Natural Remedies In Their Natural Form–Part 2



             BROMELAIN         and             PAPAIN

It’s about time I got back to posting, Christmas was crazy this year and everything seems to be happening at once so it is nice to catch my breath and finally get back to my favourite place.

Nothing is a better example of natural foods best taken in their natural form than Bromelain and Papain, fancy names for the digestive enzymes in pineapples and papayas. When I counselled clients I would often hear complaints about indigestion or slow digesting of meals where you just felt full long after eating. It is true that as we age our digestive juices do tend to weaken so heavier meals higher in protein are slower to digest. Plus many of us dilute our stomach’s natural acids with lots of beverages as we eat. Naturally as soon as we notice a health “problem” someone is eager to make some money by offering us the fix and in some stores that fix comes in the form of “digestive enzymes” for as much as $40 a bottle. Save your money and buy the fresh pineapple or papaya because the tablets you buy at the health food store will never work as well as the slices of pineapple or papaya that you eat after a meal. In countries like Brazil and Hawaii a heavy meat meal is often followed by grilled or raw pineapple or papaya, experience has taught them the best way to digest a heavy meal.

The secret is in the enzymes. In pineapple it is called Bromelain and it breaks down (digests) meat protein. In papaya the enzyme is called Papain and it has very similar effects to Bromelain, both can be found in capsules of digestive enzymes and powdered meat tenderizers e.g. Adolphs Meat Tenderizer. Most people find the fruit versions of these enzymes to be all they need when digestion slows and most importantly the fruits do not contain any additives or boosters. The other day I saw a bottle of digestive enzymes and  it also contained peppermint extract. Now dietitians know mint tends to loosen the valve at the entrance to your stomach and allows stomach acids to leak back up your esophagus and that can make acid reflux much worse. If you are having trouble digesting your meal do you really want more heartburn? Minty taste tends to make people’s mouth feel refreshed so many remedies have mint but within minutes of taking it chances are your stomach will feel much worse. When I last checked my pineapple and papaya did not come in “minty fresh” but they work just fine.
These two enzymes have been studied extensively and many claims have been made about their ability to cure serious medical conditions. When you get a chance read more about them but the only thing I can tell you for sure is what my old granny told me, you will never have trouble digesting a meal if you have some pineapple or papaya as your last course!

Published by maisievanriel

Welcome to my website. My name is Maisie Vanriel and I am a Registered Dietitian. I am a graduate of The University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutritional Science and a Diploma in Food Safety from the Guelph Food Technology Centre. I realized a few years ago that some of the best times I have had in my career as a Dietitian have been those times when I was writing. For many years I was part of the Editorial Advisory Board of Diabetes Dialogue Magazine (The Canadian Diabetes Association) which afforded me the opportunity to write articles and editorials on diabetes. I contributed to the first Ontario Healthy Eating Manual and recently reviewed the lesson plans in the updated version launched this March 2012. In May of 2011, I won the Toronto Star’s MoneyVille section Next Blogger’s contest beating out 265 other contestants for the chance to write on nutrition and sensible shopping. My winning Blog was entitled: 5 things your grocery store won’t tell you. Writing is one of my favourite ways of communicating and like cooking it relaxes me; so in some ways your allowing me to communicate with you will contribute to my health and I hope in return I can contribute to your health and wellbeing. The inspiration for this website is my grandmother who lived 97 years and enjoyed excellent health for almost all of those 97 years. She believed in healing power of herbs, a plant-based diet and in paying attention to the type of fuel (food) that she put in her body. So my postings will be less about the constant stream of research and studies around what and how to eat and more about reminding us that we have always known how to eat. We just need to get back in tune with our bodies and focus on providing it with the best possible fuel, quality foods.

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