Are you absorbing the nutrients from the foods you are eating?
Gut health is an integral part of overall wellness, weight loss, hormone functioning and more. Certain hormonal imbalances (e.g. estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, insulin, cortisol, etc.) that occur during perimenopause and menopause can impact gut health because the gut plays such a major role in hormone production and metabolism. See prior blog on gut health and hormones.
Even if you are eating the best foods and your body is unable to absorb the nutrients, then what you are eating does not matter.
In order for your body to break down the foods you consume into absorbable and digestible components, digestive enzymes play a major role.
Digestive enzymes are a group of enzymes that the body uses to break down foods such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins. There are specific types of enzymes that are responsible for breaking down certain nutrients.
Here are a few of the main types of digestive enzymes and their role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients:
Amylase: Helps break down starches into simple sugars and is found in the saliva.
Alpha-galactosidase: Helps break down starchy, hard-to-digest foods, such as beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Cellulase: Helps with the digestion of a type of fiber (cellulose) found in the cell wall of many types of plants.
Lactase: Helps with the breakdown of lactose, found in milk and milk products.
Lipase: Helps the body digest and absorb fats.
Digestive enzymes are naturally in the following foods:
Digestive enzyme supplements could be helpful if you suspect you may be lacking in certain enzymes. Work with your medical practitioner to determine which enzymes are missing and you may need support.
When choosing digestive enzymes, read the ingredients and steer clear of supplements full of cheap fillers and additives.
Here are a few suggestions for supplementation:
DigestZen TerraZyme - Digestive Enzyme Complex is a blend of active whole-food enzymes and supporting cofactors that are often deficient in cooked, processed, and preservative-laden foods. It supports the body’s constant production of enzymes critical for healthy biochemical functions, including healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy.
PB Assist (Pre-biotic & Probiotic) - is a proprietary formula of pre-biotic fiber and six strains of probiotic microorganisms in a unique double layer vegetable capsule. It delivers 6 billion CFUs of active probiotic cultures and soluble pre-biotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that encourage friendly bacterial growth.
Lifelong Vitality (Daily Supplements)
Strawberry Papaya Smoothie
½ cup strawberries
1 cup sliced papaya
1 cup coconut kefir
1 scoop Fiber or Protein Powder
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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