Learn everything you need to know about digestive enzymes and how they can help improve your overall gut health!
The Importance of Supplementing with Digestive Enzymes
Lack of Digestive Enzyme Causes Digestive Issues
When digestive health problems like bloating, gas, and constipation hit after you’ve eaten, it’s beyond uncomfortable and can seriously affect your quality of life. You may or may not know that a lack of enzymes may be the culprit for your digestive issues.
Digestive enzyme supplements are thought to help the body break down food components, increase the nutrients released, and reduce abdominal pain. Enzymes work together with other chemicals in your body to keep your body and digestive system healthy.
Enzymes are essential for good health. Although they are produced in your body, they are also available in fruits, vegetables, and supplements.
Your eating habits and overall health can impact how well your body produces and stores enzymes. That’s why enzyme supplementation, in addition to eating a healthy diet full of enzyme-rich food, is necessary for most people.
Here are seven foods that naturally contain high levels of f enzymes:
What Are Enzymes?
Let’s first discuss what exactly enzymes are. An enzyme is a type of protein in a cell that creates chemical reactions in the body.
The enzymes in the body all serve important roles, like breaking down food, digesting food, building muscle, and destroying toxins. Heat, disease, and harsh chemicals can all negatively affect enzymes and change their shape, making them useless.
The body produces a number of enzymes that all work to help break your food down, starting in the mouth and heading to your digestive tract.
Enzymes are integral to your digestion. Digestive enzymes are mainly found in the pancreas, small intestine, and stomach.
With digestive enzymes, the most important enzyme categories are:
- Amylase - breaks starches and carbs down into sugar
- Lipase - breaks lipids down like fats and oils into fatty acids and glycerol
- Protease - turns proteins into building blocks like amino acids
Although your body produces enzymes, there are certain diseases of the stomach, large intestine, and small intestine that can reduce the number of enzymes you create. This leads to an enzyme deficiency.
People with common conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, low stomach acid, bloating, or overall digestive discomfort might find enzyme supplementation beneficial.
How Do Enzymes Affect Your Health?
Working together, enzymes, nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood, and the organs of your digestive system digest the foods and liquids you eat or drink each day.
They all work together to break down food into smaller molecules for a range of bodily functions. For example, carbohydrates are needed for the body to produce energy, but they need to be converted into a form the body can utilize and absorb.
Your digestive system breaks down your food to get to the nutrients and is then transported to the bloodstream and small intestine to be used. Digestive enzymes are essential for this process.
If the body is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes, then it can’t properly break down food into smaller molecules. This slows down your digestion process and can lead to uncomfortable side effects.
For instance, if your body doesn’t produce the enzyme lactase during the digestive process, you may find it hard to digest lactose. This decrease in enzyme production leads to lactose intolerance.
Health conditions, like pancreatitis, can reduce the number of enzymes. The pH level of your stomach can also affect enzyme activity.
The Difference Between Cooked and Raw Foods
One of the main reasons why enzyme supplementation is so popular is because of the way food is cooked. If you always cook your food at high temperatures, this destroys the natural enzymes in the food.
Raw fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy plant-based digestive enzymes, but the cooking process strips them of these digestive enzymes benefits.
Eating fruits and vegetables raw ensures they retain their natural plant-based enzymes to help support a healthy digestive system. Although cooked food can taste great, it can change the nutritional content.
Almost all enzymes are completely deactivated at temperatures over 118°F (47°C). This is one of the main reasons why a raw food diet can be so beneficial.
If you don’t want to eat a raw food diet, try to incorporate more raw fruits and veggies into your diet that contain enzymes to help your gut along with your standard way of eating.
A good way to do this is to cut up different fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week, so you always have them on hand and can eat them as a snack when you get hungry.
Interestingly, vitamins, as well as enzymes, can be lost during the cooking process. Enzymes are very heat-sensitive and deactivate when exposed to high temperatures.
Just taking vitamins more than likely won’t increase the enzymes in your body. Most vitamins and enzyme supplements or supplemental enzymes are heated at high temperatures for them to be processed.
However, there are supplements you can take that are made correctly to maintain the nutrients in them that you need.
