Scientists and researchers are discovering more and more about the digestive system and the role it plays in whole-body health. From the moment a morsel of food enters your mouth, digestive enzymes in your body begin working together to turn that food into particles that are easy to absorb, helping you extract the nutrition you need.
There are three main types of digestive enzymes that break down the foods and liquids you consume over the course of a day, helping your body make the most efficient use of what you eat:
Proteases work on breaking down protein into small peptides and amino acids.
Lipases break down fat into smaller fatty acids.
Amylases break down carbohydrates and starches into simple sugars.
If your body doesn’t make enough of these enzymes, food can’t be properly digested, leading to any number of intestinal inconveniences and food intolerances. If insufficient enzymes are produced, or they don’t work the way they should, you could experience gas, bloating, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, constipation and general discomfort — making it difficult to get through your day.
Many foods are naturally high in digestive enzymes and can help improve your health; however, it can be difficult to integrate these foods when so many appetizing — and less healthy — options are so easily accessible. Easy availability of hamburgers, fries and sugary sodas can make it difficult to choose healthier options. And food preparation processes like frying, microwaving, canning and freezing can also deplete a food’s natural enzyme stores.
If you can’t always access enough enzymes from food alone, supplementing your diet with an enzyme blend derived from a wide variety of sources can help you absorb the basic nutrients that your body needs to function and feel good. Look for a product that integrates sprouted seeds, superfruits and plenty of green, leafy vegetables — these sources are rich in natural enzymes and can help reduce the stress on your gut and improve overall nutrient absorption.
So remember the next time you reach for a sugary snack or stop for fast food on the way home from work — you aren’t only what you eat. Feed your digestive system what it needs to stay healthy … and you’ll stay happy.