Lots of people ask me about digestive enzymes and if they are good for you. First, it is important to understand what they do and why they should be used. Enzymes are needed to digest particular types of food into molecular parts, to be properly absorbed by the body.
Digestive enzymes are named and classified based on the foods they break apart. For example, proteases help to break down proteins, lipases help to break down fats, etcâ€¦ Our body produces enzymes naturally at different stages of digestion, via different enzyme producing glands and organs. In the human digestive system, the main sites of digestion are in the mouth, in the stomach, and in the small intestine.
As we age, our enzyme production naturally decreases. Processed and heavily cooked food also requires more enzymes to digest, as the â€˜livingâ€™ parts of that food is so far gone, our bodies need to work harder to digest it. When food is not properly digested health imbalances like constipation, stomach bloat, gas, constipation, fatigue, weight gain, migraines and more can result.
Taking supplemental enzymes can help to ensure your food is properly broken down and can also compensate for enzymes lost during food processing and cooking. It is important to take the proper enzyme your body needs, so perhaps it is best to first do an elimination diet to determine what may be causing your health imbalances.
You could also help your body naturally by consuming food like papaya, or pineapple after a meal. These fruits are naturally loaded with enzymes and may help you to digest food optimally. Consuming these and other â€œliveâ€, whole fruits and vegetables assist your body in breaking down food because they are still themselves live and full of enzymes, requiring less work from our bodies.
If you think you may benefit from enzymes, talk to your doctor or holistic health practitioner to discuss your dietary needs and goals.