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!‡
As if trans fats aren’t bad enough as it is, now they could be making us forgetful? That’s what researchers from the University of California San Diego determined recently after completing a study that included nearly 700 men age 20 and older.
The more dietary trans fats they consumed each day, the more difficulty they had with memory—specifically, word memory. Those who ate the most trans fats (about 15 grams per day) recalled approximately 0.76 fewer words, which translated to about 11 or 12 fewer words out of a total of 86. That’s about a 10% drop in memory, researchers point out.
In addition, there was evidence to support an association between higher trans fat consumption and worse memory performance in young adults, said lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb in a recent article. She added that this was an important point because those are often key “career-building” years.
As to why or how trans fats affect memory, researchers speculate the unhealthy fats may infiltrate healthy cells—including brain cells—and disrupt their function, but more research is planned to support this theory. Findings from the UCSD study were presented last month at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago.