Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in nutrition. Without them, the food you eat won’t be digested into the form in which the body can absorb and utilize.
While the production of enzymes in the body is steady in the 20s and 30s, it is reduced by 25 percent in the 40s.
Still, you need these enzymes to lose weight, as well as to balance mood and prevent depression and anxiety.
Even as you eat a healthy diet, you still might need to take enzyme supplements to help you stay regular, control weight, and fight depression.
- 1 How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?
- 2 Natural Sources Of Enzymes
- 3 What Do Digestive Enzymes Do?
- 4 Best Digestive Enzymes
How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?
All living organisms including animals and plants produce a group of proteins commonly known as enzymes.
They are meant to perform a variety of functions in the body such as synthesizing, rearranging chemicals, and adding substances to some compounds.
Molecules in enzymes act as catalysts which can accelerate chemical reactions without being damaged or changing and could keep working if allowed the time.
Thus without enzymes, these processes would be slowed down
But enzymes cannot work without the intervention of certain substances, especially when it comes to breaking down food and improving metabolism levels.
Some of the most important digestive enzymes when it comes to weight loss include amylase, protease, and lipase.
So it is simple. You increase the number of enzymes, and you will drastically decrease the reaction time.
Natural Sources Of Enzymes
All types of raw food contain some sort of enzymes. During cooking or processing, most of the enzymes end up being destroyed.
That’s why eating raw foods is more useful to your health than cooked foods given that they contain a lot of natural beneficial enzymes.
The following foods are excellent natural sources of enzymes that you should regularly be getting in your diet so you won’t miss out on their benefits.
That’s not true for canned bananas which are preserved but do not contain any enzymes.
The other fruits with a natural content of enzymes are pineapples. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which can help break down protein.
Bromelain reportedly activates the body to produce analgesic substances that act as anti-inflammatory agents fighting off inflammation.
Also, chemicals contained in bromelain may prevent and interfere with the growth of tumor cells and inhibit blood clotting.
This enzyme is also used to tenderize meat for human consumption.
The action of bromelain can be strong enough to the extent that it can cause the meat to fall apart if left to marinate too long.
Some other uses attributed to bromelain range from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis to cancer prevention but there is still inconclusive evidence to support these claims.
Papaya is a good source of papain. The same as Bromelain in Pineapple, the papain enzyme can help your body to digest protein efficiently.
Thus eating any of these foods could help you in your weight loss efforts.
Papayas should be eaten when ripe and raw if you want to make the most of them since digestive enzymes can be destroyed when exposed to heat.
Research suggests that using an herbal formula based on papaya can help relieve digestive discomforts such as constipation and bloating associated with IBS.
Thus your body doesn’t have to produce any enzymes of its own. Enzymes sourced from raw foods are versatile enough to survive the 4.5 to 5.5 PH levels in your stomach.
Honey enzymes are added directly from the bees themselves. The enzymes in honey include amylase, sucrase, and protease, which digest both proteins and carbs
In your body, digestive enzymes are recycled over and over again until they are no longer strong enough.
What Do Digestive Enzymes Do?
There are many reasons digestive enzymes and weight loss are often spoken of in the same sentence.
Many of them have to do with the effect of these enzymes on the digestive function as well as other bodily functions.
We look at how digestive enzymes and weight loss are closely related, below:
1. Keeping You Regular
From what we have already discussed, it is important that you eat a lot of raw foods instead of the frozen, cooked or processed ones.
That way, you will be able to get all the minerals, vitamins, and enzymes your body needs to function properly.
The good thing with raw foods is that they contain enzymes, minerals, and fiber, which all work together to prevent constipation.
And constipation isn’t a good thing since suffering from it regularly can greatly impair the digestive function.
If anything, it could lead to the depletion of enzymes in the digestive tract leaving you feeling heavy and bloated.
But constipation can also make a direct contribution to your weight. When fecal matter builds up in your body makes you heavier than usual.
This should not be underestimated since the fecal matter in your colon could weigh as much as 5 pounds.
