Products that may interest you:
Dietary proteins give you the basic building blocks you need to create tissue.
The proteins in food also support the nervous system, keeping the mind healthy and alert. But what happens when you are not able to digest protein?
In order to digest protein, the body requires two things:
It’s important to understand that it’s not the stomach acid that breaks down food—it is the enzymes.
Enzymes rely on stomach acid to turn them on. Without stomach acid, enzymes remain dormant and inactive. Ideally, before protein reaches the small intestine, it has already encountered active enzymes and been broken down into amino acids within the stomach. But this doesn’t always happen.
You see, enzymes don't only require stomach acid. They also require a specific pH, which is the balance of acidity and alkalinity. Enzymes like the stomach to be very acidic.
A healthy inner ecosystem is nourished by probiotics. An imbalanced inner ecosystem may be too alkaline or too acidic and unable to break down protein, leading to digestive distress.
Your inner ecosystem—or the community of bacteria and yeast in the body—makes the body acidic or alkaline. Depending on which bacteria and yeast you harbor (and where), you can either be too alkaline, too acidic, or in just the right place to get the job done.
The enzymes within the stomach rely on a specific balance of acidity and alkalinity. Remember, enzymes that break down protein require an acidic environment.
Microbes living in the stomach can upset this balance to ensure their own survival.
These microbes, known as Helicobacter pylori, can make the stomach too alkaline. This means that they can steal your “digestive fire,” allowing whole molecules of protein to pass through the stomach and into the small intestine.
Once in the small intestine, protein and other pieces of food are met with the same problem. If the inner ecosystem is out of balance, the environment may be too acidic or too alkaline to activate enzymes.
When enzymes remain inactive, food stagnates or passes through undigested.
Unfortunately, the small intestine is a place where bacteria and yeast like to build up communities—if they can. But for most microbes, the small intestine is a temporary pit stop. It’s not meant for long-term housing. So when bacteria and yeast decide to live there, problems develop.
Otherwise known as SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), these problems include:
This is where probiotics come into the picture. Probiotics are bacteria and yeast that do good things for the body (like kill the bad guys, fight bacterial overgrowth, and calm inflammation). When you eat probiotic foods, you give your gut the material it needs for optimal health.
If you have been vegan for a long period of time, you may struggle to digest protein—especially if you have switched over to animal proteins. If you eat several meals a day that are high in protein (for example, some approaches to the Paleo Diet), you may not be digesting it fully.
To optimize digestion, follow Body Ecology’s food combining chart:
We believe that plant foods are good for your gut and good for you.
Other factors that can affect how well you digest protein include:
If you have trouble digesting protein, the best way to restore the balance of acidity within the stomach is with HCl and enzymes. HCl (hydrochloric acid) safely restores the acidic environment of the stomach while active enzymes begin to break down protein.
Fermented foods gently bring the inner ecosystem back into a state of balance. We suggest always including a side of cultured veggies with your meal. Or instead of water, drink coconut water kefir with meals to assist in the digestion of protein-rich foods.
When it comes to weak stomach acid, heartburn, and poor digestion of protein—stress is one of the biggest offenders.
This is because stress hormones shut down the digestive tract. A surge of fight-or-flight hormones means that your stomach isn’t producing the acid it needs to turn on enzymes. It also means that the small intestine has slowed down, allowing food to stagnate.
Prayer, a moment of mindful silence, and the rituals we have before mealtime are an intuitive shift that the body needs to set stress aside and prepare for digestion. Turn off the television. Avoid eating in your car or while standing. As much as possible, give yourself time to eat and enjoy your food.
Protein in the diet provides essential building blocks to create healthy tissue. Your body requires stomach acid and enzymes to effectively break down protein. Without very acidic stomach acid, enzymes can't do their job. Inactive enzymes will allow food to stagnate or pass through the small intestine undigested.
When bacteria and yeast take residence in the small intestine, it can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms—like heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and cramping after eating. Probiotics are a must to kill unfriendly bacteria, fight harmful bacterial overgrowth, and soothe digestive inflammation.
Reignite your digestive fire by learning how to improve protein digestion:
Kefir has many benefits, including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.
Kefir is an ancient cultured food, rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish, and that's just how you'll feel after drinking a glass in the morning! Easy and fun to make at home, it is superior to commercial yogurt. An absolute must after antibiotic use!
Unlike yogurt, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and is simple and fun to make at home. To make kefir: Mix one packet with 1 quart of warm milk, cover and set at room temperature for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Each packet yields 1 quart of kefir, and can be reused up to 7 times. This means you can create 10 ½ gallons of kefir from one box!
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.