« Back to Articles

Foods and Enzymes

by Devin Houston, Ph.D.

Here is a quick guide to the foods our enzymes break down:

Alpha-galactosidase digests carbohydrates in some vegetables and legumes that contain the sugars raffinose, stachyose, and/or verbascose. Examples are legumes (beans) and raw vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower.

Amylase breaks down glycogen and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) found in starches.

Beta-glucanase breaks down glucans such as in oats and grains.

Bromelain breaks down protein.

Cellulase breaks down cellulose, one of the main components of the fibrous cell walls of plants (high-fiber veggies and fruits, pulps).

DPP IV is specific for proline-containing peptides such as gluteomorphin in gluten, casomorphin in casein, and soymorphin in soy.

Hemicellulase hydrolyzes gums (pentose polymers) and galactomannans in seeds and beans.

Lactase breaks down the milk sugar lactose.

Lipase breaks down fats (triglycerides).

Papain breaks down protein.

Peptidase breaks down protein.

Phytase breaks down phytic acid, a compound found in legumes, especially soy.

Protease breaks down protein.

Xylanase degrades xylans, which are complex carbohydrate structures found in plant cell walls.