So don’t worry about the discomfort you get from poor digestion. What should concern you is the likelihood of being overweight and developing anemia, fatigue, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Enzymes break down the food, thus making it available to your body in the form of minerals and nutrients.
Without this, your body will retain unnecessary toxins even as you miss out on key nutrients.
2. Regulating Carbohydrates and Sugars
Foods with a high content of carbohydrates are what your body needs to get energy. Such foods include vegetables, fruits, sugars, and grains.
From the grains, carbohydrates exist in the form of starch.
But the sugars could be simple as well as double sugars. Simple sugars could be in the form of fructose and fruit sugar.
You get most of the simple sugar from fruits, beverages, and processed foods.
Double sugars exist in sugar cane, lactose, malt sugar, and milk sugar. You also get sugar from molasses, granulated sugar, maple sugar, and honey.
Enzymes convert these carbohydrates into glycogen which could be stored for later use.
Thus eating too many sugars, bread, and pastries, they will be converted into fats and stored in the body.
Since enzymes play a role in the regulation of your metabolism levels, they will help you to burn most of what you eat as carbohydrates.
3. Controlling Mood Swings and Depression
But enzymes are also key when it comes to controlling a number of biochemical processes in the body.
But you don’t have to take antidepressants to fight depression. A change in diet, primarily through the inclusion of raw foods full of nutrients and enzymes will go a long way.
When your digestion improves, you will be able to feel good within no time.
Also, frequent mood swings may lead you to overindulge in unhealthy foods such as pastries and French fries.
Once you boost your moods, you will find no need in eating certain foods to feel good.
If you have ever indulged in binge eating, you know what it means to struggle with food addictions.
The bad thing is that the more you eat, the more weight you will gain. So controlling your mood does affect weight loss, albeit indirectly.
Best Digestive Enzymes
There are a number of digestive enzymes which play a very important role in your body’s overall health as well as weight loss. They include the following:
Amylase refers to all the enzymes that break down or hydrolyze starches and sugar.
These enzymes are required by your body to digest carbohydrates and turn them into glucose, which is used by your body as energy.
If you are one of those people who can’t digest fats, you may end up over-consuming carbohydrates leading to an amylase deficiency.
People lacking amylase in their bodies find it very hard to synthesize white blood cells.
It is also possible for them to develop abscesses or pus without bacteria. The other consequence of an amylase deficiency is an increase in inflammation due to the effects of histamine.
Thus fighting psoriasis, herpes, and insect bites will not be possible without amylase.
2. Superoxide Dismutase
This is one digestive enzyme that will do a lot of good to your overall health. It is effective when it comes to treating inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), protecting your skin against UV rays, and treating burns, arthritis, and wounds.
For those who are fearful about signs of aging, this enzyme also makes facial wrinkles to look less severe.
The function of protease in the body is to break down or hydrolyze proteins.
Since proteases are proteolytic or systemic enzymes, they detoxify your system just as they strengthen immunity and increase circulation.
Due to its digestive function protease breaks down proteins into amino acids, which are then absorbed into the body.
The absorption of proteins before they are fully broken down may cause diseases.
Thus you need the proteolytic enzymes to break down proteins into amino acids that nourish the body.
Lipase is one of the key factors in the digestion of fats, including essential fatty acids, triglycerides, and phospholipids and it can also support in the absorption of key vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
Lipases derived from pancreatic juices and bile from the gallbladder are incorporated in the bile duct and secreted in the duodenum.
Any lipase deficiency can cause disorders such as excessive fat in the stool (steatorrhea) as well as impaired fat metabolism in the body.
When the fat-burning action of lipase increases, you can be able to lose weight to a great extent through exercise and diet.
These scientists also determined that virtually all digestive enzymes can the switched on, just like lipase.
As you can see, digestive enzymes play a very important role in overall body health and weight loss.
You will get most of the enzymes you need naturally. But where that’s not possible, then you should eat more healthy raw foods such as bananas, pineapples, and papaya.
Today, there are certain supplements you could take to boost the levels of key enzymes in your body.