Unlocking the Benefits: Digestive Enzymes in Plant-Based Nutrition

Every person’s body is different, including people’s guts. While plant-based nutrition is a healthy choice for anyone, those with low levels of the relevant digestive enzymes may have trouble processing some of the components in the plants, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort.

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

People’s bodies produce digestive enzymes naturally. They’re essential for the proper digestion and the absorption of important nutrients. For those who don’t make enough of these key substances, bloating and discomfort may get in the way of adopting a healthy, plant-based diet.

The good news is that people can also get digestive enzymes from food and supplements. The simplest way to ensure that the body can break down foods properly is to take vegan digestive enzymes daily.

Food-Based Sources of Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes also come in certain types of foods. Most of them are either fruit or fermented vegetables. Good examples of the first category include pineapple, papaya, mango, and banana, all of which have different beneficial enzymes.

Fermented foods also provide a wealth of digestive enzymes, plus probiotics to support a healthy microbial community. Fermented foods contain live cultures and are always found in the refrigerated section at the store. They include common foods like sauerkraut and some types of yogurt and more specialty selections like miso and koji.

Unfortunately, fermented foods tend to be expensive, and not everyone likes them enough to include multiple servings of them in their diets every day. The alternative is to take a plant-based digestive enzyme supplement that also includes probiotics.

Who Should Use Digestive Enzymes

People who are newly vegetarian or vegan often find that it takes a while for their bodies to adjust to the diets. Taking digestive enzymes can make the critical transition easier. There are three primary categories of enzymes:

  • Amylases break down carbohydrates.

Lipases break down fats.

Proteases break down protein.

A good plant-based digestive enzyme supplement will have the relevant forms of the substances to help consumers break down all of the foods they regularly eat. For some, their bodies eventually begin making more enzymes as they adjust to the diet. Others prefer to continue taking supplements indefinitely.

Vegans and vegetarians aren’t the only ones who can benefit from plant-based digestive enzymes. Meat eaters also need to get a full range of nutrients and are just as likely to struggle with inadequate digestive enzyme production. Anyone who experiences poor digestion should try them.

How to Take Digestive Enzymes

There are two ways to add digestive enzymes to a diet. The first is to take them with each meal. The second is to plan ahead and consume the supplements around half an hour in advance.

For those who know their bodies well, there’s no need to take the digestive enzymes except when eating foods that cause digestive upset. However, determining what those trigger foods are requires following an elimination diet and often the help of a nutritionist.

Only Buy High-Quality Supplements

Not all digestive enzyme supplements are created equal, so don’t just buy the cheapest ones available. They might not work, wasting consumers’ money and eliminating their confidence in the products as a whole. Instead, buy high-quality supplements supported by research. 

Reputable supplement vendors will be able to guarantee that their products are vegan, gluten-free, pure, and potent. Their products are developed through careful research and backed by science. Don’t settle for less than the best.

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