Don’t let stomach problems ruin the upcoming holidays! This time of year it seems like there is food everywhere. It is tempting to constantly graze, either out of boredom, stress, or actual hunger, which can cause the gut to rebel. Fortunately, there is a way around this for this Holiday Season and every day gut health.

Keep Calm and Trust your Gut poster. Adaptation of the famous World War Two motivational poster of Great Britain.

You have probably heard of Enzymes, however, there seems to be a good deal of confusion about why they are important to your digestive health. Digestive Enzymes assist in breaking down the food you eat so it can be absorbed at a cellular level. The pancreas will produce these enzymes when they are not present in the food we’re eating, so ingesting enzymes can off-load the burden on this organ.

Humans are the only animals that cook their food. Processing and cooking kills enzymes in food. The pancreas then has to produce very high quantities of digestive enzymes to make up for what’s missing. This can stress the pancreas over time and may take away from its other, primary function, which is to produce insulin. When we look at the drastic increase of Type 2 diabetes in the world we can deduce that not only are we consuming more sugar than ever before, the way our food is processed and they way we eat, can be burdening our digestive organs.

Enzyme deficiencies can also result in:

• Bloating
• Constipation
• Flatulence
• Heartburn
• Acid reflux
• Cramping

To make matters worse, our body’s ability to produce enzymes decreases with age!

The good news is that the body never wastes enzymes that are ingested and, we can replenish our enzyme levels with fresh fruits and vegetables and quality supplementation.  Small amounts of enzymes can affect profound changes!   

A good quality enzyme supplement can generally help to improve digestion and minimize discomfort related to digestion such as those listed above.  What is remarkable is how enzymes contribute to so many other activities crucial to how our body functions.  

In addition to what they do in the gut, here are some more activities in our body that require enzymes:

• Reducing inflammation
• Energy production
• Fighting infections and healing wounds
• Absorption of oxygen
• Dissolving blood clots
• Proper hormone regulation
• Slowing the aging process

Our next Enzyme blog will explore these activities in more depth as well about enzymes and probiotics.