You may have already heard about digestive enzymes, have a vague idea of what they are, or perhaps you are reading about them for the very first time right now! If that’s the case, you are probably wondering – what are digestive enzymes? Do we have them? Do we need them? Where do we find them?
There are so many questions when it comes to any form of health supplementation, and it is so important for it to be done correctly otherwise it can potentially cause more harm than good!
With this in mind, here are the answers to your questions, and everything you need to know about digestive enzymes.
What are digestive enzymes?
In scientific terms, “Digestive enzymes are a group of enzymes that break down polymeric macromolecules into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body.”
Basically, our bodies produce different enzymes to effectively break down the food we eat into the vital nutrients our body needs, turning it into a form we can easily absorb. They are found throughout the digestive system, but primarily produced in the stomach, pancreas and small intestine, in different forms for different functions. Each enzyme is responsible for breaking down different food properties, converting them into what our body really needs. For example, our body does not absorb the spinach we eat, it absorbs the nutrients from the spinach we eat. This is why digestive enzymes are so important, as without them we are unable to really benefit from the food we are eating.
Why could digestive enzymes stop working correctly?
Primarily, disease in relation to the digestive system can hugely interfere with the production of sufficient digestive enzymes, causing further inflammation in the form of bloating, heartburn, indigestion or general discomfort, therefore supplementing would be highly beneficial. Other factors can include, food allergies or intolerances, low stomach acid, chronic stress, poor diet and general bad health.
How can I improve my digestive health?
You can get digestive enzymes from food, namely raw food. Most raw vegetables contain their own enzymes, however as soon as they are cooked the enzymes are destroyed therefore this is not always the best solution.
In order to get your gut health back to a good starting point, supplementing digestive enzymes is an effective way to ensure your body is able to produce what you need in order to maximise the food you are consuming.
Thoughtful digestion is also important. Due to busy lifestyles and increasing convenience based food, we are rushing an extremely important part of the process – eating. Think about your food when you are eating, make sure you are chewing enough, and allow yourself some time after eating in order to avoid things like indigestion. Your body needs time to process what you are consuming.
Stress is also an important factor to consider when it comes to achieving optimal digestive health, and one that can often be overlooked. Stress can be a prime cause of heartburn and increased acid production in the stomach, therefore trying to manage your stress is highly beneficial and requires time, thought and care.