We say it every year: We’re not going to overindulge. No second helpings. Just one small slice of pie. And where do we find ourselves? Groaning on the couch after yet another delicious holiday meal, plagued by uncomfortable gas, bloating and indigestion. Thankfully, adding a digestive enzyme supplement to the menu may help ease holiday indigestion without bringing the festivities to an end.‡
Just What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins produced by the body as needed to help break down foods into usable nutrients that can be absorbed from the digestive tract and used throughout the body. Raw foods also contain some digestive enzymes. However, cooking and processing depletes the natural enzymes from our food, which can slow the digestive process. Poor eating habits, age, stress and a diet high in processed foods can result in a reduced ability to properly digest food, which can cause undigested food to remain in the intestines longer. The result is often occasional heartburn, indigestion, gas and bloating, and other issues.
How to Choose an Effective Enzyme Supplement
When choosing an enzyme supplement, look for a multi-enzyme blend made with plant-derived enzymes, which are effective over a broader range of pH levels in the body and may provide more complete support.‡ If you have a sensitive stomach, choose an enzyme supplement with soothing herbal ingredients including ginger root and marshmallow, as well as amino acids for added intestinal lining support.‡
We do our best throughout the year to make smart choices when it comes to what we put on our plates, but the holidays have a way of tempting our senses and testing our willpower. Be sure to give yourself the gift of good digestive health and remember your enzymes!‡
We know from past research that fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids provide a multitude of health benefits for the whole body—from supporting the heart, brain and nervous system to protecting our eyes and joints. Now, three new studies spotlight the role of Omega-3 fish oil in a healthy diet and why we should consume more of these healthy fats and fewer saturated and trans fats.
Fish Oil May Protect Against Diabetes
Past evidence has shown that fatty fish consumption can help protect against diabetes by having a positive effect on glucose metabolism. In a recent study conducted by scientists in Sweden, similar results were seen in the case of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), which shares characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes including weight gain and insulin resistance. They found that one or more servings of fatty fish per week consumption was indeed associated with a reduced risk of LADA.
Omega-3 Fats Linked to Increased Brain Volume
Scientists no longer believe that age-related brain shrinkage and nerve cell death is irreversible. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that older adults who consume high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids showed signs of new tissue development and an increase in gray matter—the areas of the brain involved in memory, emotions, muscle control, sensory perception and decision making.
Americans Still Eating Too Many Unhealthy Fats
Results of a new long-term study published last month in the Journal of the American Heart Association show that although consumption of saturated fats and trans fats have declined in the last three decades, Americans are still consuming far more unhealthy fats than experts recommend. The American Heart Association recommends limiting trans fats to one percent (or less) of total calories consumed and saturated fats to between five and six percent of total calories, while at the same time increasing the amount of healthy Omega-3 fats consumed from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.