It’s almost that time of year when there are many helpful posts on how to maintain your health during the holidays. However, I’m not going to lecture on how to avoid gaining weight this holiday season, as I know we all know the drill. Instead, here’s some food for thought. I want to give you some information to help you digest what you do eat more efficiently, therefore helping to minimize that holiday bulge and other common digestive complaints.
As the old adage goes, you are what you Eat BUT, my take on it and what I tell all my patients is that “you are what you Digest and Absorb“. We all know that good food is key for good health, but if we’re not digesting and absorbing the nutrients, it can lead to many health issues.
How do you know if you may have a problem digesting and absorbing your food? Anyone who displays any of these symptoms may have some digestion concerns:
- Bloating and gas, particularly after eating, more often than not
- Feeling full after eating, regardless of the size of the meal
- Infrequent mild indigestion/heartburn
- Bowel irregularities such as occasional diarrhea and/or constipation
- Undigested food particles in the stool
- Allergies – both food and environmental
- Estrogen dominance/hormonal imbalances
- Gallbladder problems or no gallbladder
So, what is one to do if you suffer from some of these common issues?
Digestive enzymes are a great place to start. There are many digestive enzymes on the market, but the ones I recommend contain the following:
Betaine hydrochloride (HCl)
Also known as stomach acid. Betaine HCl helps to support proper stomach acidity, as adequate HCl is necessary to begin the breakdown of proteins and to trigger the secretion of enzymes that help digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Ox bile extract and lipase
Bile, normally produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, is necessary to emulsify and digest fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Ox bile and lipase are very important for anyone with a hormonal imbalance because Bile helps detox us from “dirty” estrogens, while Lipase helps break down fats to make them available as raw material for the production of these important hormones: cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone.
Without breaking down fats, your body gets depleted in fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K.
What to expect from digestive enzymes
- A feeling of lighter and energized after a meal
- Improved digestion
- Reduction in food intolerances
- Better bowel movement
- Allergy reduction
- Improved energy and overall wellbeing due to nutrients get properly absorbed
- Improved thyroid function, especially those with Hashimoto’s disease
- Women who have lost gallbladder feel significantly better when taking digestive enzymes
How do you effectively use Digestive Enzymes?
I recommend my patients take 1-2 tablets with EVERY meal, especially if it is a higher fat or protein-containing meal.