The digestive system is an incredibly sophisticated machine that starts with your salivary glands. It can break down food into such tiny portions that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and then transported throughout the entire body.
It does this through the production of digestive enzymes that break down foods and turn them into essential, life- and energy-sustaining nutrients. Enzymes speed up the rate of a chemical reaction to help the body break down and absorb things like carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle.
If you pay attention, you’ll be able to recognize when your body is releasing digestive enzymes, because you will start to salivate—and this is the very beginning of the digestive process. Things like the smell of food and the anticipation of a good meal start the release of enzymes.
Enzymes are microscopic molecules released by cells. Gut enzymes are mainly produced in the small intestine, stomach, and pancreas, but they are also released by saliva glands. For the gut to produce enzymes, a healthy microbiome is essential.
Types of enzymes
There are different types of digestive enzymes that are essential for breaking down specific nutrients in the foods we eat.
- Protease is responsible for breaking down amino acids, which are essential for tissue repair, protein synthesis, and absorbing nutrients. They are also necessary for immune function and proper cell division.
- Lipase is essential for breaking down fats and oils.
- Maltase turns malt sugar into glucose, which is what supplies the body with energy.
- Lactase breaks down the sugar found in dairy products and turns it into energy-producing glucose.
After food has been broken down by enzymes, hair-like structures that line the intestines absorb the nutrients directly into the bloodstream. The bloodstream carries the nutrients throughout the body.
There are certain things that decrease enzyme production. Running a fever decreases healthy enzyme production. So do certain medications, like antibiotics. Stress, smoking, and a sugar-packed diet wreak havoc on enzyme production. Aging is also a culprit in reduced enzyme production.
Without digestive enzymes, the body would not be able to absorb essential nutrients. Low enzyme production can result in:
- Weakened immune system
- Food intolerance
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain and obesity
- Skin problems
How to increase digestive enzyme production with food
Certain foods, like fruits and vegetables, naturally have enzymes in them. Some great enzyme-packed fruits and veggies to add to your diet include avocado, papaya, grapes, banana, and kiwi. Try incorporating one of these with your lunch every day.
Also, don’t overheat your food—especially if you’re cooking fruits or vegetables. Heat kills the natural enzymes found in foods.
ASEA® VIA™ Biome
Adding a prebiotic and probiotic supplement to your diet is a great way to fill in the nutrition gaps that diet alone cannot fill. Adding a supplement made specifically to promote gut health is a great idea.
ASEA VIA Biome contains 16 probiotic strains that help assimilate vitamins and minerals. It soothes the digestive system, supports a healthy body mass index, helps maintain metabolism, and helps the body’s natural ability to respond to stress.
In addition to probiotics, VIA Biome contains the BioVIA™ Biome complex, a proprietary prebiotic blend with several known benefits:
- Maintains beneficial digestive organisms, which help release gut enzymes
- Contains soluble fiber essential for colon health
- Helps increase good gut flora, which helps release gut enzymes
- Acts as food for microflora, which also helps in the release of gut enzymes
Other supplements from ASEA
In addition to their Biome™ complex, ASEA has an entire award-winning vitamin line to help increase overall health and wellness. Each ASEA® product was created with unique proprietary blends of nutrients formulated to improve nutritional benefits and achieve complete health.
Ten years ago may have been the best time to start taking better care of yourself, but now is the second-best time. Start taking steps now and give an ASEA® product a try. In a decade (or much sooner), you’ll be thanking yourself!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.