Most of us know the obvious symptoms of indigestion such as bloating, tummy aches, constipation and gas. You’d be surprised to know that the following 10 symptoms of enzyme deficiency might also indicate the need for supplemental digestive enzymes …
10 Not-So-Obvious Signs of Enzyme Deficiency
1. Skin rashes and irritations. Incomplete digestion can lead to food sensitivities that manifest as skin problems.
2. Fatigue and drowsiness. When so much energy goes to trying to compensate for a lack of digestive enzymes, is it any wonder that a body feels unbearably tired after eating?
3. Bad breath. Our mouths are the beginning of a long digestive journey. Adequate enzymes, every step of the way, help keep breath fresher.
4. Irritability. We all know how cranky babies get with colic. As adults with indigestion get just as irritable.
5. Insomnia. Indigestion is noisy and painful. A happy calm yummy is crucial for a good night’s sleep.
6. High cholesterol. All the way back in 1958, Stratford researchers realised that low enzymes and high cholesterol were linked.
7. Weight gain. Fat utilisation is improved with enzymes, leading to less of it being stored in the obvious places – hips, belly, upper arms, thighs.
8. Food allergies. Without adequate protein digesting enzymes, undigested food particles leak through the intestinal wall, triggering food allergy symptoms.
9. Inflammation. Inflammation from injuries or arthritic conditions have been shown to respond well to the anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain.
10. Sinusitis. An increased incidence of sinusitis might be related to chronic inflammation in nasal mucous membranes.
Eat More Raw Foods for Better Digestion
Eating enzyme-rich, fresh raw fruits and vegetables is definitely the best prescription for good digestion. Ironically though, improving your diet can cause some temporary indigestion. Remember, it takes time for your body to adjust, especially when drastically changing your diet to include the extra fibre consumed by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Fibre-rich foods can cause gas and bloating until your body adjusts.
Fortunately, digestive enzymes – especially Enzyme-Force with Fibrazyme™ can help with the transition. Bon apetite!
10 Easy Ways to Improve Digestion
Take Prairie Naturals Digestive Enzymes at every meal
Breathe deeply and relax before beginning a meal
Be thankful for what you are about to enjoy
Eat an abundance of fibre-rich foods
Eat more raw fruits and vegetables
Drink more water (between meals)
Go for a walk after a meal
Chew effectively and for a longer period of time
Sit down to eat
How Our Digestive System Works
Just imagine a 30-foot maze-like passageway winding its way through the centre of your body. This miraculous food transport system is your digestive tract. The digestive tract, also called the gastrointestinal tract, has numerous connecting points along its route where food is broken down into simpler chemical forms (nutrients) by specialised enzymes. Digestion and absorption of macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are dependent on enzymes and by the health of the duodenum.
The Mouth & Stomach
The smell and sight of appetising food is the first signal the digestive system receives to begin the amazing process of digestion. Even before the first morsel of food enters your mouth, the digestive juices start flowing.
With the first bite, ptyalin, an amylase enzyme in saliva, begin the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. Chewing food well (some experts recommend 100 times per bite) promotes better digestion even before food enters the stomach where the most active chemical digestion begins. Stomach muscle contractions assist the digestive process by kneading the partially digested food while gastric juices containing hydrochloric acid (HCI), pepsin, rennin and water begin the protein-digesting process. Some fat, and to a lesser degree, carbohydrates (which have been converted to sucrose) are also partially digested at this phase of the digestive process.
This potent mix of chemicals is so strong that the stomach’s membrane lining secretes a protective mucous barrier to prevent these corrosive gastric juices from damaging the walls of the stomach. Without adequate mucosal protection, the stomach lining would be burned by its own acids, creating painful stomach ulcers. Digestive activity in the stomach lasts from one to four hours per meal depending on the combination and amounts of food ingested.
Liquids pass through the stomach most quickly; next come carbohydrates, then proteins, and finally fats. The secretion of intrinsic factor is another important function of the stomach. This protein substance is absolutely necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 during the next stage of digestion in the small intestine. The pyloric sphincter at the base of the stomach opens to release this mash of semi-digested food, called chyme, into the small intestine.
The Small Intestine
There is not much that is “small” about the small intestine. In fact, this 20-foot section of the digestive tract is charged with achieving a huge task – the unlocking and absorption of micro-nutrients from macro-nutrients. The activity of enzymes in the small intestine is supported by enzymes contained within the food we eat or enzyme supplementation we take. Over the course of approximately three hours, the small intestine, with the aid of the pancreas, liver and gall-bladder, breaks down proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars, and fats into fatty acids.
As chyme enters the small intestine, the pancreas, nestled below the stomach, contributes alkaline pancreatic juices necessary for the successful completion of the digestive process. These juices contain numerous enzymes.
If fats have been eaten, the gall-bladder releases the bile it has stored. Bile is produced by the liver and is not really an enzyme, but rather a fat emulsifier that separates fat into small droplets that pancreatic enzymes break down for absorption.