Digestive Enzyme Supplementation
Digestive enzyme supplementation ensures your body can absorb all the nutrients from your diet. If you eat a healthy diet full of whole foods and still experience digestive symptoms, an enzyme supplement may be what you’re missing.
But, an enzyme supplement can’t be heated when they are processed or else it loses its effectiveness.
Sunwarrior’s Digestive Enzymes Enzorb was formulated under the guidance of Viktoras Kulvinskas, raw nutrition pioneer, cutting edge longevity researcher, author, and enzyme advocate. Together, we have created a powerful blend of enzymes backed by solid science and decades of experience.
Enzorb is powered by a full spectrum of 25 enzymes and trace minerals to amplify your digestion, absorption, and assimilation. It is clinically proven to:
- Digest proteins within 30-60 minutes
- Break down 90-96% of proteins in a pH range from 4-10
- Increase the total quantity of peptides absorbed by 41%
- Increase the absorption rate of peptides by 30%
- Increase the absorption rate of amino acids by 61%
Trace minerals keep the enzymes working long after other enzymes stop completely. The antioxidants and adaptogens in Enzorb soothe and protect cells from damage, so they can work harder and faster.
It’s also important to keep in mind that taking an enzyme supplement needs to be used in conjunction with a diet that relies more on fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, and fresh raw juices. Your enzyme bank depletes when you eat overly refined, processed, and over-cooked foods.
7 Foods Containing the Highest Enzyme Content
Pineapples are not only delicious but a rich source of enzymes, too. They contain a group of enzymes known as bromelain.
These enzymes are part of the proteases enzyme category, which works to break down protein into amino acids. This helps with the absorption and digestion of proteins.
You probably don’t need encouragement to eat more mango. They contain amylases digestive enzymes, which help to break down carbs from starch into glucose.
The enzyme content in mangoes gets more active as the fruit ripens. This is why they get sweeter as they ripen.
Amylases enzymes in your saliva start to break down carbs for easier digestion, making it a good idea to chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly.
Bananas contain natural digestive enzymes from two groups, amylases and glucosidases. These enzymes break down complex carbohydrates into more easily absorbed sugars.
Similar to mangoes, the enzymes break down the starch in bananas as they begin to ripen, which is why bananas left to ripen are usually sweeter. As well as their enzyme content, bananas are also a great source of dietary fiber which may help to support healthy digestion.
Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Ginger contains the digestive enzyme protease zingibain, which helps to digest protein into its building blocks.
Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage with a very distinct flavor. The fermentation process adds digestive enzymes into the mix apart from being a great source of probiotics that add to your friendly bacteria.
Numerous studies have shown that consuming probiotics can help to ease digestive problems like bloating, gas, stomach pain, and constipation.
Papaya contains papain which, like other proteolytic enzymes, helps to break down proteins. Papain is a different group of proteases enzymes.
One study found that using a papaya-based formula helps to reduce symptoms commonly associated with irritable bowel syndrome caused by too much undigested food, such as bloating and constipation.
Heat can damage papain, so make sure to eat papaya raw to get the most out of it.
Avocados contain lipase, an enzyme crucial for metabolizing and digesting fat.
Avocados are very easy to incorporate into your diet if you don’t already love them. You can add them to your morning smoothie, top off your salad, or enjoy as a side of guac.
Dr. Weston explains why the best enzymes come from fresh, raw foods in this video from Sunwarrior:
Your body naturally produces metabolic enzymes that work with other chemicals in the body serving multiple functions. When you cook food at high temperatures, you deactivate the naturally-occurring enzymes present and affect the nutritional content of the food.
Digestive enzyme supplements can help to support a healthy digestive system and overall health.
Hippocrates said, "All disease begins in the gut". The Digestive Health Bundle was created to help you achieve & maintain optimum digestive health.
- ENZORB - Eating nutrients is great, but it’s the absorption process that matters. Help your body absorb as many nutrients as possible with Enzorb, formulated with several plant-based enzymes that help break down protein into quickly digestible molecules.
PROBIOTICS - The gut is a complex ecosystem of many microorganisms and can easily be thrown out of balance, wreaking havoc on the body. Replace bad bacteria with the good kind, to effectively heal leaky gut syndrome and improve mental clarity.
Do you have any more questions on digestive enzymes? Post them in the comments section below!