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Article: What are digestive enzymes? Why do we need them?

What are digestive enzymes? Why do we need them?

What are digestive enzymes? Why do we need them?

Digestive enzymes are really small protein molecules which have their own unique shape and size and can be found all over our bodies. Each enzyme has it's own character and purpose and they all have different roles. Just as we all have different purposes and jobs, so do digestive enzymes, but their major role is to break down different types of food molecules into their ‘building block’ components so they can be easily absorbed through the gut wall and into the bloodstream.

Digestive enzymes that fall into three main groups, each of have different ‘jobs’ to break down different types of nutrients:

  • Lipases – helps the body to process and breakdown fats, oils, and triglycerides
  • Amylases – primarily breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that the body can use for energy
  • Proteases - primarily breaks down the proteins in food into amino acids, which the body can then utilise

 

"Good digestion means absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat – and for that, digestive enzymes are key. Digestive enzymes are proteins released into the digestive system that help speed up the breakdown of food into easily absorbed nutrients that our bodies can use."

Why do we need extra digestive enzymes?

When we get older, there is some natural depletion in digestive enzymes. This can be triggered by stress, illness, pregnancy or intense athleticism. Meanwhile modern processing and cooking destroys the enzymes in food, so what is depleted is not replaced. Inefficient enzyme action might not seem like such as big deal, but unfortunately it can have wide-ranging consequences for health.

What use is a wonderful, varied diet if we are unable to properly digest and absorb it? Without effective digestive enzyme action, we can eat all the good stuff and still be undernourished, tired and hungry. 

Basically: digestive enzymes are helpers. They can HELP US DIGEST BETTER – they can assist our bodies in the whole breaking-down-our-food situation.

Breaking down our food better can help us have less heartburn issues, less bloating, less stomach pain and even MAYBE lose weight (since undigested food can just sit in us making us store extra weight!) – all GREAT stuff! 

Where can we naturally find digestive enzymes?

Fruits, vegetables and other foods have natural digestive enzymes. Eating them can improve your digestion.

  • Honey, especially the raw kind, has amylase and protease.
  • Mangoes and bananas have amylase, which also helps the fruit to ripen.
  • Papaya has a type of protease called papain.
  • Avocados have the digestive enzyme lipase.
  • Sauerkraut or fermented cabbage, picks up digestive enzymes during the fermentation process.

For all the reasons listed up above, we at Your Healthy Fix have chosen to add digestive enzymes to our protein blends, so it makes it better and easier for everyone to digest! No bloated feeling after drinking your shake AND your body gets all the nourishment and advantages from the shakes. 

 

Everybody happy!

 

Check out our range of PURE Vegan Proteins with added digestive enzymes here

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