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5 Surprising Benefits of Digestive Enzymes


Digestive enzymes rarely get the spotlight they deserve, especially given the vast array of surprising benefits they offer.

Most people know that these unique enzymes — found in certain foods as well as in our stomach acid — work in the digestive system to help breakdown macronutrients like fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And some may even know that digestive enzymes can work wonders for acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, constipation and other digestive tract issues.

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But what few people know is that digestive enzymes can actually do a whole lot more for your health. These active proteins are needed for almost all metabolic processes in the body, and have been known to actually help to increase energy, increase the effectiveness of a colon or liver cleanse, improve the quality of hair, skin and nails, prevent and ease allergy symptoms and even curb cravings. In fact, many of the patients I work with see huge improvements to their digestion system after they begin taking digestive enzymes prior to meals, but they also report some of these other added benefits.

So why do enzymes have some of these added benefits? The old saying “you are what you eat” is not actually true, in truth “you are what you absorb” and better absorption is one of the main reasons digestive enzymes provide all of these extra benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the incredible benefits of adding a digestive enzyme to your daily regimen.

1. Boosts Energy

The reason why digestive enzymes help to increase your energy is that they help your body digest and absorb your food a lot more efficiently. When food enters the stomach, it is supposed to be broken down by hydrocholoric acid (HCL) and pancreatic enzymes (collectively known as digestive enzymes) into smaller, digestible molecules. These molecules then enter the small intestine, where they will be absorbed and put to use in our bodies.

If food does not get properly broken down in the stomach, digestion and absorption will not happen efficiently and can leave you feeling fatigued and sluggish. Taking digestive enzymes ensures that your body will be using less energy for the whole digestion and absorption process, leaving you with more energy to do the things you love!

2. Increases Effectiveness of Liver and Colon Cleanses

The point of cleansing your liver and/or your colon is to help the colon and the liver to become more efficient at their jobs and help to detox the body. The liver and the colon cannot properly do their job if the first part of digestion is not functioning optimally. If you are not properly digesting your food in your stomach and thus not absorbing your nutrients it can actually put more stress on the liver and on the colon.

Adding in a digestive enzyme during a cleanse will drastically increase the effectiveness of your cleanse.

3. Improves Quality of Hair, Skin and Nails

Another really great perk of taking digestive enzymes is the impact it can have on your hair, skin and nails. When nutrient absorption is increased, this means that all of the vitamins and minerals that aid in hair growth, nail strength and skin health are going to be more readily available to your body to be put to use!

4. Prevents and Eases Allergy Symptoms

In my experience the root cause of many allergy symptoms is leaky gut, and one of the main causes of leaky gut is poor digestion in the stomach. When food particles do not get broken down properly in the stomach and they enter the small intestines, they do not get absorbed like they should and instead they can cause damage to the intestinal lining.  In some cases this can trigger food allergies, food sensitivities and/or environmental allergies.

One of the best ways to prevent the development of allergies is to make sure there is optimal digestion starting in the stomach. Digestive enzymes can also help to reduce allergy symptoms by reducing the overall allergic burden on the system.

5. Curbs Hunger and Cravings

When you are not absorbing nutrients, the body will continue to be hungry or to have cravings even if you are eating regular healthy meals. When you are properly digesting and absorbing nutrients and the body gets what it needs, cravings and unnecessary hunger will begin to subside.

Taking a digestive enzyme can be really beneficial in helping to diminish those cravings and for some, it can ultimately help with weight loss.

Have you tried a digestive enzyme before? Let us know about your experience in the comments!

Dr. Kinney is a doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, an adrenal fatigue expert and the founder of the Body Wisdom Method. She specializes in helping women balance their stress hormones, improve their mood and increase their energy. Many of the patients at her clinic in Annapolis, Maryland suffer from anxiety, insomnia, thyroid disorders, digestive issues, weight gain, joint pain and more. She is extremely passionate about teaching women how to rebalance and restore their innate healing ability.

She received a bachelor of arts from Vanderbilt University and is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). Dr. Kinney is an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and passionate about spreading awareness about Natural Medicine. She enjoys yoga, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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