by Charles Weller

If you’ve ever dealt with stomach or other digestive pain, you know just how frustrating it can be to feel as if your body is rebelling against you. Usually, these pains are occasional and temporary, but for an increasing number of Americans, digestion is becoming a daily concern.

According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, one in four people experience symptoms of acid reflux or GERD on a weekly basis. Annually, there are nearly 65 million prescriptions written to treat this disease. 

Yet GERD is just one of the many digestive diseases plaguing up to 70 million Americans. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and leaky gut are just a few of the other, quite frustrating, disorders that doctors often struggle to accurately diagnose and effectively treat.

Eliminating hard-to-digest foods

If you’ve suffered from digestive issues in the past, you may have found that switching to a plant-based diet has eased — or perhaps completely eliminated — your digestive woes. This is likely due in part to the fact that most meats and dairy products are particularly acid producing and more difficult for your stomach to digest. It can also come from the fact that you’ve cut out processed foods, many of which contain chemicals and preservatives that are hard on the gut.

Digestive enzymes

However, the digestive benefits of a plant-based diet don’t just result from the elimination of certain foods — these benefits also come from the nutrient-rich foods that have been added to your diet. By design, a plant-based diet is a high-fiber diet. Many of the fruits and vegetables you now consume in greater quantities are jam packed with healthy fiber that not only regulates digestion, but also helps clean toxins out of your body.

On a plant-based diet, you’re also eating more raw foods that will help reduce inflammation and provide essential enzymes. Raw nuts and seeds contain an enzyme called lipase, which helps with the breakdown of fats, while raw fruits and vegetables are a great source of amylase, an enzyme responsible for digesting carbohydrates. Enzymes don’t simply help to digest — or breakdown — foods, they also help your body absorb the critical nutrients contained in your foods. So in order to get the full benefit of your healthy, plant-based diet, it’s important to ensure that your gut is “well-stocked” with critical enzymes.

Enzyme supplements

Consuming a broad variety of whole, raw, plant-based foods will help increase your enzyme count and support your digestive system. However, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have enough of each essential enzyme. Unfortunately, the foods we buy in grocery stores have often been grown in less than optimal conditions, which can make their enzyme count low. Additionally, when foods are cooked, rather than eaten raw, they lose some of their enzymes. That’s why enzyme supplements are a critical component of a healthy, plant-based diet.

A full spectrum of enzyme supplements can be purchased at your local health food store. They can also be found in Superfood Protein. Because we understand the importance of digestive enzymes, we’ve packed this organic plant-based protein powder with a proprietary plant-based enzyme blend from protease, papain and bromelain. These enzymes facilitate the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, helping you make the most of your plant-based diet.

Charles Weller
Charles Weller