Digestive enzymes and probiotics are both necessary for a healthy digestive system, but they are very different.
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are living microorganisms (live, good bacteria) mainly located in the intestines. They are your “soldiers” to help fight off the bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites found in your gut. They not only help support overall digestion, but also the immune system. Probiotics also help support a strong gut barrier (along with L-Glutamine), ultimately preventing pathogens from entering the blood. The healthier your gut, the healthier your overall digestion, immune system and body will feel!
WHAT ARE ENZYMES?
Digestive enzymes are nonliving, microscopic protein molecules that help break down the food in your GI tract. They play a key role in proper digestion so that your body can adequately absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.
Different enzymes break down different things.
Protease – main focus is breaking down protein
Amylases – main focus is breaking down carbohydrates
Papain – main focus is breaking down proteins
Lipases – main focus is breaking down fats
Bromelain (part of the protease family) – in addition to digestion, bromelain has been used to treat pain and inflammation, particularly in the gut.
An animal study found that purified fruit bromelain reduced
inflammation and healed mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease in rats.
In addition to the above enzymes, my Digestive Enzymes I created with Nuzest, also contains Actinidia – have you heard of it? It’s the active ingredient in kiwi fruit. We harvested a concentration (just like all the other components in these capsules) provide the benefits associated with such an enzyme. HERE are just a few other benefits of Actinidia beyond digestion.
If we aren’t digesting food,
we aren’t absorbing nutrients we need to function.
Do we need both?
As you can see, probiotics and digestive enzymes are completely different but both aid in digestion in different ways. We need them both for not only optimal digestion, but optimal health. After all, if we aren’t digesting food, we aren’t absorbing nutrients we need to function. It all starts in the gut!
How to incorporate both probiotics and enzymes in our diet.
Sources of probiotics:
• Cultured greek yogurt
• Fermented sauerkraut (be aware, this can make you gassy and bloated)
*Some may think kombucha is a a healthy source of probiotics, however in my own experience, it actually caused and exacerbated my yeast overgrowth! Unless you make it yourself, I don’t reccomend it.
• Probiotic capsules / powder. *Be careful, not all probiotic capsules are the same! I personally stay away from the saccharomyces family (CLICK HERE why) and stick to my own protein powder which contains the strongest probiotic strain (Bacillus Coagulans) known to help fight off yeast overgrowth(2).
Sources of Digestive Enzymes:
• Digestive Enzyme Capsules – the ones I created with Nuzest contain concentrated enzymes extracted from the first 4 fruits listed above in a vegan capsule, and do NOT contain any silicone dioxide, gums, soy, or yeast (commonly in many other pills) and is gluten free!