When it comes to digestion, chewing and swallowing is the easiest part. In order to get nutrition from the food you eat, your body relies on a complex system of compounds and living organisms. When this system is in balance, you feel great. But when it gets off kilter you can experience a number of problems.
Fortunately, there are an array of products available today that support your digestive system as it functions. But perhaps unfortunately, it's not always clear which products are right for each situation. Two of the most confusing are probiotics and digestive enzymes. What's the difference between the two? How do you know which to choose? Here's what you need to know.
The Difference Between Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
Probiotics and digestive enzymes supplements are similar in that they support healthy digestion. However, the way they carry out this task differs. Probiotics are "good" bacteria that support good health in your gut. Digestive enzymes do the work of breaking down your food. Both types of supplements perform complementary functions, making them a great choice to use together.
Let's take a closer look at digestive enzymes first. Your body produces them naturally. Their job is to break down food so your body can absorb its energy and nutrients. Different enzymes target different molecules inside the food you eat, so it's important to have high enough levels of all the different enzymes your body needs.
Poor nutrition, age, and stress can reduce your body's enzyme production. This can keep you from getting everything you need from the food you eat. It can also leave you feeling bloated and gassy and puts you at risk for food intolerances. Enzyme supplementation can help solve these issues.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are living microorganisms. These good bacteria colonize your gut, keeping it from being overgrown with "bad" bacteria and ensuring digestion runs smoothly. When your gut is unhealthy, it's likely you'll experience other health issues as well. Supplementing with probiotics helps support good overall health.
Probiotics or Digestive Enzymes: Which One is Right for Me?
The choice between supplementing with probiotics or digestive enzymes isn't always easy to make. In some cases, particularly if you're dealing with an intolerance to a specific food, digestive enzymes solve the problem. If you notice digestive issues after a round of antibiotics, probiotics may be very helpful. But if you're dealing with general digestive issues, the best choice may be to supplement with both.
Probiotics and digestive enzymes play well together. Even better, they're often available in the same supplement. Look for a greens powder that contains both probiotics and digestive enzymes to make sure you're getting enough of both. Supplement regularly with a high quality product to keep your gut happy, healthy, and feeling its best.