Last updated on August 23rd, 2023.
Plant-based enzymes are rapidly gaining popularity amongst the health-conscious individuals who are looking for ways to improve their digestion and overall wellness. Unlike traditional digestive aids, plant-based enzymes are derived from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and fungi, and offer a range of benefits for digestion, immune system function, and inflammation. In this article, we will explore the basics of plant-based enzymes, their benefits, and the best plant-based enzymes for digestive health.
What is a Plant-Based Enzyme?
Enzymes play an essential role in the body’s digestive system, helping to break down food into smaller, more easily absorbed molecules. Without enzymes, our bodies would struggle to extract the nutrients we need from the food we eat, leading to poor nutrient absorption, digestive discomfort, and other health issues.
Plant-based enzymes are a type of enzyme that is sourced from natural, plant-based sources rather than animal products. They are derived from a variety of sources, including fruits, vegetables, and fungi, and are often extracted using techniques such as fermentation and extraction. Unlike animal-based enzymes, which are often derived from animal pancreases, plant-based enzymes are vegan-friendly and more sustainable.
Plant-based enzymes can help improve digestion by breaking down food particles and making nutrients more easily available for absorption. For example, the enzyme amylase helps break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, while lipase helps break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Protease, another type of enzyme, helps break down proteins into amino acids, which the body can use for a variety of functions, including tissue repair and growth.
In addition to aiding digestion, plant-based enzymes can also have other health benefits. Some enzymes, such as bromelain and papain, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can help improve immune system function and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
How Are Plant-Based Enzymes Different from Meat-Based Enzymes?
Meat-based enzymes are sourced from the pancreas of pigs, cows, and other animals. These enzymes, known as pancreatic enzymes, are commonly prescribed to individuals with pancreatic insufficiency, cystic fibrosis, and other digestive disorders. However, unlike plant-based enzymes, these enzymes are not vegan-friendly and may cause adverse reactions in some individuals.
Plant-based enzymes, on the other hand, are extracted from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and fungi, and are vegan-friendly. They are also less likely to cause adverse reactions in individuals and are often considered safer and gentler on the digestive system.
Are Plant-Based Enzymes Good for You?
Plant-based enzymes offer a range of benefits for digestive health, immune function, and inflammation. They help in breaking down food particles, aiding digestion, and nutrient absorption. When food is not properly digested, it can lead to digestive discomfort, bloating, and inflammation. Plant-based enzymes can help reduce these symptoms and promote overall digestive health.
Additionally, plant-based enzymes can also help with immune system function. Enzymes such as bromelain, found in pineapples, and papain, found in papaya, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can help improve immune function and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Even regular apples with their many benefits and enzymes. That’s why we have a saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Are Plant Enzymes Good for IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It is characterized by symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel movements. While there is no cure for IBS, certain lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications and digestive aids, can help manage symptoms.
Plant-based enzymes can be beneficial for individuals with IBS. They help in breaking down food particles, reducing inflammation, and promoting overall digestive health. Some of the best plant-based enzymes for IBS include protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, and lactase.
What are the Best Plant-Based Enzymes for Digestion?
There are several types of plant-based enzymes that can aid in digestion. Here are some of the best plant-based enzymes for digestion:
- Protease: Protease helps in breaking down proteins into amino acids. It is found in sources such as papaya, pineapple, and ginger.
- Amylase: Amylase helps in breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars. It is found in sources such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and grapes.
- Lipase: Lipase helps in breaking down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. It is found in sources such as avocado, coconut, and nuts.
- Cellulase: Cellulase helps in breaking down cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in plant cell walls. It is found in sources such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and beans.
- Lactase: Lactase helps in breaking down lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. It is found in sources such as kefir, yogurt, and other fermented dairy products.
- Bromelain: Bromelain is a protease enzyme found in pineapple that helps in breaking down protein. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Papain: Papain is a protease enzyme found in papaya that helps in breaking down protein. It can also help reduce inflammation and improve wound healing.
- Gingerol: Gingerol is an enzyme found in ginger that helps in breaking down protein. It can also help reduce inflammation, nausea, and vomiting.
Finding All of Those Plant-Based Enzymes in One Place
Plant-based enzymes are an essential part of maintaining optimal digestive health, and supplementing with them can provide a range of benefits. Athletic Greens is a popular supplement that contains a comprehensive blend of plant-based enzymes, including protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, and lactase. These enzymes help break down food particles and support healthy digestion.
In addition to enzymes, Athletic Greens also contains a range of other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, to support overall health and wellness. This supplement is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO, making it a great choice for individuals with dietary restrictions.
To use Athletic Greens, simply mix one scoop of the powder with water or your favorite beverage and drink once daily. It is recommended to take Athletic Greens with a meal to ensure optimal absorption of nutrients and enzymes.
Final thoughts on Plant-Based Enzymes
Plant-based enzymes are a natural and effective way to support digestive health, immune function, and inflammation. They are vegan-friendly, gentle on the digestive system, and offer a range of benefits that make them a great addition to any wellness routine. With so many different types of plant-based enzymes available, it’s important to choose the ones that are best suited for your individual needs. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or dietary changes.