What Are Digestive Enzymes?

what are digestive enzymes?

I’m a big fan of digestive enzymes. If there was a giant foam finger for them, I’d gladly wave it around in the air. And I’d, yeah, likely encourage you to get on the digestive enzyme train, too.

digestive enzymes

BUT I think it’s important, before you go out and buy a bottle, to really understand their deal, so you don’t expect them to be something they’re not (like I’ve done with WAY too many movies on Amazon Prime…).

Rather than give you some scientific blah blah blah explanation of what digestive enzymes are, I’m gonna break it down for you the way that I know best: in metaphors. Two metaphors to be exact.

Metaphor 1: Digestive enzymes are like Spanx.

In the same way that Spanx can’t CHANGE your body – your bone structure, height, weight on the scale, etc. digestive enzymes can’t CHANGE your digestive system: they can’t suddenly make you not allergic to peanuts or make it so 2 cupcakes don’t go straight to your love handles. What they CAN do, much like Spanx, is give you an advantage, you know? The same way Spanx can get rid of your panty lines or make your stomach appear flatter in your gown, digestive enzymes can lessen the blow that a few french fries takes on your heartburn, or help you digest that holiday pie quicker than without them.

Also in the same way that you don’t just randomly throw on Spanx – you plan on wearing it with a special outfit or event, you ought to take digestive enzymes in anticipation for a uniquely hard-to-digest meal, too.

I take and recommend digestive enzymes if you’re about to eat something you notoriously don’t digest very easily. Again, this doesn’t mean if you’re lactose intolerant you can just pop a few enzymes and enjoy a DQ milkshake, but this does mean that if you’re like me and non-gluten-free bread makes you feel non-perfect after eating, but you know where you’re going only has gluten-full bread for sandwiches, a few digestive enzymes, taken BEFORE EATING, might help you (and I) feel less lousy.

Another example: I have an annual tradition of enjoying truffle french fries on the top of a ski mountain in Telluride, Colorado. I know that fried food doesn’t make my gut feel great, so since I know in advance that I’m going to be enjoying such a decadence, I bring some enzymes to eat alongside the truffle ketchup. (Again – just like you put on Spanx when you’re anticipating wanting less belly protrusion when wearing a gown for a wedding or something.)

digestive enzymes

Metaphor 2: Digest enzymes are like insurance.

Much like insurance is there to protect you from things you CAN’T ANTICIPATE, I carry around a few digestive enzymes to protect me when there are hard-to-digest situations I can’t anticipate.

An example of this would be if I get a really unpleasant email just as I’m sitting down to eat dinner. Eating while experiencing negative emotions can really negatively affect digestion, so because I don’t want to walk away from dinner angry about the email AND furious at my stomach, I could pop a few digestive enzymes before eating to give me a little digestive boost.

Another time digestive enzymes might come in uber-handy is when you’re traveling!!! Traveling, as I’m sure you know, takes a tremendous toll on our

Basically: digestive enzymes are helpers. They can HELP US DIGEST BETTER – they can assist our bodies in the whole breaking-down-our-food situation…but they are not a miracle cure.

Breaking down our food better can help us have less heartburny issues, less bloating, less stomach pain and even MAYBE lose weight (since undigested food can just sit in us making us store extra weight!) – all GREAT stuff! But if you’re looking for like, a genie in a digestive-enzyme-pill bottle, to make all your food digest perfectly and your weight fly off easily, you’re looking in the wrong bottle.

Also – much like you wouldn’t get Spanx if you have a Gisele-esque stomach, or you wouldn’t buy pet insurance if you don’t have a pet, you really don’t need to purchase digestive enzymes if you don’t struggle to, well.. DIGEST! I take them because, if you remember my story, I have/had? that IBS thing, so my digestion isn’t always top notch. If yours is – CONGRATS! Be oh-SO thankful and skip those enzymes altogether.

Now if you’re wondering what enzymes I recommend, my favorites are:

And I also dig these from Whole Foods:

what are digestive enzymes

 Ok. Your turn! Any extra enzyme questions? Leave ’em below:

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