You may be taking your vitamins and minerals, incorporating fresh fruits and veggies into your diet, and even getting the right amount of sleep, but you still feel exhausted. It could be your stress hormones that are over-firing, or maybe it’s your gut health!
Gastrointestinal issues are one of the ways our body tells us that something is not right. Unfortunately, we have become so used to the groans and grumbling of our guts that we dismiss the signals our body is sending us.
Did you know that if you are not digesting your food, your gut is inflamed, and you are experiencing digestive issues, chances are that you are feeling tired and energy deficient most of the day?
Your digestive organs, especially your large and small intestines, require a large amount of energy to work effectively and function properly. To do this, your brain diverts your body’s energy and focuses on digestion. If your intestines are required to spend hours working overtime to metabolize the food you have consumed, the rest of your body slows down and relaxes and focuses on the task at hand.
The digestion process does not always zap you of energy unless your gut health is compromised, making breaking down and metabolizing foods much more difficult or the type of foods you consume require more work to break down.
How do you know if your food is digesting properly?
- Early satiety (i.e., you get full very quickly on a small amount of food)
- Bloating and discomfort immediately following or within 20 minutes of completing a meal
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Gas (belching or flatulence)
- Food particles in the stool
- Stool that floats or looks oily/greasy
- Stomach pain
- Frequent use of antacid medications (over-the-counter or prescription)
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
The proper digestion of foods enables the nutrients to be more readily absorbed into the intestinal tract and get right to work, giving your body the vitamins and minerals it requires and reducing the energy load on your digestive tract. Consider taking a digestive enzyme before your meals. Key digestive enzymes break down the macronutrients, such as protein, fats and carbohydrates, into smaller, more absorbable particles so your body does not have to fight as hard to break them down for you.
Doesn’t My Body Produce Digestive Enzymes?
Yes, your stomach, small intestine and pancreas all make digestive enzymes. The pancreas is the powerhouse of digestion, producing the most important digestive enzymes. However, when your pancreas doesn’t naturally secret the right amount of digestive enzymes, it affects your body’s ability to break down foods into usable nutrients. Your natural enzyme production can be affected by medical conditions such as diabetes, gallbladder removal, bowel diseases and some medications and overuse of antibiotics. Enzyme production also decreases with age, diets high in sugar and processed foods, smoking, pregnancy, and chronic stress
When to Consider Supplementing with Digestive Enzymes
If you feel like you are doing all the right things and still feel sluggish during the day or after meals. Check the list of signs your foods are not digesting properly. If you check off most boxes, start by adding foods containing high amounts of enzymes. If you are still struggling, it may be time to consider enzyme supplements
Foods That Are High In Enzymes Include:
What Enzyme is Right for You?
A few key enzymes do most of the work for digestion. Unless you know which enzyme you are more deficient in, the suggestion is to take a combination supplement that contains a significant amount of the critical enzymes to produce the required effect of breaking down your foods.
- Betaine HCl works in the stomach, ensuring sufficient amounts of stomach acid to start digestion. The body requires a certain amount of acidity to release the body’s own pancreatic enzymes
- Protease functions to break down proteins
- Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates
- Lipase breaks down fats
- Lactase breaks down lactose
- Cellulase breaks down the cellulose of plant cell walls
Don’t Confuse Enzymes & Probiotics
Sometimes people confuse enzymes and probiotics. Both affect your digestion but in very different ways. Probiotics are live organisms that make up the good bacteria in your gut. They help keep your digestive tract healthy, so they support the work your enzymes do. Unlike enzymes, probiotics do not have the ability to break down or digest food components. Without good gut bacteria, you might experience symptoms similar to those of enzyme insufficiency, such as bloating or gas, due to abnormal bacterial overgrowth or imbalance in your intestines
Give Yourself Permission to Breathe
Remember to breathe!
Wherever you are in your life, we hope you give yourself permission to breathe. We hope that you take time every day to take stock of all the amazing parts of yourself, and you check personal criticism at the door.
The world we live in today is not easy; demands and stresses are bearing down on us every day. Our hope for you is that in a world that is always rushing, you can find a moment of stillness in your life to just be in the moment. Whatever that moment is.
If you feel grief, give yourself permission to feel it. If you feel tired, give yourself permission to take a rest. If you feel joy, then allow yourself to celebrate happiness. If you are not sure what you are feeling, release the pressure of trying to define the feelings and just be in the moment
Whatever happened today, this week or this month, give yourself “Permission to Breathe
- To remember
- To honour
- To celebrate
- To nurture
- To practice thankfulness
- To laugh
- To cry
- To Breathe