Dr. Houston

Welcome to Dr. Houston's Corner. This section of the site is for education about enzymes and their uses. Having spent the better portion of my life researching enzymes gives me a great appreciation for their power and usefulness. I hope to instill that same appreciation in you.

How to Have Happier Holiday Digestion

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Hot chocolate with marshmallow snowman

The holidays are notorious for obliterating any kind of diet. The foods we eat for end-of-year gatherings are different from the rest of the year. For many of us, eating creamy, sugary, fatty foods is the primary reason for celebrating.

How can we participate in holiday munching without feeling miserable?

Digestive enzyme supplements can help by breaking down the foods you eat. The key is knowing how to take enzymes with those mega-meals full of carbohydrates and fats.

Dosing
The average holiday dinner contains about 4000 calories. That is one meal, not total per day. Eating a bigger meal means you need to increase the number of enzyme capsules from what you normally take.

Doubling or even tripling your dosage may be necessary.

Foods can be broken down into three main categories: proteins, carbohydrates (includes starches), and fats. So which enzymes are most helpful for holiday meals?

Fats
Increased fat intake may delay stomach emptying. This means your huge meal will sit in your stomach longer than usual which just increases your misery. Using plant-based lipase enzymes that break down fats while still in the stomach goes a long way in preventing the delay in stomach emptying.

Of course the majority of holiday foods are going to be sweet and creamy fattening. Enzymes won’t help much with all the extra calories you will absorb, so plan on taking lots of walks to burn them off.

Carbohydrates
Enzymes can help with the increase in carbohydrate intake. Adequate breakdown of complex carbs to simple sugars is necessary to reduce the amount of undigested material in the gut which can be a huge food source for gut bacteria, good and bad.

The increased food causes a population explosion among the gut microbes with increased amounts of gas being released by the gut bugs. This contributes to the bloating and expanded waistlines that are epidemic during the holidays.

What to Look For
My advice for the holidays is to enjoy yourself, practice moderation, and increase the amount of the following enzymes
– lipase for fats (Lypazyme, ZyCarb, Zyme Prime or TriEnza)
– amylase and glucoamylase for starches (Zyme Prime, ZyCarb or TriEnza)
– alpha-galactosidase and xylanase for foods such as cauliflower and legumes (ZyCarb, TriEnza or Zyme Prime)

Enjoy your holiday feasting and here’s to a Healthy New Year!

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