Digestive enzymes are super cool. And when it comes to you and your body, they are legit super-heroes that can help to relieve gas, bloating, heartburn and more…[Note: This post is Part 1 of 2. If you’re a smarty pants and already know what Digestive Enzymes are, then go ahead and jump to Part 2 – Your How To Guide for Using Enzymes]
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are biologically active proteins found in all living cells, and there are two primary categories:
1) Metabolic enzymes: These catalyze and regulate EVERY biochemical reaction that occurs within the human body. It’s a BIG job! Mad respect for these ‘guys’.
2) Digestive enzymes (our focus for today): These turn the food we eat into energy and are found inside the digestive tract, as well as outside the body (in foods and in supplements).
Over the years, I’ve found an easy way for clients to get a grasp of digestive enzymes and what they do is to talk about cars and keys. Stick with me on this one:
Digestive Enzymes are ‘Keys’
Imagine you’re going out to the parking lot to hop into your car. And you have a key in your hand. You know this key will unlock your car door. In this example the key is your enzyme. Put your key in the lock, turn the key, and voila – you just unlocked your door!
Digestive enzymes work to ‘unlock’ various foods. Get the right enzyme, and you’re good to go.
As a result of this ‘unlocking’ function, enzymes support healthy digestion AND optimal levels of energy. These two results go hand in hand – think about it – if you’re body is digesting the food you’re eating, then you’re actually assimilating the nutrients found IN the foods, which in turn equals more – usable – fuel for your body and brain.
Building on this ‘key’ analogy, enzymes are very specific about what they ‘unlock’.
Just as you know your key will unlock only your car, particular enzymes support the digestion of specific nutrients.
Basic list of enzymes and what they digest
Protease ==> protein
Amylase ==> carbohydrates/starch
Lipase ==> fat
Lactase ==> lactose (milk sugar)
Cellulase ==> cellulose (plant fiber).
How do you know that Digestive Enzymes are working?
When you find the right enzyme(s) you’ll experience relief. In fact, I’ve seen people experience impressive results with enzymes, often times within an hour of taking them.
What types of results?
- Freedom from gas, heartburn, bloating
- An increase in energy and an ability to think more clearly
- Welcomed relief from certain food cravings (this is usually something a client will notice over a period of days rather than within an hour).
And, although there can be quick results, I usually tell people to give enzymes at least 3 days. If after 3 days, you’re not noticing anything new, then there’s usually something to shift like dose, timing, or the particular combination of enzymes being used. This is where I come in to help you find the right ‘combination of keys’ for you.
Digestive Enzymes are groovy little dudes. And, although it’s important to remember that there are numerous reasons a person might feel bloated, gassy, or be dealing with ‘heartburn’, enzymes might be a literal key to you experiencing some relief.
Find yourself wondering if digestive enzymes are for you? Ask yourself the following:
- Am I suffering from some sort of digestive problem (gas, bloating, heartburn, slow bowel transit – aka: constipation)? If this sounds like you, then you might find digestive enzymes are both efficient and effective at providing you with relief.
- How’s my energy? If your energy is lagging, it’s quite possible that adding digestive enzymes to your routine, will support your body in the breakdown and absorption of foods – giving you (yep, you guessed it!) more energy.
- Do I deal with cravings? If you’re eating fresh foods and still deal with cravings, or your food choices seem to be entirely informed by your cravings – digestive enzymes can support your body in getting what it actually needs from the food you’re eating, providing relief from cravings.
What to take, when to take, which brands, how much, and how long to use ’em? Hop on over to Part 2 of this post.
To your Brilliance!
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