Download & Print this article as a PDF: Enzymes: The Most Essential of Supplements for Digestion and Assimilation of All Nutrients
By now, you probably know all about what you should eat and what you should avoid. Well, I’m going to introduce a concept that takes diet to a whole new level. The processes that transforms the foods that you eat into the cells of which your body is composed are digestion and assimilation.
You make about a million new YOU cells, every minute. It is a very intricate process to transform a hamburger into a person. This process is expedited by a group of chemicals called enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions. Without them, the hamburger that you ate would not be able to become you.
There are three major classes of digestive enzymes – one for each of the macro- nutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They are proteases, lipase and amylase, respectively.
These enzymes are made by the various organs of digestion. The foods that we eat in their unprocessed raw state also have enzymes that aid in their own breakdown in our bodies, but, because we now eat such a highly processed and mostly cooked food diet, we are not getting the enzymes inherent in raw fruits and vegetables. This means that our bodies need to use more of our enzyme production to break down food. This deprives the many other functions of the body, such as healing and regeneration, of the enzymes needed for those processes. So, enzyme production is essential for overall health.
By age 35, enzyme production starts to decline. This can account for many of the digestive distress issues that develop as you age, not the least of which is that pouchy belly that won’t go away, no matter how much weight you lose. That little pouch is more often composed of undigested food byproducts than fat. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can be the most important factor of your nutritional wellbeing. Not only will you fully digest and assimilate the good food that you eat, but you will also remove, by enzymatic breakdown, the debris and toxic chemicals from your digestive track.
I recommend the full spectrum of enzymes as produced by your stomach, pancreas and small intestines. In addition, probiotics, the friendly bacteria that reside in the bowel and make up the “micro-biome,” although not enzymes per se, greatly aid gut health. This is now finally being acknowledged as being integral to immune function and even emotional well- being. Transformation Enzymes and Standard Process are my favorite purveyors for quality enzymes. I’ve been taking digestive enzymes with every meal for nearly 20 years. They greatly contribute to my health and well being. I recommend that you add digestive enzymes to your health regimen as your first priority of food supplements.
About the Author: Dr. Collings is an alternative health practitioner. For more information, visit her website: www.drveronicacollings.com