Digestive Kindness and Patience

When we decide to move from one diet to another, it is important to make the change slowly over a period of one to two weeks. It may not seem like a big deal to move from omnivore to vegetarian, or processed food to whole food, or elect to dramatically increase fats while reducing protein, but the pancreas and gallbladder, the two organs responsible for making the enzymes needed to digest the food you eat, will be unprepared to handle the initial change.  Often a one time digestive discomfort is taken as a reason to not eat the food again, when all that is needed is a slower ramping up in quantity over time and perhaps a little digestive support.


Regardless of whether you are increasing fat, or adding meat to an otherwise vegetarian diet, a good way is to begin by adding in single bites or teaspoons.  One bite of chicken or fish, or one teaspoon of coconut oil, for example. The next day or so, if no digestive discomfort presents itself, increase again by another bite or another teaspoon. Each day, the pancreas and gallbladder will become aware of the greater need for different enzymes and begin to adjust accordingly.


The older we become, the less productive our pancreas and gallbladder can become, so it may be necessary at some point to use supplemental digestive enzymes every time you eat, or for heavier meals that include more fat and protein. Whole food has many of its own enzymes, so you may find that just eating real food (vs. processed and fast) dramatically improves your digestion and comfort after meals.


Be patient and kind to your body.

By |2018-09-05T10:54:34-05:00August 24th, 2018|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Supplement Cocktail for Constipation

constipation cocktail 2

There are many possible solutions for the relief of constipation or sluggish bowel function.  If you struggle with constipation or difficult bowel movements, please see a health care provider for proper evaluation.  Constipation can be a serious health issue and can be caused by many factors (see main article).

Safe supplements to aid in relieving constipation include:

Magnesium citrate improves gut motility.

Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract and microbial community which promotes optimal digestion and regularity.

Digestive Enzymes help to promote complete digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats while also increasing nutrient availability and reducing food intolerances.

Aloe Vera helps to reduce inflammation and improves bowel frequency. Be sure to choose a pure, preservative free, organic aloe very gel or juice.

All of these supplements are available in our office at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness.

By |2016-07-06T07:38:52-05:00July 6th, 2016|Articles, General|

Supplement of the month: Digestive Enzymes

Digestive Enzymes

As Nature would have it, many of the enzymes needed to digest our food are living in the food itself! Early man consumed mostly raw, living food. Enzymes are the component of any plant that bring that plant to maturity, ripeness and ultimately spoilage if not consumed. When we chew raw food and our saliva coats it, we are releasing the enzymes in that food that help to break it down for assimilation into the human body.

When we fail to eat fresh, raw food, the human body must take on the full burden of producing digestive enzymes, and scientists are realizing that our enzyme producing organs are not large enough to accommodate the demand created by a significantly cooked and processed food diet.

When food is heated/cooked in processing, its enzymes are destroyed. Additionally, we know that as we age, our body also produces fewer digestive enzymes. For this reason, it is often helpful to support the digestive process with supplemental digestive enzymes. There are many brands with differing enzyme combinations and doses. For some, it will be necessary to try several brands and combinations to relieve digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, bloating or indigestion of any kind.Digestive Enzymes NM

At TWIHW, we offer two different choices. One is by Nutrametrix and is a lemon-flavored powder that is mixed with water to drink. Another choice is Complementary Prescriptions Digestive Enzymes in a capsule.CP Digestive Enzymes

*The product information provided is for educational purposes and is not intended as either diagnosis or treatment of any disease, nor does it replace professional medical advice. (The FDA makes us say that)

*Warning: Please consult a health care professional before using these products.

By |2014-12-02T03:09:34-06:00December 2nd, 2014|Articles|

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Digestive Enzymes

What are digestive enzymes and why are they important?


The human body makes and secretes specific enzymes, called digestive enzymes, which help us to break down fat, proteins and carbohydrates into the micronutrients necessary for absorption into the body.  So despite our best efforts to eat a healthy diet, if digestive enzyme production and secretion are inadequate, then our ability to absorb all of the micronutrients from our food will be impaired.    


Why would our bodies not make enough digestive enzymes?


There are many reasons the body’s natural enzymes become depleted.  Diseases such as pancreatic disease, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac disease can cause severe deficiencies in digestive enzymes; however, even in the absence of disease, the body may still not be producing enough digestive enzymes. Here are a few of the many reasons that can lead to enzyme depletion:

  • Food allergies
  • Aging
  • Intestinal Permeability caused from an overgrowth of yeast in the gut
  • Chronic Stress

How do digestive enzymes work?

Various enzymes break down different foods so that their nutrients may be more readily absorbed.

  • Protease breaks down the peptide bonds that join the amino acids in a protein, ensuring that the amino acids are readily available to the body. 
  • Lipase splits apart emulsified fats. 
  • Amylase helps the body digest starch and is integral to the breakdown of carbohydrates, such as potatoes and other starchy foods.
  • Lactase digests milk and sugar.
  • Cellulase helps break down plant and vegetable matter.

Signs you may need a digestive enzyme supplement:

  • Bloating
  • Indigestion/heartburn
  • Gas
  • Irregularity
  • Rock gut (the feeling that you have food sitting in your stomach)

How can I improve digestive enzyme deficiency?

  • Remove foods such as legumes (e.g. beans) and grains (e.g. wheat, oats, corn) as they are known enzyme inhibitors.
  • A healthy digestive system is at the root of all good health so repair the gut with, for example, a yeast cleanse.
  • Replace good gut flora (microorganisms) through the daily use of a good quality probiotic.
  • Manage stress. We all have stress in our lives, especially during the holidays.  Between shopping and wrapping that perfect gift, and cooking a decadent meal for 20, the true meaning and joy of Christmas can quickly become lost.   Allow yourself to really enjoy the season by letting go of what’s not important.  Make time for yourself, whether allowing yourself extra sleep, or adding a yoga class
  • Support your body by taking a broad spectrum complex of digestive enzymes.

Complementary Prescriptions Digestive Enzymes offers a plant-based formula that works to digest a full range of foods, including protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber.

By |2016-07-06T07:13:22-05:00December 1st, 2013|Articles, General|
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