Gut Health Gurus Blog

What Are Digestive Enzymes and Why Are They Essential For Your Health?

What Are Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are a vital part of your digestive health. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of digestive enzymes, the different types, as well as the potential benefits including digestive enzymes in your daily routine. Whether you're a health enthusiast or someone looking to improve your digestive health, this blog will break down the power of digestive enzymes and how they support your wellbeing.

Understanding Digestive Enzymes

Definition of digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes are specialised proteins that help break down food into nutrient components that the body can absorb. They're produced by the body in various organs, including the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. These enzymes speed up the digestion process and allow the body to access the essential nutrients found in food. 

Without digestive enzymes, the body would struggle to break down food effectively, leading to digestive discomfort and potential nutrient deficiencies.

Types of digestive enzymes and their functions

There are several types of digestive enzymes, each with a specific function in breaking down different components of food. Some of the key digestive enzymes include:

  • Amylase: Breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars.
  • Protease: Supports the digestion of proteins into amino acids.
  • Lipase: Facilitates the breakdown of fats into fatty acids and glycerol.

Other digestive enzymes, which are made in the small intestine, include lactase and sucrase which break down lactose and sucrose, respectively. 

The Role of Digestive Enzymes in Your Body

Digestive Enzymes in Your Body

How digestive enzymes work

Digestive enzymes work in the gastrointestinal tract, starting from the moment food enters the mouth. The salivary glands secrete the digestive enzyme, amylase, to break down carbohydrates. As the food travels further down the body and into the stomach, gastric juices containing protease and lipase join the process to further break down proteins and fats. In the small intestine, amylase, protease, and lipase, continue the digestion process to make sure that nutrients are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream.

Importance of digestive enzymes for overall health

Digestive enzymes also play a very important role in supporting our overall health by facilitating the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat.

These enzymes help to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, collectively known as 'macronutrients', to give the body the essential nutrients it needs for energy, cell repair, and growth.

Digestive enzymes are crucial to maintaining a healthy and balanced gut microbiome and reducing digestive issues such as bloating, gas and indigestion. A healthy gut also supports immune function and helps to reduce inflammation in the body. 

Common Digestive Issues and the Role of Digestive Enzymes

Digestive Issues and Indigestion

When the body doesn't produce enough digestive enzymes, the digestion and absorption of nutrients can be compromised. This can lead to various digestive issues, including bloating, gas, and nutrient deficiencies.

Digestive Enzymes and Indigestion

Indigestion can be linked to insufficient digestive enzymes. It's a relatively common condition which is characterised by discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen. Symptoms may include bloating, gas, nausea, abdominal pain and constipation. Supplementing with digestive enzymes may help alleviate these symptoms by supporting the breakdown of food.

Digestive Enzymes and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. In people who suffer from IBS, digestive enzymes may play a role in supporting digestive comfort. While more research is needed in this area, some people with IBS have reported relief from symptoms when using digestive enzyme supplements.

Digestive Enzymes and Food Intolerances

Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, can result from a deficiency in specific digestive enzymes. For example, individuals with lactose intolerance lack the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products.

Incorporating Digestive Enzymes Into Your Daily Routine

Natural food sources of digestive enzymes

Natural food sources of digestive enzymes

There are certain foods that contain natural digestive enzymes and including these enzyme-rich foods into your diet can naturally support the body's digestive enzyme production. Some of enzyme-rich foods you can add to your diet include:

  • Pineapple: Contains bromelain which supports the digestion of proteins.
  • Papaya: Rich in papain which is used to tenderise meat.
  • Mango: Contains amylases which break down carbohydrates into sugars.
  • Ginger: Contains zingibain which helps digest proteins.
  • Kefir: A fermented milk drink containing the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose.
  • Honey (Raw honey in particular): Supports the digestion of starches and sugars.
  • Sauerkraut: Fermented cabbage rich in live probiotics and enzymes that aid in digestion. 
  • Kimchi: Made from fermented vegetables and contains enzymes and probiotics.

Get your digestive enzyme supplements from Nourishme Organics

Smidge Digestive Enzymes

At Nourishme Organics, Australia’s leading range of gut health supplements, we stock a variety of products that support your digestive health. 

One of our staple digestive enzyme products is the Smidge Digestive Enzymes supplement. Smidge Digestive Enzymes is a clean but powerful supplement containing a complex mix of enzymes to support the breakdown of carbs, proteins, fats, vegetables and sugars and absorb their nutrients.

If you suffer from digestion issues such as indigestion, bloating, food sensitivities, or have had your gallbladder removed, the Thorne Advanced Digestive Enzymes will support improved digestion. This supplement blends hydrochloric acid, pepsin, pancreatic enzymes, and ox bile to promote the absorption of a large range of essential nutrients. We also recommend Thorne's Plantizyme capsules which are plant-based enzymes to provide digestive support.

At Nourishme Organics, we also have a large range of products to help you boost your digestive health. These include our kefir products and starter kits, fermentation kitsapple cider vinegar with ginger, gut health supplements, as well as our prebiotics and probiotics

If you're new to the world of digestive supplements, it's important to start with a small dosage and work your way up if required. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of digestive enzymes and other products that aid in digestion while minimising potential drawbacks. 

Tips for maximising the benefits of digestive enzymes

balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods

In addition to incorporating natural food sources and supplements, other ways to enhance digestive enzyme activity include chewing food thoroughly, managing stress, and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods.


Digestive enzymes play a vital role in maintaining optimal digestive health. From breaking down food to supporting nutrient absorption, these powerful enzymes are essential for overall wellness. Understanding the impact of digestive enzymes on common digestive issues can help individuals make informed choices to support their digestive health. Whether through natural food sources, supplements, or lifestyle modifications, unlocking the transformative power of digestive enzymes can benefit anyone looking to improve their digestive health.

Join our newsletter today

Subscribe To Our Newsletter to Get 10% Off Your First Order!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *