Foods Packed with Digestive Enzymes
When talking about a healthy digestive system, probiotics, and digestive enzymes are essential. They operate in different ways but ultimately improve gut health and the functioning of digestion.
You can powerfully impact your bodily health with an intake of either one because our digestive tract holds great importance in overall health.
If gut health is hard to understand, our article will help you comprehend how digestive enzymes work.
We will tackle the differences between digestive enzymes and probiotics. Furthermore, you can have a look at the different foods that are high in digestive enzymes. So, let’s dive in!
Which Is Better: Digestive Enzymes or Probiotics?
As discussed, the two proteins have much disparity between each other and impact the gut in distinct ways.
They are known to complement one another, but if you don’t have enough of either, your gut health is bound to decline. Probiotics healthify the environment of digestion, while digestive enzymes make the quality of the digestion process better.
They are live microorganisms found in huge numbers, about billions, and they live in the human body’s gut.
They are often termed the good type of bacteria as they enhance the absorption of nutrients and digestion while also supporting neurotransmitter production and the overall immune system. You can find probiotics in food like sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, etc.
This type of bacteria fights off harmful bacteria and prevents their overpopulation. They are also preventive against pathogens that enter the blood, ensuring a solid barrier in the gut. They can also create vitamins that are significant in the body’s immunity.
Digestive enzymes are different from probiotics because they are natural but non-living proteins. All living things produce enzymes in the pancreas and along the digestive tract.
This means that in the mouth, small intestine, and stomach, there is a secretion of proteins that help break down food and absorption of nutrition.
There are different types of enzymes for other roles, such as:
- Amylase – Fixed upon carbohydrates
- Lipase – Supports the breakdown and digestion of fat
- Protease – Dissolves protein into smaller amino acids (1)
Several disorders arise when there is an insufficient amount of digestive enzymes in one’s body.
An example of this can be a person suffering from lactose intolerance rooted in a limited production of lactase (enzymes that demolish milk proteins like lactose).
People with such disorders may experience difficulties ingesting dairy products and can experience physical discomfort.
How Digestive Enzymes Come To Be
Digestive enzymes can be discovered all over the gastrointestinal tract. It can even be produced in your salivary glands.
However, if we’re talking about the predominant origin of digestive enzymes, it would be the pancreas, located in the stomach inside the small intestinal system. Digestion occurs in different parts of the body, for example:
Digestion of carbohydrates starts at the mouth and ends In the small intestines, while protein absorption occurs in the stomach and ceases in the small intestine.
Digestion of fat begins in the mouth and ends in the small intestinal tract as well.
Studies show that not all digestive enzymes are directly linked to the gut. One such study presents that children within the autistic spectrum portray beneficial effects when ingesting digestive enzyme supplementation.
However, research is ongoing, and it is unclear whether digestive enzymes can help all bodies with specific needs or not.
What Foods are High in Digestive Enzymes?
You can find these essential enzymes in many foods, but most must be consumed raw to withdraw maximum benefits.
If there is a chemical disruption or changes in pH levels or temperature, enzymes can be depleted due to their fragility. The following are foods that can improve your gut health and can be introduced to your daily diet without hassles.
The mango, similar to bananas, is an excellent source of amylase. It helps your body easily destroy starch and turn it into smaller molecules of carbs to absorb them better.
An equally important benefit is how easy mangoes can be incorporated, either in sweet or savory foods.
Avocado is a great tool to combat high-fat meals. It has lipase that is necessary to promote the digestion of fat as well as a good metabolism.
These fruits are extremely easy to prepare in your day-to-day dishes. You can put some in your morning smoothies or have some avocado toast.
Papain, an enzyme made to break down protein, is primarily found in papaya. However, heat is terrible for papain, and it is best suited for you to eat raw papaya.
To attain its nutritional perks, you can dice papaya after a hearty dinner or add papaya cubes to fruit smoothies.
The potassium-filled fruit is the best source of digestive enzymes such as maltase and amylase that enhance the breakdown of carbs and sugar common in bread or cereal.
You can eat a banana a day during breakfast, incorporating it into a bowl of oatmeal or cereal.
Diastases, invertases, and proteases are enzymes that are known to help break apart starch, sugar, and protein, respectively.
Honey has all these enzymes, and consuming it can help the body hold all of the benefits related to digestion. Processed honey is not recommended due to its decreased enzymes during the heating process.
Bromelain is a combination of different enzymes that improve the digestion of protein. Pineapples contain this mixture, but because they are heat sensitive, it is recommended that you consume them raw. Blending pineapple chunks in smoothies or spreading some in a salad will improve your gut health.
Digestive enzymes tear down macronutrients found in our food, like carbs, fats, and proteins. It is a common habit to take digestive enzyme supplements; however, probiotics are best for long-term use.
There is no risk associated with dependency or addiction when it comes to probiotics, so that you can stimulate digestive enzyme production with the preparation of probiotic enzymes.