WELL BEING: Digestive Enzymes

5 Jun

This week, I had the opportunity to visit with Brenda Christian, local owner of the health food store Sunrise Health & Herbs in Crockett, Texas.

Brenda Christian fascinates me because her passion for good nutrition and helping others has launched her into a tremendous education to become a Certified Natural Health Professional, Doctor of Naturopathy and Master Herbalist.

When I asked her what she thought the most important thing she could share with people would be, she was very quick to answer, “Digestive Enzymes!”

Marketing advertisements have bombarded us with commercials about regulating our digestion with specially designed yogurt, popping antacids and fizzy lozenges that sooth upset stomachs.  Acid Reflux prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are currently the most widely used medications available, oftentimes just band-aiding health problems.

It’s no wonder!  With all the discomfort, bloating and heartburn folks experience these days, poor digestion isn’t just making us sick as a nation but it’s subtly ebbing away our daily quality of life.

With all that focused attention on our digestive systems, it only makes sense that we look a little deeper into what digestive enzymes are and which best digest the fats, proteins and carbohydrates in our daily menu. 

Brenda Christian simplified this by saying, “If your mouth starts watering when you smell a nice dinner cooking, that’s the beginning of the digestive process.”

Enzyme regulation is a natural response to appetite but the problem arises when we become enzyme deficient.  Over the course of time, we may find that we cannot digest foods as well as we once did.

CAUSES OF ENZYME DEFICIENCY:

  • aging
  • over-cooking foods
  • chemical fertilizers
  • fruits & vegetables harvested before ripened
  • antibiotics destroy unfriendly bacteria but usually wipe out the friendly flora and fauna, as well

The fact is, even the best diet in the world can do you no good if you can’t digest it.  Consider this, if you are not able to fully digest your foods then you won’t be able to digest your medications well either.

Brenda further explained, “When you take enzymes during meals, it helps digest your food.  Taken between meals, enzymes help cleanse the blood.”

Not all enzymes are created equally.  Enzymes come from natural foods, sun and soil.  Some are live culture enzymes called “probiotic”.  Then there are digestive enzymes that naturally derive from whole foods which are called “food enzymes”.  This explains why eating naturally fresh foods eases the bodies need for enzymes because the fruit, vegetable, nut or sprout comes equipped with its very own source of enzymes.

Be sure to discuss any digestive discomforts you have with your physician. 

I would like to thank Brenda Christian for her time and valuable insights.  Call Brenda at (936) 546-0455 or stop by and visit Sunrise Health & Herbs, 1018 Loop 304 E. Suite 100, Crockett, Texas.

SIGNS OF POOR DIGESTION

FATS –   Enzyme needed to digest:  Lipase

  • SORENESS IN THE TRAPEZIUS  MUSCLE
  • DRY SKIN, DANDRUFF, HAIR FALLING OUT
  • SHOULDER PROBLEMS, DIFFICULTY RAISING ARMS ABOVE THE HEAD
  • A HISTORY OF MOUTH SORES OR BOILS
  • PAIN BENEATH THE LOWER RIBS
  • INABILITY TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH & HOLD IT FOR 20 SECONDS
  • RINGING IN EARS
  • KIDNEY STONES

PROTEINS –  Enzyme needed to digest:  Protease

  • TMJ TENDERNESS AND/OR JAW CLICKING
  • SPINAL DISK PROBLEMS
  • INABILITY TO TOLERATE STRESS, DIFFICULTY MAKING A DECISION
  • IRRITATED OR RECEDING GUMS, LOOSE TEETH
  • COLD HANDS AND FEET
  • CRAVINGS FOR CRUNCHY SALTY FOODS
  • CONSTANT HUNGER WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT FOOD YOU CRAVE
  • TENDENCY TOWARD DEPRESSION
  • HORMONE IMBALANCES
  • DIFFICULTY LOSING WEIGHT
  • WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM
  • HOT FLASHES

CARBOHYDRATES –  Enzymes needed to digest:  Amylase, Carbohydrase, Sucrase, Maltase, Glucoamylase, Galactase

  • INABILITY TO RELAX
  • FREQUENT IRRITATED THROAT
  • TENDERNESS OF THE SALIVARY GLANDS
  • MUSCLE WEAKNESS
  • MOUTH SORES
  • VOICE BECOMES HIGH-PITCHED UNDER STRESS
  • STARTLES EASILY
  • WEIGHT GAIN IN MID-SECTION
  • CANDIDA, YEAST OVERGROWTH
  • DRY MOUTH

Send questions and comments to lynnvannoy@gmail.com or visit www.lynnvannoy.com 

The information in this column is not intended as medical advice. Its intention is solely informational and educational.

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