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The deal with digestive enzymes

Posted Sep 08 2011 11:53pm

Important: The information below describes the results and benefits that I have personally seen.  I am not a doctor, so please consult with your own physician before incorporating digestive enzymes, or any other supplements, into your daily regime. 


If you’ve spent any amount of time with me lately, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of taking digestive enzyme supplements.  My twoHealthy Living Summit roommates can attest to the fact that I’m a little enthusiastic about them.  And as you’ve seen on the blog, I also carry them around in my purse.

Since I’ve been so vocal about these supplements lately, I’ve received a lot of questions about what makes them so gosh darn wonderful.

Well, today I am going to clear up the mystery!

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are catalysts of biochemical reactions in our bodies and perform thousands of important life-supporting functions, such as repairing our DNA.  ( Source )  Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down the food in the body so that the nutrients can be absorbed.


What is the role of digestive enzymes? Any benefits?

Digestive enzymes help us to digest our food and better absorb the nutrients within our food.  They also help to repair and prevent wrinkles and speed up weight loss and detoxification.  Who wouldn’t love that?!

Kimberly Snyder does a wonderful job of explaining the benefits in her Beauty Detox Solution book, and I recommend reading it for an exhaustive list.


If enzymes are produced by our bodies naturally, why do I need to take supplements?

For starters, relying solely on our own digestive enzymes can be very stressful on our system and organs.  It also leaves less time for our bodies to take care of other important functions, such as rebuilding damaged cells and keeping our immune systems strong.

Additionally, our enzyme reserve diminishes over time.  This causes us to age and our metabolism to slow down.  Aside from eating lots of raw plant food, taking supplements is a great way to pump some enzymes into our bodies. ( Source )

In summary, taking supplements (and eating lots of raw foods) helps to preserve our own enzymes.


Who can benefit from taking them?

Anyone who wants to look good!  Seriously though, I’d recommend taking digestive enzymes before every meal to anyone who has permission from their doctor to do so (please see my disclaimer above).  However, these supplements are thought to be very beneficial to people with heartburn, indigestion, food allergies, acne, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, and constipation.


When do you take the supplements?

I take them whenever I can remember to do so! For optimal results, they should be taken before every meal of your day.


Which brands do you recommend?

Honestly, I’m not in love with one brand in particular, but right now, I am taking ones by Enzymedica.  You can also check online and in stores like Earth Fare and Whole Foods.


Is there a way to preserve enzymes without taking supplements?

Yes- eat more raw vegetables!  This is another reason why I love juicing and drinking smoothies so much. Cooking kills off some of the enzymes in veggies, so we don’t get the full benefits that they contain in their natural form.


So, there’s everything you probably ever wanted to know about digestive enzymes!

Have you ever taken digestive enzymes?  What are your thoughts on them?  I’m honestly pretty hooked because I find that when I take them regularly, I have more energy and things…um…move along better in my body. Since many of you are probably eating breakfast right now, I won’t elaborate.  ;)

Happy Thursday!



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