Here's What You Should Take If You Have Trouble Digesting Food
Millions and millions of Americans have trouble digesting food.
In fact, I'd be willing to wager that some of the top complaints we hear in our office are related to digestive issues.
For the most part, I think digestion problems relate directly to the kinds of foods we eat.
I know what you're probably thinking - "Here it comes again, Dr. Wiggy is gonna tell me I don't need to eat gluten, dairy, soy, yadda-yadda."
Well guess what? You're right and you're wrong.
Sure, most of the time my first inclination is to recommend eliminating problematic foods causing bloating, gas, indigestion, IBS, etc.
But I've got to make a confession.
Saying, "Cut this and cut that" won't always solve digestive problems; in fact, in a fair number of cases, the reason people aren't able to digest food well has everything to do with their stomach not producing the correct enzymes needed for digestion.
This happens even when they're doing everything they can to provide their bodies with the foods they should be able to digest with ease.
The good news here is I can show you some safe, natural and easy fixes which are scientifically proven to help with some of the most common digestive problems.
Seven Supplements Proven To Help Anyone With Trouble Digesting Food
Do you have trouble digesting carbohydrates, fats, proteins or fiber (or all four put together)?
If you do, then you'll be quite excited to learn that naturally occurring supplements and enzymes can be added directly into your diet to assist with digestion.
Some of these are found in exotic fruits like pineapple or papaya; others are found in your body and can be reproduced naturally (if your body doesn't make as much as you need) for additional supplementation.
Here's the truth - regardless where you get them from, the following seven supplemental enzymes can easily help do the following:
- Reduce indigestion
- Manage weight
- Curb gas
- Help promote regularity
- Ease digestive pain
And much more!
#1 - Bromelain:
Bromelain is one of the most powerful digestive enzymes out there.
Found in pineapple (mainly the stem and the juice), bromelain isn't just great for digestion - it also has other exciting uses. Bromelain is used for "relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body get rid of fat."
Taking a little bit before a meal can help facilitate better digestion.
#2 - Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL):
You might recognize the second word in this supplement.
Hydrochloride is chemically similar (though not the exact same thing) as the hydrochloric acid found in your stomach. It's been shown in several studies taking Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL) before meals can promote production of more stomach acid. This has been shown to aid with digestion.
You might remember one of the major causes of occasional indigestion is actually related to low levels of stomach acid.
By taking Betaine Hydrochloride you're giving your body the opportunity to digest food with ease, especially if low stomach acid is indeed one of your main issues.
#3 - Pepsin:
According to Worthington-BioChem, pepsin "...is the principal proteolytic enzyme of vertebrate gastric juice. Its inactive precursor form, pepsinogen, is produced in stomach mucosa. The minor pepsins are designated 'B', 'C', and 'D', while the major component is 'A' "
Don't know what that means?
It's actually really simple: pepsin is an enzyme found in your stomach's digestive juice, which helps break down protein.
Proteins are quite dense, and in many cases, are difficult for the body to break down properly. By including pepsin in your supplementation, you could provide your body with major relief (if protein digestion causes you major discomfort).
#4 - Papain:
Have you ever heard someone tell you to eat papaya if you frequently have stomach issues?
Well let me explain why they say that (even if they don't know).
Its not because they're tropical fruit freaks - it's actually because papaya contains an enzyme called papain. Papain is a lot like pepsin, as it has the proven ability to break apart the bonds of amino acids (which form proteins). People with low stomach acid often have difficulty breaking down proteins, so the inclusion of papain in a normal diet can help make the digestive process much easier.
The benefits of papain? Less pain, less gas, less bloating and the ability to enjoy your favorite foods more often.
#5 - Cellulase:
Tons of people have major issues eating healthy because they don't have enough cellulase in their body.
Here they are, eating all those fruits and vegetables the doctor tells them to eat while regretting every minute of it. Somehow eating those healthy foods ends up putting them on the couch with a hot pad for a while.
One of the reasons this problem exists is a lack of cellulase - meaning the body can't break down cellulose (a kind of crystalline sugar found in fruits and vegetables).
Cellulase is produced by bacteria in the gut, so those with a bad balance of healthy gut bacteria don't get enough of it. Adding cellulase to your diet can help make eating healthy both pleasurable and beneficial.
#6 - Lipase:
If you've ever eaten an extra fatty food and found yourself suffering immediately afterward, it's probably because you don't have enough lipase in your diet.
Lipase is one of the most important enzymes around, as it helps to break up fatty acids. Normally your body would produce it in the pancreas; but, because of environmental stress, bad diet, and other circumstances lipase production can decline.
Supplementing can help with digestion while at the same time helping you extract all the nutrients from healthy fat (and even helping you lose weight).
#7 - Pancreatin:
Pancreatin isn't just one enzyme; it's actually a mixture of trypsin, amylase and lipase. Produced in the pancreas (hence its name), there are quite a few reasons why your body might not produce the right amount.
Supplementing with it can fix the problem of under-production. Not only will this help with digestive distress, but there's also even research to show supplementation with pancreatin helps with respiratory and heart health.