What are the four main digestive enzymes?
Unlike nutrients such as omega-3s, where we have to rely on fish from our diet or a supplement like cod liver oil because our bodies can’t produce them on their own, we have several organs that naturally secrete and release digestive enzymes.
Our body's most powerful digestive enzymes are:
- Protease, which digests protein
- Amylase, which digests carbohydrates
- Lipase, which digests fats
Along with taking a digestive enzyme supplement, we should try incorporating more foods into our diet that naturally contain digestive enzymes. Some of these include: pineapple, which can help with the digestion and absorption of proteins; papaya, which contains protease; and mango, which provides amylase. Honey also provides digestive enzymes, including:
- Diastase, which helps our body break down starch into maltose
- Invertase, which helps break down sucrose into glucose and fructose
We can eat more bananas to increase amylase and glucosidase, both of which break down complex carbs into smaller and more easily absorbed sugars. Avocados contain the digestive enzyme lipase, and kiwi is a great source of digestive enzymes, particularly actinidain, which is a protease.
Fruits aren’t the only digestive enzyme-rich foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, ginger, and miso can also help support a healthy digestive system.
When should we take digestive enzymes?
Adding digestive aids into our daily regimen may help with the health of our complex digestive system. If we don't have a consistent meal routine or we don't always eat a well-balanced diet, a supplement can be beneficial. We may also want to add a digestive aid if we're interesting in providing our digestive system with some extra support.
Is it safe to take digestive enzymes daily?
If using digestive aids from a reputable source and taking them as recommended, they’re generally considered safe for daily use.
How do I know if I need digestive enzymes?
What kinds of digestive aids does Carlson offer?
Carlson offers melt-in-your-mouth Probiotic Stix for kids and Natural Digestive Enzymes in bottles or Grab + Go Packs with protease, amylase, and lipase for adults. Additionally, our delayed-release serrapeptase supports not only digestive health, but also immune system health and joint function.