Our digestive systems are certainly challenged this time of year. Those with impaired digestion must struggle with the desire to eat all the delicious holiday foods knowing the suffering that will follow. Even with a good digestive system, eating too much and too many different things at one meal can cause problems. A key nutrient that most everybody is lacking to some degree is enzymes.
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papaya enzymes,acid reflux,charcoal capsules
Our digestive systems are certainly challenged this time of year. Those with impaired digestion must struggle with the desire to eat all the delicious holiday foods knowing the suffering that will follow. Even with a good digestive system, eating too much and too many different things at one meal can cause problems. A key nutrient that most everybody is lacking to some degree is enzymes. This is due to the over processing and refining of foods.
Our bodies manufacture some of its own enzymes and others are to be obtained by eating enzyme rich foods, mostly raw. Cooking foods over 118 degrees F destroys the enzyme content. Food growers and manufactures destroy the enzymes in our food by treating it with certain chemicals that retard spoilage in order to give it a longer shelf life. If they didn’t do this, the fruits and vegetables would be rotten before it hit the supermarket shelves. Pasteurization is another modern day necessary evil for extended shelf life that leaves our foods nutrient and enzyme depleted.
The first and step to improve digestion is to chew the food until it is completely smooth. This will require a little extra time for each bite will be chewed on an average of 100 times. It is supposed to be in a pureed state before swallowing. I know people who only chew their food a few times before gulping it down. While chewing, saliva releases the enzyme amylase that starts to breakdown starch into smaller glucose molecules. There are foods that can be added to the diet that contain enzymes and also stimulate the formation of more enzymes such as raw papaya, raw pineapple, raw un-pasteurized apple cider vinegar (one teaspoon in water three times a day) and fermented foods that are high in pro-biotics like sour yogurt (sorry, not the sweet kind), sauerkraut or kim-chi. For some, a probiotic supplement may be needed due to the overuse of antibiotics and diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. It may be consumed in powder or capsule form upon awakening and at bedtime. Some people may only need a cup of digestive tea after meals.
The following teas may be found individually or in combination; catnip, fennel, anise, ginger, peppermint and papaya. A multiple digestive enzyme may be taken in capsule or tablet form with meals. It provides all the enzymes needed to digest all the food groups. It should contain at least the top four enzymes; protease for digesting proteins, amylase for digesting carbohydrates, lipase for digesting fats and hydrochloric acid (HCI) for digesting animal proteins. Our body’s production of HCI starts to diminish at age 25 or so. With all the high protein diets that have gained popularity, hypochlorhidria (HCI deficiency) is on the rise. Those that don’t digest dairy well may want to add a separate lactase digesting enzyme, for there may not be enough in an enzyme multiple. Another popular way to enhance digestion is to chew papaya enzyme tablets after a meal. Papaya contains papain that is an enzyme effective in digesting proteins. Amylase is usually added to help digest the carbohydrates. As expensive as it is to buy fresh papayas, I’m amazed how inexpensive the chewable papaya enzymes are. They taste good too. True vegetarians may want to use a product that doesn’t contain HCI, since they don’t eat animal proteins.
Note: supplementing HCI for those with acid reflux may be contraindicated while esophageal inflammation persists. My final digestion tip is: charcoal capsules. They are handy to have on hand and should not be taken on a regular basis, for it may deplete the body of nutrients. They are great to use for extreme cases of gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and upset stomach which occur frequently this time of year. The charcoal will absorb excess acids and relief is usually within a half hour. Charcoal is approved by the poison control center and I never go anywhere without it.
I wish you all a blessed and happy holiday season with your loved ones. And remember… work less, play more…hate less love more… talk less, say more… eat less, CHEW MORE… and all good things will be yours.
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This Article provided by Michael Comeau is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult your doctor when seeking medical advice.