Many people suffer from digestive disorders or impairments which are mainly due to the abysmal rise of processed food in today’s world. It is almost impossible to avoid eating some forms of processed food unless you are vegan and make it a point not to buy anything sold in a can or plastic. Even then there is no guarantee that the “fresh” meat, vegetables or fruit you have purchased has not been injected or sprayed with chemicals to enhance size and quality.
There is so little we know about mass food production that it is scary to sit and think about what we might have consumed and how it will affect our digestive tract in the short and long term. This is an even better reason to get well acquainted with the role of enzymes for optimal digestion and how it could help all of you. Just be aware that processed and refined food cannot be easily assimilated within our bodies so some assistance is necessary.
So What are Enzymes and How can They Help?
To start off with we can say that some enzymes are naturally produced inside our bodies but that we need to supplement this reserve by digesting some foodstuffs containing this key nutrient. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find such food unless you eat something raw as cooking food at 118 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will destroy all enzymes, irrespective of how many enzymes they contained pre-cooking.
Without enzymes the majority of food would not be broken down as the nutrient is designed to facilitate digestion by releasing natural chemicals, such as amylase, to break down large and stubborn leftovers lurking in your gut. One way of improving your chances of doing this is by chewing all your food until it is liquid. Too many people swallow their food due to lack of patience or time but you need to savour and enjoy your meals and concentrate on every morsel. The role of amylase is to break down starch derived from carbs into tiny glucose molecules where it can then be digested and transported through your intestines.
There are 3 other enzymes apart from amylase and these are hydrochloric acid(HCI), which is essential for digesting animal protein, protease for digesting protein and lipase for digesting fats. Vegetarians would not need to supplement with HCI if they are looking for alternatives to natural foodstuffs since they do not consume animal protein.
Examples of Foods High in Enzymes
As mentioned earlier some raw foods do contain substantial amounts of enzymes. Pineapple and papaya are 2 examples but remember that it has to be in its primitive form as any amount of processing would hijack the production of enzymes. You can also try sour yogurt, kimchi or sauerkraut and if none of these choices are to your liking you can stick to a probiotic drink in liquid or powder form upon awakening and before sleeping. You can also find some digestive teas which can help in this department but the most effective would be peppermint, ginger, papaya, catnip, anise and fennel. If you have exhausted all options and have still not found your preferred choice then you can always resort to enzyme supplements but this should be the last remaining option on your list as it is always best to try natural food before resorting to supplements.
If you are serious about improving your digestion then you need to start paying more attention to food labels when you go shopping. Ingredients containing unpronounceable words would probably mean that these are added chemicals or enhancers which would best be left where they belong – on the shelves!