10 Best Enzymes for Digestion, GERD, or Stomach Acid

best enzymes for digestion

For years I suffered with GERD and chronic heartburn, as well as random stomach attacks called esophagitis, which was like a band or belt being cinched around my chest cavity as a spasm. Later I was diagnosed with GERD and put on a stomach medicine (like Prevacid/Prilosec), which helped stop the attacks, and slowed down my heartburn issues. Eating healthy has helped tremendously as well, but taking digestive enzymes has removed my “need” for pharmaceutical drugs altogether. Now I take an enzyme complex that has some of the best enzymes for digestion in it for far less cost than medicine, and it is also a lot easier on my liver than drugs as well.

The best enzymes for digestion can vary from person to person, and enzymes may not work for everyone to get rid of stomach issues. For instance, my dad takes aloe vera juice in expensive quantities each day (even the best enzymes for digestion did not work for him) in order to stave off his GERD issues, but the aloe works for him because he has extreme acid production, whereas I evidently have an insufficient amount of stomach acid, which still produces similar results in the stomach, such as heartburn.

The 10 best enzymes for digestion

Enzymes are the catalyst that helps break down proteins in order for your body to digest foods. Enzymes are also naturally found in foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and raw nuts. Once you cook or roast these foods over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, then it kills the natural enzymes, including the best enzymes for digestion and health.

There are different enzyme complexes available at health food stores, and the kinds I take, or different brands I have taken (some included Chinese herbs and probiotics), include a number of the best enzymes for digestion. Here is a list of what is considered the top 10 best enzymes for digestion and digestive health:

Enzyme                                                Helps you digest/utilize
alpha-galactosidase              carbohydrates in legumes that cause gas/flatulence
amylase                               starches
cellulose                              cellulose fiber in fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grainsj
glucoamylase                       maltose (sugar found in grains)
invertase                              sucrose sugar
lactase                                lactose (sugar in milk)
lipase                                  fats
malt diastase                       carbohydrates
protease                              proteins
peptidase                             casein (in milk) and gluten (in grains)

Additionally, there are these enzymes, which are also some of the best enzymes for digestion, although more plant-based:

Enzyme                                                Helps you digest/utilize
xylanase                              plant fibers
pectinase                             pectin (carbohydrate found in fruits)
hemicellulase                       plant fibers
phytase                               minerals bound to phytic acid (in plants)
beta-glucanase                     beta glucan in yeast/mushrooms (supports immune system)

These are some of the best enzymes for digestion, overall, but the list could include others. Remember that enzymes are naturally found in foods, especially raw foods. Sprouts, for instance, have over 100 times the amount of enzymes than standard food. Also, canned or otherwise cooked food is considered “dead” food because there are no enzymes left due to being killed off by the heat generated in the cooking process.

In order to take advantage of the best enzymes for digestion in today’s society with all of the processed foods, and cooked foods, it may be necessary to take an enzyme supplement. Speak with your doctor about what may be right for you to ensure your body is getting the right nutrients. If you have ulcers then make sure you take enzymes specifically for that as it is a different issue.

The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at http://www.aminoacidinformation.com and Vancouver Health News at http://www.VancouverHealthNews.ca.  National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com, plus our newest portal at http://todayswordofwisdom.com.

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