If you are not sure if a digestive enzyme could help you, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself!
- Do I eat on the go, in a hurry, in the car?
- Am I eating more protein? Fyi…. you need acid to breakdown protein!
- Do I eat packaged, processed, cooked, fast food? That includes health bars.
- Do I do cheat, splurge, or reward meals?
- Do I struggle with indigestion, bloating, gas, leaky gut, irritable bowel, colitis, Crohn’s, yeast over-growth, candida?
If you answered Yes, to any of the above questions, you might consider taking a good digestive enzyme.
WHAT DO DIGESTIVE ENZYMES DO?
Basically, they help digest your food. When you Sit, Eat and Relax…which is the way you should eat a meal. Your digestive system should turn on and produce the necessary ‘Digestive Juices’ needed to breakdown and absorb your meal. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works.
What you need to understand is that your Resting/Digestive system (your Parasympathetic system) doesn’t really turn-on if your Sympathetic system (fight or flight) is turned-on! This is important because so many people eat on the go, on the run, in the car – not realizing that their digestive system is being suppressed by their Fight or Flight system. In other words, your ability to digest a meal could be hampered, because you aren’t able to supply your GI tract with those all-important digestive juices. Remember, just because you ate it – doesn’t mean your body absorbed it!
The big takeaway is that when your digestive system is being suppressed, your ability to digest and absorb any cooked, packaged, processed, junk or fast food will be hindered. This is especially true and concerning if there is protein in the meal, because you can’t break down and digest protein without an adequate supply of hydrochloric acid (HCL). So, guess what happens? All the Un-Digested food (carbs, proteins and fats) flow through your GI tract putrefying and rotting in your small and large intestine. Can you say, yeast over-growth?
Your digestive juices aren’t as important if the food you are eating is supplying their own enzymes. Are you eating banana’s, apples, carrots, nuts and seeds in the car? If you are, those raw foods are bringing their own enzymes so it’s not as big of a deal. But if you are eating anything packaged, cooked, processed, etcetera… even the best health bar on the market, won’t get digested very well, if you are eating on the run, in the car.
PROTEIN DIGESTION BEGINS WITH ACID
If you have no HCL in your tummy, you’re not breaking down protein, it’s physiologically not happening. Whether you’re not giving your body an opportunity to produce the necessary HCL or you’re swallowing an acid reducer – you’re not breaking down protein. People assume that many digestive problems are a result of too much acid, but it could be just the opposite. It’s the lack of HCL that allows undigested, putrefied food to flow through your GI tract, which can throw off the balance of your good and bad bacteria in your gut.
One last thing about HCL in the tummy. It’s designed to cleanse and purify the contents of what’s in your meal. There could be various forms of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites or other microbes and critters you don’t want inside of you. So don’t assume acid is bad.
A classic tell-tale sign that you’re not digesting protein properly, is if you get all this extra bloating and foul-smelling gas and bowel movements? Of course, you still have to figure out if it is an Upper or Lower GI problem. And yes, you can have both an Upper and Lower GI problem.
For some people a cheat meal is fast food or processed food. For others, a good cheat meal is a giant ice cream sundae, a half-gallon of chocolate ice cream, a pecan pie, a box of cookies that sink in your cup of milk…. I can go on, but I don’t want to reveal all my weaknesses. The point is, whatever your cheat meal is, it’s a good idea to try and minimize any negative consequences of your decadent treat. So, a good digestive enzyme will come in handy.
FYI…I typically take a good fiber supplement with my cheat meal, so it doesn’t clog-me-up! Fiber is another must have supplement that we’ll talk more about later.
In summary, eating on the go, in the car, is probably the single biggest cause of so many digestive problems. Remember, you don’t wake up one morning with nagging digestive problems. It takes time. Yes, your dietary choices matter, but so do your dietary habits!
Just remember, when it’s time to eat… SIT, EAT, and RELAX. If you can’t do that… you might want to grab some digestive enzymes!
I’m a huge fan of chewable enzymes, for on the go, as well as for the kiddos.
If you’re not sure if your Digestive System is working properly, take our online quiz to learn more.