Vegan Guide to Plant Based Digestive Enzymes Supplements
If a vegan diet is well though-out, chances are that it’s full of healthful foods. They’re of little value, though, if the body can’t make use of nutrients they provide. In fact, poor nutrient absorption is where most vegan diets fail.
Digestive enzymes can help avoid this shortcoming. Our guide shares what every vegan should know about digestive enzymes.
Why Bother with Digestive Enzymes to Start With?
Digestive enzymes help break down nutrients and facilitate their further absorption by the body. They also help the body handle toxins and get rid of metabolic waste products. In a nutshell, digestive enzymes make digestion work. And it’s a shame digestive enzymes don’t get the attention they deserve.
The body has a natural ability to produce digestive enzymes. Amylase, lipase, protease, trypsin, pepsin, and ptyalin are some of the major digestive enzymes the body makes on its own. As the need arises, the production of digestive enzymes starts in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, and intestines.
Sadly, in this day and age, most people neglect their digestive health and end up with a compromised digestive system. When this is the case, the body has a hard time making use of the nutrients that come with food. Eventually, the endogenous enzymes the body produces don’t do the trick anymore.
That’s where exogenous digestive enzymes, from food and supplements, come in handy. With their help, you can give your body the extra digestive enzymes it needs but doesn’t have time to make. This way you can help your body work around the digestive issues that impede nutrient absorption.
Let’s take a look at some of the best plant-based sources of digestive enzymes.
Best Plant-Based Sources of Digestive Enzymes for Vegans
Vegans are in luck when it comes to digestive enzymes. There’s a wealth of plant-based foods that can supply them. Our guide has selected some of the richest plant-based sources of digestive enzymes for you to use in your diet.
These supreme plant-based sources of digestive enzymes are:
- Papaya This fruit is a rich source of papain, the digestive enzyme that helps unpack protein into amino acids.
- Pineapple Rich in bromelain, this tropical fruit supplies a wealth of digestive enzymes that help extract amino acids out of proteins.
- Mango Mangoes contain amylase. This digestive enzyme can turn complex carbs from starches into simple sugars such as glucose and maltose.
- Bananas This well-known fruit is packed with glucosidases and amylases, the digestive enzymes that break down complex carbs into simple sugars.
- Honey Being a superfood, raw honey has a wealth of digestive enzymes. They include amylase, protease, invertase, and diastase.
- Sauerkraut Like many other fermented plant-based foods, sauerkraut offers an abundant supply of digestive enzymes as well as prebiotics.
- Kefir This fermented beverage is a powerhouse of digestive enzymes, like proteases, lipases, and lactases. Vegan-friendly kefir can be made of coconut or almond milk.
- Avocado Avocadoes contain lipase, the digestive enzyme that helps break down fats into fatty acids.
- Ginger This healthful root helps the body make more digestive enzymes and contains zingibain that aids in protein absorption.
- Kiwi This fruit is rich in actinidain, the digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins into amino acids.
These plant-based foods work well on their own. And they also serve as base ingredients in vegan digestive enzyme supplements. Such supplements can be a decent source of digestive enzymes in itself.
Digestive enzymes don’t work at maximum capacity right off the bat, though.
How to Make the Most of Digestive Enzymes
It isn’t enough to simply eat plant-based foods that are rich in digestive enzymes. Or take vegan digestive enzyme supplements based on such foods.
- Drink plenty of water Without proper hydration, it becomes impossible for the digestive tract to be effective at its job.
- Eat foods as raw as possible Digestive enzymes are heat-sensitive and exposing them to cooking is a sure way to destroy them.
- Get probiotics and prebiotics Probiotics from foods like kefir provide the beneficial bacteria that support digestive health. And prebiotics from sources like sauerkraut serve as food for these bacteria, helping them survive.
- Avoid foods that interfere with digestion Highly processed foods and foods with artificial ingredients are usually anything but beneficial for digestive health.
Doing all of this will allow digestive enzymes to work their magic. We hope our vegan guide to digestive enzymes has been of help to you.