The small intestine is comprised of three sections, the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Each of these sections absorbs different nutrients through the intestinal walls. For example, calcium, vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin are absorbed by the duodenum. The jejunum absorbs fat and the ileum absorbs vitamin B12.
The Large Intestine
Basically used as a holding tank for waste produced through the digestive process, the large intestine, also referred to as the colon, is largely an elimination organ, although vitamin K, water and some electrolyte minerals are absorbed in this final section of the digestive tract. A great many bacteria live in the colon, some of them friendly and beneficial, and others, harmful and disruptive. Inadequately digested food substances can be absorbed by the body as toxins or can feed noxious intestinal bacteria.
Proper elimination of waste and bacteria from the colon is dependent upon a high fibre diet, adequate water intake, healthy intestinal flora and complete digestion of food. Fibre literally binds toxins and aids their passage through the colon while water encourages smoother elimination. Fibre also encourages the growth of healthy intestinal flora (probiotics).
Having a clearer understanding and deeper appreciation of the way our bodies process and utilise the foods we eat will ideally help us be more mindful of the choices we make that affect this daily miracle that we simply call “digestion”. Bon appetite!
In the worship of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, the ancient Greeks beheld the mysteries of life itself in the simplicity of the single grain of wheat. They understood the incredible potential of the tiny seed. In it lies the power to sustain, nourish and satisfy. In the germination and sprouting process is contained the vital energies which transform the seed into a tall strong plant which can ultimately reproduce itself many times over.
And so today we are rediscovering, in our own homes, these very mysteries. Sprouted seeds and legumes are being eaten and enjoyed in unprecedented quantities in the 21st century. Sprouting provides fresh salad ingredients any time of year and is a fun thing to do with even very young children.
Nutritionally, sprouted seeds contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, oxygen and proteins in an absorbable forms, which the most sophisticated supplement pill could not rival. Starches become simple natural sugars, splitting long-chain amino acids and converting saturated fats into free fatty acids, providing more nutrients gram for gram than any other known natural food.
Sprouting easily satisfies the demands of 21st century sustainability – it’s cheap, it’s fast, it doesn’t take up much space and, hey, it’s even FUN – on top of being so completely good for you! Here are some tips to get you started.
Overnight: soak almonds, hazels, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc. Then drain & rinse. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for just a day or two. This is enough to improve digestibility and flavour; add them to salads or to cooked rice.
Sprout for 3-5 days: following a simple soaking and rinsing system, alfalfa seeds, lentils, beans, wheat germ, will produce succulent shoots, providing a little salad patch in the tiniest corner of your own kitchen.
After soaking seeds or grains to grow shoots, make sure to keep the water. It now contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can benefit your houseplants.
If you’re interested in starting your own kitchen garden we’ve got what you need to get started. BioSnacky produces a small
jar with a screw-on mesh lid and integral stand, so that you can easily drain off water. There is also a 3-tiered set of trays, which allows you to sprout several varieties of seed without any extra effort. BioSnacky also offers a nice selection of organic seeds for growing at home, and we’ve got other grains and seeds in the bulk section that are viable for sprouting too!
Come in and ask a customer service consultant for tips!
Although probiotics and enzymes appear to perform similar functions, and both are beneficial to the vitality of the body (actually they are vital to sustaining life!) – they are, in fact very different in their helpful actions!!!
One of the major differences between digestive enzymes and probiotics is that probiotics are living organisms. They are typically bacterial, but there are also some yeast species that function as probiotics. Probiotic functions are numerous and they bolster health all over the body.
Enzymes, on the other hand, aren’t living. Enzymes are proteins, meaning they’re large molecules made up of long chains of smaller molecules called amino acids. Their function is to facilitate chemical reactions within the body. Your body produces enzymes in the cells of several different organs, including the stomach and pancreas, and secretes them as needed into the digestive tract.
Digestive enzymes break large nutritional molecules, including protein, carbohydrates and fats, into smaller molecules that your intestine can then absorb. Probiotics, on the other hand, have a variety of functions that change with the species of organism. They can assist in vitamin and mineral absorption, alleviate lactose intolerance and produce vitamins (including K and B vitamins).
Probiotics do not, however, break down food molecules you eat.
When heading out to party this weekend – consider taking a few supplements along with you to ease the suffering later in the evening and the next morning:
Our Staff Fav isParty Smart by Himalaya. All of us who like to enjoy a drink or two have tried it (including at our staff Christmas Party) and we LOVE it! All you need is 1 – 2 pills during your festivities and you wake up feeling great! If you’re a smaller person (150lb or less) one pill is typically enough, however if you’re a bit larger, or you’re really enjoying your drinks – another pill at bedtime helps!
Party Smart is a blend of herbs that cause the by-product of alcohol metabolism to be easily flushed by the body, thus avoiding the awful hang over symptoms we’re all trying to avoid at this time of year! Perfectly safe and fine to take along with any medications. Plus – it’s totally affordable! Pop in a grab one for New Year’s – we’re open until 6:30 New Year’s Eve this year.
