These days, more than any other issue I hear talked about, people struggle with their digestion. Even if you don't think you have a problem, perhaps it might be worth reading this just in case.
The moment you smell food, your digestion starts working. Smelling and tasting food is important, but it is a fraction of the experience of its role in your life. When it's in your mouth, your body pumps up some digestive liquid so that it starts to break down.
Problem is, a lot of people don't spend time with the food in their mouth that long. They may not even chew the food well.
The enzymes in the mouth begin to break down starches. By the time food reaches the stomach, which is full of acid that could burn through your skin and bones, you would think it should be broken down sufficiently. But the stomach is actually responsible for breaking down proteins more than starches. And the mouth and the stomach are not the only places where food gets broken down. The small intestine also breaks down sugars and starches and is the place where fats are broken down as well. The gall bladder gets a signal from the small intestine and releases bile to help break fats so that tiny particles can begin their journey to destinations in your body that will either transmute them into energy or store them.
When you think about it, this is a very, very complex and amazing process, which happens every, single time you eat!
The major problem arises when people overeat and/or eat a lot of different things at once. The body can only break so much and so many things down at one time. And it has to repeat this process at least two times a day, if not six.
Stress can also have an effect on how much stomach acid is produced in the body, because when we are under stress, digestive processes--on whole--take a back seat to putting out whatever mental or physical fire we encounter. Stress reduction--using breathing and mindfulness techniques--will go a long way to help the body shift into a more robust digestive mode.
Add to this Food Sensitivities
Most people have food sensitivities and don't even know which is what. They have been tipped off to some things that might be causing trouble, but they either don't want to eliminate these things or are unsure, after elimination, if these things are truly the problem.
The sensitivity is usually the result of a form of protein that the body either reacts to strongly as an invader and/or can't break down well, and it then travels, partially broken, to places where it causes inflammation. This inflammation can destroy the delicate lining of the small intestine and result in stress, both factors that contribute to a reduction in the body's ability to digest food well.
So what does this have to do with enzymes?
Enzymes are catalysts that you can take in pill form that break down different types of food so that they are more easily recognized or "tagged" by the body and moved to useful places. With all of the other challenges that the body has to face when eating food the way it is eaten today--too often, too much, with a lot of additives that are useless to the body and take energy just to get rid of, GMOs, inflammatory diets--enzymes can be a massive help.
Think about it: The body spends energy on digestion, which results in energy.
I've currently made broad-spectrum enzymes a staple in my supplement cabinet. I try not to take too many things, but this pill is really makes a difference in my day-to-day living and overall ability to take energy from food. This in addition to a good probiotic regime--which, in my opinion, would ideally be home cultured kefir.
I feel, right away, when I take enzymes that I don't eat as much and I don't feel hungry as often. This is an obvious indication to me that the food I am eating is satisfying my body more readily. That my body doesn't need to ask me to eat more.
I also notice more regular bowel movements--YAY, get that stuff I don't need ouda here!
If, in the midst of food sensitivities and all the eating habits we are engaged in, we can find a way to give the body a fighting chance at good nutrition, I think it's worth it to mention.
How to Choose Enzymes
For obvious reasons, I recommend a broad-spectrum enzyme--one that features lipases (to breakdown fats), proteases (to break down proteins) and carbohydrases/amylases (to break down carbs/starches). This will help ease the breakdown of all types of foodstuffs. Look for an established brand, with a descent price tag. Then take a look at the source of the enzymes. A vegetarian one is awesome (like the one pictured ... I am not paid by NOW!). Usually these enzymes are sourced from fruits and/or fungus (they are the most stable and powerful). The strength/potency of the enzyme should also be listed beside the type on the bottle.
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