Everyone has heard the time-honoured cliché; you are what you eat. In reality, the efficiency of your gastrointestinal system has the final say in reaping the net benefits from good nutrition. Variables that affect digestion include the health of vital organs such as the liver and pancreas; age-related decline of enzyme production; fluid intake; stimulants including caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol; and emotional health, to name a few. Even those of us with the best dietary habits have no guarantee we’ll digest and assimilate enough nutrients from the food we eat. Frequent travel and adventures to tropical destinations can also pose their own unique digestive challenges.
Vegans and Meat-Eaters Rejoice
Effective digestion relies upon coordinated secretion and delivery of nutrient specific enzymes that target protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fats. The good news is there are safe and effective nutraceutical-based formulas featuring both plant and animal sourced ingredients which can drive digestion for both chronic and acute concerns. Let’s review the “who’s who” of digestive enzymes.
Betaine hydrochloride is among the ingredients to look for in a digestive enzyme formula. It’s a nutritional source of the hydrochloric acid secreted within the stomach lining. It’s a safe and effective measure to initiate digestion and establish gastric acidity critical for healthy gut function.
Freeze dried pancreatic extract in concentrated form is a potent source for therapeutic amounts of protease, amylase, and lipase, the enzymes responsible for breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Bovine sourced bile extract can give the ageing liver a hand to emulsify (alter the surface area) of fats to ease absorption. Papain, sourced from papaya fruit, and the enzyme “pepsin A” rank among enzymes for protein digestion and ease of intestinal absorption. Pineapple sourced bromelain is another potent proteolytic enzyme. It breaks down complex proteins into bioavailable amino acids critical for tissue growth and renewal. Looking for a perfect dessert following a summer BBQ, try some grilled pineapple to tame those stubborn proteins. Make sure to include the core, where the highest concentration of bromelain is found.
Lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose is among the enzymes many look for to cope with mild lactose intolerance. Hemicellulase, a complex group of enzymes responsible for breaking down cellulose is an enzyme to look for. Cellulose fibers form the matrix of plant cell walls, breaking them down unleashes energy and liberates valuable trace minerals essential for better health.
New Roots Herbal’s resident naturopaths have developed a tandem of comprehensive formulas that target digestive concerns. Digestive Enzymes and vegan compliant Plant Digestive Enzymes can give your gastrointestinal tract the natural nudge to make life better.
Planning a vacation to an exotic locale, New Roots Herbal’s Travelers Probiotic makes a great travel companion to maintain digestive harmony.
Eat well, live well, and above all digest well!