Enzymes help ensure that every chemical process in the body gets completed accurately and efficiently. Each enzyme serves a specific function and acts as an activator for very precise processes. These processes include absorption of nutrients, removal of toxins, energy production, hormone regulation, battling infection, etc. Our bodies produce digestive enzymes that are vital for the breakdown of nutrients, like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, but foods can also be an excellent source.
Certain foods can boost the digestive process by helping with bloating and providing fundamental enzymes used in triggering your body’s metabolism. Below are some foods that are rich in digestive enzymes:
Avocados – Avocados contain lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme that is essential in the metabolism of fats. Add a ¼ of an avocado to your smoothie or topping your salad with cubed pieces. Try this quick Kale and Edamame Guacamole to enjoy with fresh, sliced vegetables.
Papaya – Papain is an enzyme in papaya that works to break proteins into their most basic form so we can utilize them to aid in the healing and growth of our bodies. Need proof? Mash some fresh papaya and apply to your face. In minutes the enzyme will breakdown the dead surface skin [protein] and leave you with a fresh glow! For a quick dose of enzymes, try this refreshing snack – squeeze lime juice over cubed papaya and enjoy with some raw walnuts.
Pineapples –Bromelain is a compound found in pineapple that is the source of many enzymes useful in protein digestion. Research has shown that bromelain contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. Add ½ cup of pineapple to your green smoothie to mask the strong flavor of cruciferous greens such as kale. A pineapple is ripe when the bottom yields to some pressure and is very fragrant. Also, we love this fruit for its ability to add freshness to savory dishes. Our Fish in Parchment with Fresh Pineapple Salsa is a meal plan favorite.
Sauerkraut – Fermented vegetables are an excellent source of enzymes and living probiotics. When purchasing, look for sauerkraut made with water and salt, not vinegar. This will ensure that the cabbage has been fermented and not pickled. Eat alone or enjoy as a side dish to promote healthy digestion.