Enzymes are an easily disregarded subject when it comes to the health of your body’s systems. In fact, digestive enzymes are extremely important for the chemical breakdown of food, but they are also crucial for the function of your immune system. It’s important to know that your body only makes a limited number of these enzymes to spare and that it relies on you to consume raw food with natural enzymes built in for proper digestion. But people living today eat a lot of cooked and processed food that is lacking in enzymes. This can take energy, nutrients, and function away from the various processes of your body where it is needed most, which can cause sluggishness and poor immunity. You can replace these enzymes in your body with supplementation, however, and it has been touted as extremely beneficial by some medical professionals. But do digestive enzymes really work and what are the best digestive enzyme supplements?
We Eat Diets Low In Natural Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are secreted by your pancreas into your stomach and intestines for the chemical digestion of everything we consume.
The digestive process begins in our mouth, where our teeth physically grind up the food and saliva begins to chemically break down carbohydrates in your mouth. The bolus, the chewed up mass of food, is then swallowed into the stomach, where acid and enzymes begin to break down protein molecules. After exiting the stomach, the rest of digestion relies on the excretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas and your body’s cells. (1)
Proper digestion is extremely important for proper nutrition because it enables your body to absorb everything it needs from your food. There are several tweaks we can make to our lifestyle to promote smoother digestion of food.
Some tips for smooth digestion of nutrients include
- Chewing food properly to physically digest the food. This is the most important part of digestion and many people don’t chew enough.
- Chew properly to allow saliva to start breaking down carbohydrates. Saliva also helps your body recognize nutrients for proper absorption.
- Eat fresh and raw fruits and vegetables for the majority of your diet. These raw foods still have natural enzymes inside of them that your body can use against itself to digest it. When you cook foods, all of the digestive enzymes are destroyed in food. Meats generally do not have enzymes that human bodies can use for digestion. (2)
- Eat smaller portions to allow your body to make adequate use of a smaller amount of food. This allows your body to absorb what it needs while not feeling like it needs more. Eating too much too fast can lead to overeating and obesity.
- Eat slower. This allows your body ample time to recognize the food that your eating to determine if you should feel like you need more. We usually don’t, but it takes minutes for your brain to subconsciously realize that from the food you are eating
- Take a digestive enzyme supplement so that your body does not need to pull nutrients out of its cells to manufacture more enzymes to deal with the large masses of food that you eat
Cooking Food Destroys Enzymes
Raw fruits and vegetables contain natural enzymes that aid in digestion for smooth transport through our body and maximum absorption of nutrients. If we introduce our foods to even a little bit of heat to cook them, this will chemically destroy the enzymes and force our bodies to excrete more digestive enzymes from the nutrients in our cells that we absorbed from past food. (3)
If our body doesn’t do this, our food can physically damage our insides.
The way humans eat now is unnatural and doesn’t complement the way that our ancestors evolved with nature. Thousands of years ago, we would be eating small amounts throughout the day and the majority of that food would be fresh fruits and vegetables that we found, which also complement the meat that we killed. (4)
Living in today’s cultures, it would be extremely beneficial to take digestive enzyme supplements if we still want to eat the way we do. When we eat a large amount of cooked food, we are robbing our cells of nutrients as our body tries to manufacture complex enzymes to help us break down our food. This is a very stressful process for our bodies that can cause many symptoms:
- Mental decline
- Insomnia and poor sleep quality
- Poor hair, skin and hair quality
- Dark circles under eyes
- Body aches
If we supplemented with a digestive enzyme supplement, we would be replacing all of the enzymes that are lost by cooking our foods and preventing unnecessary loss of nutrients during digestion. All we need to do is swallow or chew a small tablet when we eat a lot of cooked food or meat and we would be much healthier.
Digestive Enzymes Benefits
Once you start taking a digestive enzyme supplement, your organs will experience much less stress due to the loss of nutrition from their cells.
You will experience digestive enzymes benefits including:
- Healing of leaky gut from taking stress off of the intestinal tract.
- Assistance in breaking down difficult foods to digest like gluten, protein, casein and lactose.
- Prevention of food intolerance symptoms. Breaking down foods you are sensitive to before they cause a problem inside you can be beneficial to preventing inflammation. Simply take a tablet before or after you accidently eat the food. (5)
- Enhanced nutrient absorption to treat nutritional deficiency.
- Destroy enzyme inhibitors found in foods like peanuts, wheat, eggs, beans and potatoes. These inhibitors can halt the function of our body’s enzymes and make digestion much more stressful.
- Better hair, skin and nails
- Improved tolerance to all foods.
- Better mood and focus
- Improved allergies to food and pollen.
Best Digestive Enzyme Supplement
I have tried a lot of digestive enzyme supplements to find one that I could find consistently good results with. The majority of the ones that I purchased from grocery store health sections did absolutely nothing. I think this has something to do with how stomach acid destroys the enzymes before they reach your intestines.
You will have to find a supplement that incorporates a capsule that is acid resistant so that it can survive stomach acid. Most of the cheaper digestive enzyme supplements are just snake oil and have no benefit to your body.
A very good one that I found is this enzyme blend. In my opinion, this is the best digestive enzyme supplement because it promises to survive stomach acid and potently digest food. This was the first enzyme supplement that I took and felt physical results within the hour.
I take one before or after big meals that were cooked or when I accidently consume a food that I am intolerant to. My body has noticed smoother bowel movements, less bloating after meals and better concentration and energy after eating.
I completely recommend it. It was such a great investment for my health.
Digestive Enzymes Side Effects
This product is completely natural and does not have any major side effects that a drug could give you. However, if you take too much of anything, your body could react adversely.
Here are some symptoms that you may experience if you take too many tablets of enzymes:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Frequent urination
If these symptoms are uncomfortable, simply lower your dose of digestive enzymes.
Do Digestive Enzymes Really Work?
The answer is YES, they do wonders for your body, especially if you are a meat eater or do not eat raw foods with each meal. Even if you do eat perfectly, taking one of these supplements would still give your body a nice boost.
When choosing the best digestive enzyme supplement, you need to make sure that the blend of enzymes will cover a wide variety of food types to digest. There are dozens of enzymes in your body that function in different ways. So if a supplement only have 3 types of enzymes, your body will not benefit to its full potential.
The more types of enzymes the better.
I am always here for you, so if you have a question or something to add about enzymes and what makes the best digestive enzyme supplement, please leave me a comment!
Talk to you soon,