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Digestive Enzymes – Keys to Good Nutrition
These days you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t experienced some form of digestive issue or another. Whether it’s an adverse food reaction, bloating, or any number of other gastrointestinal problems, nearly all of us have been there and felt that.
For those who have chronic gut-related distress, as well as for those who experience digestive issues from time to time, one culprit might very well be a deficiency in digestive enzymes. To understand why, let’s shed light on how food gets broken down in our body.
WHAT ARE ENZYMES?
Enzymes are natural compounds that all biological life needs in order to be healthy and strong. Enzymes are designed by nature to speed up, or catalyze, natural chemical reactions throughout our body. There are thousands of enzymes that are critical for a wide range of functions in our digestive system, nervous system, respiratory system, muscles, and much more. In some cases, an enzyme can make a chemical reaction millions of times faster than it would have been without it – they are often considered by biologists as one of nature’s little miracle workers.
Digestive enzymes specifically help our body digest the food we eat so we can access the nutrients and energy it provides. The old adage “You Are What You Eat” would more accurately be stated “You Are What You Digest and Absorb.” No matter how healthy your diet may be, if your digestive system is not working at full capacity, you may be lacking in nutrients. And nutrient deficiencies are at the root of many health ailments including mood disorders, skin problems, and metabolic diseases.
LOCK AND KEY
Enzymes are highly selective catalysts, so different enzymes are needed to digest diverse types of food compounds. Think of it as a locks and keys – you need the right keys (enzymes) to fit into the dozens of different locks (food compounds) to open the doors for optimal digestion. If you are lacking certain “keys” you may experience a host of digestive complaints due to the inability to properly digest your food.
Each major food group has a category of enzymes responsible for its digestion. Some examples are: lipase that helps digest fat, amylase which digests starch, and lactase that helps digest the sugar in milk.
There are also digestive enzymes that our body does not produce and that nature designed for us to get from our diet. Most of us do not eat enough of these kinds of foods, however, so we are often lacking in cellulase and alpha-galactosidase, enzymes that help us digest plant fibers. “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart” might be true, but the reason people often experience gas and bloating after eating legumes is due to their high, indigestible fiber content. We have taken care of this for you in Enzyme Power™ by having plenty of these enzymes to help you digest beans and other “gassy” foods.
Although our bodies produce their own digestive enzymes, for today’s world and modern diets, it may simply not be enough. For starters, enzyme production decreases as we age (and we’re all aging!). In addition, there are a host of health conditions that can lead to reduced gut function – from thyroid disorders to intestinal problems. Not to mention certain enzyme deficiencies are quite pervasive in many of us – like lactase deficiency (which leads to lactose intolerance or difficulty digesting milk).
Another all-too-common source of enzyme deficiency these days is chronic stress. Our body has two modes of operation. The first is the sympathetic, or “fight or flight,” mode; the second is the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest,” mode. Chronic stress keeps the fight or flight switch on and prevents us from resting and digesting and producing adequate enzyme activity.
Whatever the reason, a high quality, full–spectrum digestive enzyme can make a world of difference in how you feel after each meal and for your health as a whole. We created Enzyme Power™ to help support you in your goals for optimum health and well-being.
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