Reading time: 6 minutes
Your body has many naturally occurring proteins called digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes help ensure that your body has enough chemical reactions that help digest your food.
The enzymes make sure that what you eat is properly broken down enough to be delivered from the bloodstream to the rest of your body. Digestive enzymes are key to your overall health.
Digestive Enzymes: What Are They?
These particular enzymes are proteins. They help break your food down so that it is small enough to be moved throughout your body.
Several different organs produce them. The liver and small intestine are most notable, as well as the stomach, salivary glands, and pancreas.
Some people may not be able to produce as many enzymes as they need. Others may want to supplement their diets. If you are one of these people, you may want to consider digestive enzyme supplements.
These supplements can be made from many things. Most commonly they are made from plants and animals, but they may also be made from microbes.
A Fancy Term For Probiotics?
It’s important to remember that enzymes are not alive, as they do not reproduce. This separates them from probiotics. However, digestive enzymes are organic and are made by things that are living.
Finally, digestive enzymes aren’t always active in our food. Raw foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, have digestive enzymes that can be introduced to our bodies.
However, cooking our food or freezing our food can make them inactive.
Each enzyme is different. However, those that are cooked over 140 degrees are typically made inactive.
Enzymes In Digestion
In order for the body to absorb the good nutrients from our foods, it’s important for the nutrients to be small enough to travel through our blood vessels.
This is why digestion is so important – and therefore why digestive enzymes are key. There are many ways the body can digest different compounds.
The digestive process starts in the mouth. Chewing is the first part of the process; then saliva helps break down the nutrients.
In the stomach and small intestines, the process gets a little more complex. Fatty foods are digested by liver bile that’s delivered to the small intestine through the gall bladder.
Proteins are digested in the stomach with stomach acid. Each of the above and carbs are digested by pancreatic enzymes, which are important for digesting fruits, gains and veggies.
How Do Enzymes Work?
Enzymes are protein catalysts, which help increase the speed of chemical reactions inside the body. Each reaction, like digestion, is caused through the help of enzymes. These enzymes can work without being damaged. Therefore, the more enzymes, the faster a chemical reaction can happen.
Finding Enzymes In Your Diet
There are many foods from which you can find digestive enzymes.
If you have a balanced diet of raw fruits and veggies, it’s likely that you are bringing a solid amount of digestive enzymes into your body regularly.
Foods like mangoes, pineapples, and papayas are just a few that can help bring these useful digestive enzymes to your body.
Using Digestive Enzymes
There are many important uses for digestive enzymes, but gut health is at the top of the list.
Making sure that your gut is healthy is really important for the digestion of your food, and can therefore impact your digestive system as a whole.
This, in turn, can affect your overall health.
If your gut is healthy, your body is less likely to become unbalanced. It is also less likely that you will get sick.
A healthy gut may positively affect both your digestive system and overall health.
Additionally, good gut health may support your body’s most important systems, such as the immune system.
Groups of Digestive Enzymes
There are three main groups of digestive enzyme. These groups include:
- Peptidases and proteases. These digestive enzymes work to split proteins up into small peptides and amino acids.
- Lipases. These digestive enzymes work to break down fat into a molecule of glycerol and three fatty acids.
- Amylases. These digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are easier for your body to digest.
The Dangers Of An Irregular Digestive System
If your digestive system isn’t supported by digestive enzymes, it’s possible for your body to become unbalanced or irregular.
This means that fecal matter is building up, which can contribute to weight gain and the overall slowing down and sluggishness of your body.
This can be uncomfortable and can also lead to health issues. IBS and acid reflux can be caused by an irregular digestive system.
Without the right amount of digestive enzymes, your body simply won’t be able to properly digest your food. The nutrients you bring into your body won’t be carried to the necessary systems you need to support.
Even if you’re eating the right foods, it might be difficult for your body to get the nutrients form those foods without digestive enzymes.
Poor diet is one of the leading factors of this. Not only can it contribute to weight gain, but it can make you have lower energy and a slow metabolism.
The Importance Of Digestive Enzymes
Digestive Enzymes are necessary for bringing nutrients to your body so that it can absorb them. The enzymes help break down your foods to deliver these nutrients.
This will happen no matter what you eat – therefore, if you have a more balanced diet, the nutrients delivered will be better for your body.
If you have poor eating habits, your digestion may cause weight gain rather than the delivery of nutrients.
Diet is key when it comes to the functioning of your digestive enzymes.
If you have a good diet and limit the sugary foods you intake, you’ll see and feel a greater benefit from the nutrients your body gains through proper digestion.
Digestive enzymes are proteins that help work as catalysts for the body’s digestive process, a chemical reaction that is necessary for our health.
These proteins are important in bringing key nutrients to your body and supporting bodily systems.
Proteases, lipase, and amylases are the three main groups of digestive enzymes, each with a focus on the digestion of something different – whether that be proteins, fats, or carbs.
Finally, digestive enzymes are important to have in your diet because they can help bring nutrients to your body.
They are necessary in the breaking down of the foods you eat. Therefore, the more digestive enzymes, the faster your digestion will take place. With good digestion, your entire body will be positively affected.
Interested in increasing your digestive enzyme intake? You can read more about our recommended digestive enzyme supplements here.