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Optimize Digestive Enzymes for Six-Pack Abs!

April 7th, 2011

You should know that benefits of great digestive health extend far beyond having a flat stomach, but let’s be real, it’s more fun to sport chiseled abs than it is to have optimized intestines.

In this article I’m going to explain how combining elements as simple as taking digestive enzymes with meals, eating food in a specific order, and eating more enzyme optimized foods can make or break your journey to a flat stomach and well-defined midsection.

Enzyme supplementThe Importance of Digestive Enzymes & Intestinal Function

Enzymes can be found in your stomach, intestines, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and even in your saliva. They work to break down large macro-nutrients (fat, protein, carbs) into a smaller, more assimilable size. In other words, they help break down food from large, indistinguishable pieces into microscopic particles able to be absorbed into your blood stream and efficiently transported to different parts of your body. The entire eating process (chewing, tasting, swallowing, smelling) triggers the natural release of enzymes into the stomach and intestines.

You may know somebody who eats complete crap and is still skinny. Why doesn’t their body store fat like everyone else? Well, it’s probably a combination of things, but here are a few reasons why they remain skinny year round:

  • Great digestive health: An optimized digestive system allows them to eat larger meals of variable complexity. This is often observed in kids and young adults, who have great digestive systems and can constantly digest and process large quantities of food.
  • Fast metabolism: They work out a lot and have a fast metabolism, therefore they burn a lot of calories and can afford to eat more food.
  • Blessed genetics: Let’s be honest, some people just got it.

Given the structural complexities of the modern American diet, it’s beneficial to add additional digestive enzymes to assist with the digestion of large meals, especially if you don’t fall into any of the bullet-pointed categories above. When dieting, you can also prevent muscle loss by taking digestive enzymes, ensuring that the protein and other macros you are getting are better assimilated and used to preserve valuable lean muscle tissue. Digestive enzymes are also great for when you have “cheat meals” on a diet, bettering your body’s ability to handle the unfamiliar surge of nutrients.

Getting More Enzymes Naturally

As you now know, your body already produces digestive enzymes naturally. However, as we age our digestive machinery starts to wear down, and our bodies produce less and less enzymes in the same way that our bodies produces less testosterone, our hair grays, and our skin wrinkles. Nobody wants it to happen, but it does. Its a simple fact of life and just like death and taxes, you won’t be escaping it anytime soon.

To combat this natural decrease in enzyme production, additional enzymes can be added to the diet in a couple of easy ways:

  1. Digestive Enzyme Supplements: Take these at the beginning of each meal that requires additional digestive enzymes. I recommend taking a supplemental digestive enzyme before all fast food meals or meals that have high concentrations of carbs and fat together. Given the size and complexity of these meals, they will require more digestive enzymes in order to break down all of the ingested macro-nutrients. When the body can’t produce enough enzymes naturally, it’s important to supplement with additional enzymes to assist the body in assimilating all of the nutrients.
  2. Use a Fruit/Veggie Juicer!: Raw fruits and vegetables (uncooked, non-steamed) contain the highest concentrations of natural digestive enzymes. By using a fruit and veggie juicer you can obtain these enzymes in an easy and tasty way. Try having a glass of fresh juice first thing in the morning or as a meal replacement each day.

Meal Order Matters

The order in which you eat your food is actually pretty important. Well, it’s important if you want to optimize enzyme activity. Here’s the skinny: Eat foods that contain natural enzymes first to help digest the remaining food to come. Often times these naturally occurring enzymes are paired with dietary fiber (fruits/vegetables) which further controls insulin release. Insulin, as you know, is an important factor in determining what nutrients get stored as fat and needs to be controlled when dieting.

Optimal Meal Order:

  1. First: Fruits and Vegetables
  2. Second: Lean proteins (beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.)
  3. Third: Carbs- Woohoo! Everyone’s favorite thing to eat, carbs. Enjoy em’, but be sure and eat them last.

Yeah yeah, I know nobody eats the meat out of their spaghetti before eating the noodles, but these rules don’t have to apply to every meal. In the case that you are eating salmon, rice, and green beans, eat the green beans first, the salmon next, and the rice last. For that meal, it makes sense. When you’re eating spaghetti and meatballs, don’t stress over it and look like a weirdo picking the meat out of your noodles. The bottom line: Use these rules when you can. When you can’t, take your enzyme supplements before hand and enjoy your meal 🙂

Top Selling Digestive Enzymes from All Star Health

Here is a list of our top selling digestive enzymes. These are great to take at the beginning of your biggest meals each day. Keep a bottle in a cool and sun-hidden section of your car so you can use them if you choose to eat fast food.

  1. Body First – Ultra Digestive Enzymes 180 tabs: A great overall enzyme blend to help you digest a multitude of different foods. This product should constitute the core of your supplemental enzyme protocol. I keep a bottle of this stuff at home with me and in my car and let me tell you, it works wonders for me with digesting complicated meals. If you’re predisposed to food allergies then taking this ultra digestive enzyme will significantly help you reduce indigestion from meals containing products like processed cheeses, heavy carbs, or extremely high-fat meals (aka fast food- burgers, fries and a shake). Seriously, try it out-you won’t be disappointed. At less than $10 a bottle you have nothing to lose except your indigestion.
  2. Life Extension – Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics 100 vcaps: An excellent blend that combines enzymes and probiotics for a synergistic digestive medley.
  3. Pioneer – Digestive Enzymes & Herbs 120 vcaps: A great all-natural herbal enzyme blend. Contains organic ginger root, fennel seed extract, peppermint leaf extract, gentian root extract, artichoke leaf extract and cayenne fruit as well as protease, amylase, and lipase.

There’s no need to overdo it and take supplemental enzymes with every meal (small meals, snacks, veggie-rich meals), especially if meals are plentiful in fresh vegetables and fruits, which are already rich in natural enzymes. You can have too much of a good thing. But for those other meals….yeah I’m talking about those Cheetos, McCheeseburgers, and Oreo meals- the use of digestive enzymes can help your body better assimilate nutrients and decreases the likelihood of your body storing calories as body fat.

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