I have gotten a couple questions recently from people inquiring about the importance of digestive enzymes. In short, they are very important and beneficial! I learned about them after having some difficulty digesting any kind of food for about 5 years. (I would regurgitate my food sometimes - kind of like acid reflux - not pretty and I'll stop explaining now.)
So, I think it may be best to do a basic Q&A forum to explain these little tablets.
Q: What is a digestive enzyme?
A: It is an enzyme that breaks up our food to ensure proper digestion and optimal absorption of the vitamins and minerals that are in the foods we eat.
Q: Why do I need DE's?
A: A digestive enzyme is necessary for your body to digest its food properly. Without them, your body may not be able to receive the nutrients from your food because the minerals and vitamins do not get broken down far enough. This could sequentially result in gas, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, slowed metabolism, and toxin build-up.
Q: But can't I receive them naturally, in my body and in my food?
A: Yes! DE's are found in any living organism. They produce them on their own. But, they can be destroyed easily with high heat. When a live (raw) food is cooked, it says see ya to its natural enzymes. Therefore, DE's are extremely important to ingest when eating anything cooked. This is especially true for food that is extremely difficult for our bodies to digest anyways, such as meat. Likewise, unless a fruit or vegetable are organic, it is possible that the poor food underwent high heat to kill bacteria and grow the food and the enzymes were killed in the process, before it even gets to a grocery store shelf. Your stomach has digestive enzymes naturally, but they aren't enough.
Q: Wait...Why don't we have enough in our body?
A: Life. Stress kills our enzymes. Environmental pollution requires the use of our enzymes, thus using them up. Our dietary habits are poor and require tons more enzymes than our bodies were meant to use in a normal meal. Basically, our bodies sadly cannot keep up with our lives and the world. Additionally, time results in the loss of enzymes. As our bodies get older, they don't produce as many enzymes (and not just digestive, but in the entire body). Symptoms of a lack of digestive enzymes as one gets older can be tiredness, sluggishness, lack of mental focus and ability to concentrate, muscle soreness, bloating and indigestion, or low blood sugar.
In a nutshell, our bodies need help!
Q: Where can I buy some? :)
A: Well, I originally purchased some from the marvelous Whole Foods. I was advised there as to the amount we all need (which can be a bit confusing in itself, and controversial). But, I have a bit of a distant relative who is an incredible chiropractor in Seattle at Country Clinics. Now I take a digestive enzyme/probiotic tablet from there. I am not sure where else to get any that are potent enough. I found out the amount I really needed from buying others that were, although live and good, not nearly strong enough. Anyone can order from Country Clinics! And I would recommend it! A month's supply is roughly $20.
Your body will graciously thank you for DE's help by giving you lots more energy, a flatter stomach, a calmer stomach, clearer skin, a clearer mind, and nutrients like crazy. And for many, many more years.