothly, facilitating the digestive process as a whole.
This fuzzy, yet friendly fruit is bright green on the inside and delicious with flavor. Fortunately, it’s also a great source of digestive enzymes.
Kiwi contains a key protease called actinidin. This enzyme helps digest the complex proteins found in meat.
Papaya, or also known as ‘pawpaw’ is a type of tropical fruit that contains a vital digestive enzyme, also known as papain. Papain has been shown to assist in the breakdown and digestion of complex proteins – such as meats! It’s also super anti-inflammatory.
You’ll also find papain in mango and avocados.
So next time you’re in the supermarket or shopping at your local farmer’s markets, please consider adding one of these gut-friendly fruits to your diet and let us know after a couple of weeks if you notice any difference!