The human digestive system is a very complex, fine-tuned system that can be thrown out-of-balance by a number of things.
The system as a whole is comprised of a number of different organs. But in order for the whole system to work like a well-oiled machine, natural digestive enzymes are key. Here’s how to supplement your diet for a healthy flow of these enzymes…
What Are Natural Digestive Enzymes?
When food enters your stomach, it’s then broken down and transported to the small intestine. From here, nutrients are passed from the intestine to the bloodstream. These nutrients are then used for energy, growth, and repair.
So, what do digestive enzymes do in this process? They break down molecules within the food you eat, such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This process is essential so that these small molecules are adequately absorbed by the bloodstream.
There are three key players when it comes to digestive enzymes:
- Amylases: break down carbohydrates including starch and simple sugars
- Lipases: break down fat into the three different types of fatty acids, including glycerol
- Proteases: break down protein into peptides and amino acids
Without these important digestive enzymes, we wouldn’t be able to digest our food properly. This could lead to nutrient deficiencies and food intolerances.
Foods High in Natural Digestive Enzymes
Here are some of the best foods to include in your weekly, if not daily, diet:
Pineapple is rich in a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain. These enzymes fall under the group of proteases, which break down protein.
So, adding pineapple to your diet could boost your body’s absorption of the protein you eat — great if you’re trying to build muscle!
Papaya is a tropical fruit packed with digestive enzymes that also fall into the proteases category. However, papaya contains proteases enzymes known as papain. So, it’s a great natural supplement to add to your diet to aid in the absorption of protein.
Papaya is a good food source for controlling symptoms of IBS, constipation and bloating.
3. Raw Honey
Honey is extremely beneficial for your health in numerous ways — not just your digestion. Raw honey contains a myriad of digestive enzymes which range from proteases, invertases, amylases, and diastases. These enzymes all help to break down protein, maltose, starch, and sucrose.
Bananas are rich in amylases and glucosidases. These two digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates. This helps the body absorb healthy sugars, converting it to energy. To add to this, bananas are a great source of dietary fiber which also boosts digestive health.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that can be added as a side or complement to almost any savory dish. It’s also packed with digestive enzymes due to the fermentation process of creating this condiment.
Sauerkraut is also a probiotic food that adds to the healthy gut bacteria throughout your digestive system. This means that sauerkraut can help soothe symptoms of IBS, constipation, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Avocados are considered a superfood because of their uniquely high content of healthy fats and low sugar. They also contain the digestive enzyme, lipase. This helps to digest fatty acids and glycerol. Making it easier for the body to absorb healthy fats.
Ginger is a multi-faceted type of food as it contains the digestive enzyme, zingibain. It also helps to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes in the body itself. Ginger can be added to almost anything — your tea, a cool, citrusy drink, stir-fries, curries, the list goes on!
Get Your Health In Check
We hope this blog on natural digestive enzymes has inspired you to make your health a priority. If you’re looking for more articles on a range of health topics, check out the rest of our health, lifestyle, and fitness sections for more…