59: Should You Take Digestive Enzymes for Gut Health
Great gut health is foundational for high energy, healthy immune function, glowing skin and more. If you want to do everything you can to support your gut you may have considered taking digestive enzymes. In this episode we’ll talk about what digestive enzyme benefits and who should be taking them.
What are digestive enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are catalysts that enable molecules to be changed from one form into another and help break down large macromolecules. They help to promote absorption of essential nutrients in the foods we eat. Enzymes are essential for proper digestion—but whether you need to supplement with one is another question.
3 Categories of Digestive Enzymes
- Amylase: carb digestion
- Lipases: fat digestion
- Proteolytic enzymes: protein digestion
As we age our enzyme supplies drop and by 50 we may be making half the number of enzymes we were before. Our natural enzyme supply can be compromised based on lifestyle: processed and heavily cooked foods (deep fried), poor sleep, air pollution, medication, stress, alcohol, eating a SAD diet.
Benefits of Digestive Enzymes
- Reduce stress on digestive system
- Reduce inflammation in the gut
- Increases nutrient uptake of food
- Supports health gut microbiome
- Can reduce autoimmunity (leaky gut)
- Can counteract enzyme inhibitors found naturally in foods like peanuts, beans, and other nuts and seeds
Who Should Take Enzymes?
- Eats a more conventional diet
- Has acid reflux
- Has an autoimmune condition
- Has digestive issues (indigestion, constipation, heartburn)
- Eating heavier meal or hard to digest foods
- People with nutrient deficiencies
- Anyone with a genetic enzyme deficiency (lactose intolerant)
How to Create a Healthy Enzyme Supply
- Eat raw and living foods as much as possible
- Don’t overcook your food
- Lemon juice and ACV can support gut health and enzyme production
- Use herbs like ginger, turmeric, holy basil
- Limit your liquids and cold foods during meals
Foods High in Enzymes
- Aloe vera
- Ginger root
- Fermented foods
Featured in this episode…