Although you might think otherwise, there are many organs working together to make your digestive system work. These organs take the food and fluids you eat and break them down into simpler forms, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. The nutrients are then transported through the small intestine and into the bloodstream, where they provide energy for growth and repair.
Digestive enzymes are needed for this process, as they break down molecules such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into even smaller molecules that can be easily absorbed.
The types of digestive enzymes
There are three main types of digestive enzymes:
• Proteases: break down proteins into small peptides and amino acids
• Lipases: break down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule
• Amylase: break down carbohydrates such as starch into simple sugars
Enzymes are also produced in the small intestine, including lactase, maltase, and sucrase.
If the body cannot produce enough digestive enzymes, the food molecules cannot be adequately digested. This can lead to digestive disorders such as lactose intolerance. Therefore, eating foods rich in natural digestive enzymes can help improve digestion by avoiding the need for dietary supplements.
Foods that contain natural digestive enzymes
Pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit rich in digestive enzymes.
Specifically, pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes.
These enzymes are proteases, which break down proteins into their building blocks, including amino acids. This aids in the digestion and absorption of proteins.