You may hear the word enzyme used a lot in the health industry and for our Herbal Papaya product descriptions, but do you know what this word means for your health?
What exactly constitutes an enzyme?
According to the Livestrong website “Enzymes are special types of protein that your body uses to initiate its basic chemical reactions. Without enzyme activity, most of these reactions would not occur fast enough to sustain human life. Three specific examples of enzyme usage in your body include digestion of the foods in your diet, copying of the information in your DNA, and the burning of a vital source of energy called glucose.”
Basically, without enzymes, you wouldn’t be able to breathe, swallow, drink, eat, or digest your food. Enzymes are always working to help your body function at the most optimal levels possible. Your body makes enzymes naturally, but there is less enzyme production as you get older.
You know how it feels like your body just doesn’t recover as quickly anymore? Your daily energy levels have dropped, or maybe you can you no longer digest certain foods as you get older. These are signs that your body is no longer producing the number of enzymes it used to.
Sometimes this change of enzyme levels is simply due to getting older, but sometimes it also has to do with lifestyle and the unhealthy choices we sometimes make. Stress and poor dietary habits are the major culprits that quickly use up excessive amounts of naturally occurring enzymes.
There are many ways in which enzymes help the body and maintain overall health, and in this article, we’re talking specifically about digestive enzymes.
There are multiple types of digestive enzymes that your body uses, but a few of the most common ones are protease, amylase, and lipase. Protease helps in the digestion of proteins, amylase in the digestion of carbohydrates, and lipase in the digestion of fats.
We’ve talked on this blog before about why healthy digestion is so important for your body, and not just so you don’t have to deal with a sore stomach - although that’s never fun either.
Our digestive tract is interconnected to so many other parts of our health that it is important to focus on keeping it clean and healthy. Our digestive systems can be the key to longevity and preventing other health issues later in life.
Although all raw foods have enzymes in them, some of the best enzyme-rich foods are seeds and legumes. Others would include papayas, pineapples, mangoes, kiwis, grapes, avocados, raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw meat & dairy.
A few natural digestion enzymes to include in your diet
We mention enzymes a lot when promoting our products because we know papaya has the digestive enzyme, papain, in it.
Papain is found in papaya and helps in breaking down hard-to-digest foods and protein fibers. In fact, it’s an enzyme that has been used for thousands of years as a meat tenderizer in South America. It is seen as a digestive aid.
Papain works through breaking down larger proteins into smaller proteins or peptides. This helps to increase the nutrient absorption of protein-heavy foods.
Both of the enzymes, papain, and chymopapain, which are found in our papaya leaf extracts, help digest proteins, wheat, fat, and carbohydrates, and speed up metabolism. They offer health benefits for the digestive system, immune system, and blood platelet support.
This proteolytic enzyme is found most commonly in pineapple and helps to digest protein. It is found mainly in the stem of the pineapple and in its juice. This enzyme can help with digestion as well as numerous other health issues that your body may deal with.
We mentioned amylase as one of the most common natural enzymes that you’ll find in your body and in raw foods. One way you can intake amylase enzymes is through mangoes, although it is found in quite a few other types of food as well. This enzyme helps to digest carbohydrates, which are important to provide immediate energy to the body. If you’re looking for help with digesting your daily intake of sugars and starches, this enzyme is for you.
We hope this has given you a brief overview and a better sense of the many benefits of digestive enzymes that help maintain a healthy body, and why you should focus on eating enzyme-rich food when you can.
Are there any enzymes that you particularly love?