Plant-Based Digestive Enzymes for Better Digestion

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Plant-Based Digestive Enzymes

Summation

  • However, many people find that it’s easier to take them in supplement form due to the amounts of natural plant materials that need to be consumed to get sufficient amounts of key enzymes.
  • Getting on the road to better health is as easy as incorporating more digestive enzymes into a delicious, plant-based diet.
  • Let’s back up for a moment before discussing how to incorporate more digestive enzymes into a daily diet to describe what they are.

There are many compelling reasons to adopt a plant-based diet. Research shows that it can improve both short-term and long-term measures of health and boost longevity. However, making the switch can cause some uncomfortable digestive complaints for those who aren’t used to consuming a diet high in fiber.

More specifically, plant-based diets can cause digestive upsets for people who have low levels of key digestive enzymes required for processing plant-based foods in the gut. There are two solutions. People can either consume foods that contain high levels of amylases, lipases, and proteases, or they can take plant based digestive enzymes in supplement form.

An Introduction to Digestive Enzymes

Let’s back up for a moment before discussing how to incorporate more digestive enzymes into a daily diet to describe what they are. There are three major types of digestive enzymes that people need regardless of what kind of diet they follow. They are:

  1. Amylases break down carbohydrates.

Lipases break down fat.

Proteases break down protein.

These enzymes can be found naturally in certain plants. However, many people find that it’s easier to take them in supplement form due to the amounts of natural plant materials that need to be consumed to get sufficient amounts of key enzymes.

Food-Based Sources of Digestive Enzymes

Certain plants contain relatively large levels of specific digestive enzymes. While there’s no set prescription for how much of them people should eat, it’s worth incorporating these foods into a plant-based diet:

Pineapple

Pineapple contains bromelain. This protease breaks down proteins into amino acids to aid in their digestion.

Papaya

Papaya contains papain, another protease. Studies show that maintaining sufficient levels of papain can help to reduce bloating and constipation.

Mango

Mango contains a specific amylase that breaks down carbohydrates into sugars. To get the full effect, try to eat mangoes at maximum ripeness, as that’s when the amylases are most active.

Miso

Miso is a staple in Japanese cuisine. The paste is made from fermented soybeans, koji, and salt, but it’s the inclusion of koji that imparts the majority of the enzymatic benefits. Koji is rich in amylases, lactases, lipases, and proteases.

Bananas

Ripe bananas contain both amylase and glucosidases, which can help to break down carbohydrates more efficiently. They’re also an excellent source of fiber.

How to Increase Digestive Enzyme Consumption Naturally

Not everyone can get enough digestive enzymes from food, alone. Thankfully, there is a simple alternative. Find a reputable supplement brand that sells digestive support enzymes derived from plants. Adding plant-based supplements to a diet can help to reduce gastric upset, boost energy, and increase absorption rates of key nutrients.

When choosing a supplement, be sure to vet the manufacturer carefully. Because the FDA does not regulate nutritional supplements, it’s up to consumers to do their homework and find out whether they should trust particular brands. Look for herbal supplements formulated by people who have experience and use science-based tools to understand how each ingredient works.

Get on the Road to Better Health

Adopting a healthier, plant-based diet doesn’t have to be hard or unpleasant. The right mix of digestive enzymes will help to eliminate unpleasant GI symptoms like bloating and diarrhea, and can even help to keep cravings for less healthy foods at bay. Getting on the road to better health is as easy as incorporating more digestive enzymes into a delicious, plant-based diet.