Digestive Enzymes are another life saver – none of us leave the house without them! If you plan on over indulging a basic digestive enzyme will help your body break down all that extra food! If you are vegetarian, there are enzyme specifically for you, too. If you are gluten intolerant – and you can’t be sure of the foods you’re going to be eating at a party GlutenEase is a staff favourite. And if you’re lactose intolerant, and you’re not positive what’s in that baked good, Lactase is a life saver!
Digestive enzymes help prevent bloating, discomfort, gas, and that awful heavy exhausted feeling you get from eating too much. They’re lifesavers at a party!
Probioticsare a great way to help digestion along as well – make sure you take a double dose at bedtime to prevent constipation and support strong digestion overnight (and even help with nausea if you’ve drunk a little too much!)
Magnesium is a great hangover cure too! Lisa always takes 2 New Roots Herbal Magnesium Bisglycinatepills before bed after drinking to prevent that awful pulsing headache that goes along with hang overs!
Many people have difficulty digesting gluten and casein proteins commonly found in carbohydrates, resulting in discomforts like occasional gas and bloating. Even those on gluten-free/casein-free diets may experience difficulties due to cross-contamination from offending foods.
GlutenEase™ contains Protease Thera-blend™ (G1) along with DPP-IV activity for enhanced digestion of foods containing gluten and casein.* Starch-digesting amylase enzymes assist in the digestion of the carbohydrate portion of grains, such as wheat, which contain gluten.
Recommended Use: 1 capsule with each meal containing gluten or casein. More may be taken as needed.
This product is not intended to replace a gluten-free diet for individuals with Celiac Disease.
Thera-blend™ is an exclusive process that combines multiple strains of enzymes that work in various pH levels. Thera-blend enzymes have been shown to be three times stronger and work more than six times faster than leading digestive supplements.*
Many people have difficulty digesting gluten and casein proteins commonly found in foods, resulting in discomforts like gas and bloating. Gluten is the main protein complex primarily found in grains including wheat, barley, spelt and rye. It may also be present in medications, processed foods, soaps and cosmetics. Casein is found in dairy products and processed foods. Even those on gluten-free/casein-free diets may experience difficulties due to cross-contamination from offending foods.
According to one U.S. survey, 1 in every 3 adults is reducing or avoiding gluten consumption.1 The study conducted over a three-year period shows a consistent increase in gluten-free popularity, which may suggest a high prevalence of gluten intolerance. Although the popular solution for gluten and casein intolerance is following a gluten-free, casein free diet, eliminating the offending proteins to reduce discomfort is only effective in the short term. Once those foods are reintroduced, symptoms return. As a complement to elimination diets, enzyme supplementation may assist and enhance the digestion of foods containing gluten and casein.*
GlutenEase™ combines the Protease Thera-blend™ enzymes (G1) along with DPP-IV. Proteases high in DPP-IV activity assist in encouraging healthy inflammatory responses to gluten and casein peptides, thereby better digesting and utilizing gluten and casein containing foods.*2 The Amylase Thera-blend enzymes included assist in the digestion of the carbohydrate portion of grains, such as wheat, which contain gluten, while the glucoamylase breaks down polysaccharides into glucose units.
Thera-blend is an exclusive process that combines multiple strains of enzymes that work in various pH levels. Thera-blend enzymes have been shown to be three times stronger and work more than six times faster than leading digestive supplements.* For more information, visit www.enzymedica.com.
This product is not intended to replace a gluten-free diet for individuals with Celiac Disease.
Recommended Use: One capsule at the beginning of each meal containing gluten or casein. More may be taken as needed.For additional assistance with dairy digestion, Lacto™ should be considered.
Enzymedica does not use ingredients produced using biotechnology.
1 NPD Group. (2013 March 6). Percentage of U.S. adults trying to cut down or avoid gluten in their diets reaches new high in 2013. Retrieved from https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/percentage-of-us-adults-trying-to-cut-down-or-avoid-gluten-in-their-diets-reaches-new-high-in-2013-reports-npd/
2 Byun, T, et al. (2001). “Synergistic action of an X-prolyl dipeptidyl aminopeptida
Vege-Pro®is a vegan, plant-based protein powder blend comprised of organic sprouted brown rice, organic hemp and 8 different medicinal mushrooms.
Contains21 gramsof plant-based protein per-serving.
Contains 6 digestive enzymes blended for better digestion, and 4 probiotic strains to stimulate growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
Source of fibre from inulin and calcium for the maintenance of good health.
Great for Celiacs and those who are lactose intolerant.
As an organic powder made from mushrooms, brown rice and hemp, Vege-Pro®provides21 grams of complete protein per serving; more than 1/3 of your daily requirement*. Vege-Pro®delivers the probiotics, fibre and calcium that active men, women and developing children need to fuel a healthy, active lifestyle.
As a plant-based protein, Vege-Pro®is much easier to digest than whey, casein and other animal-based proteins. It’s no secret that plant-based diets in general are sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to animal-based diets.1