Do you take vitamins? Many people do, which is good, since we are definitely deficient to some degree. But how do you now if it's doing you any good?
If you do take vitamins, it usually takes a while to notice results. And it really depends on where you are starting from. For example, have you been pretty bad about your diet? How about stress and lifestyle habits? Do you take any medications? These are all things that directly effect vitamin status in your body.
When I was a little girl, my mom always gave me vitamins. In fact, they were Flintstones Vitamins-remember those? They were probably terrible for me.
Years before I was a naturopathic practitioner, I took lots of vitamins but didn't really notice a difference. In fact, one time, a chiropractor ran several tests on me, found all kinds of deficiencies, and decidedly gave me about 50 pills a day. Taking all of those made me feel nauseated.
So what was the problem?
First of all, there are 3 things that you must understand about the way things work inside your body.
Just because you have a deficiency, it doesn't mean you should just try to replace that one missing thing. This goes for vitamins and hormones.
Symptoms alone do not tell the whole picture. For example, if you have pain somewhere, or a rash, etc., how do you why it's happening? 9 times out of 10, a rash isn't a skin problem. It's just where you are showing symptoms.
Perhaps most important, you must be able to digest and absorb what you are ingesting. This includes vitamins and food. Not only in the digestive tract, but also on a cellular level.
Enzymes are the Spark of Life
Want to actually get value out of the food and supplements you take? You need enzymes. Otherwise, you can be wasting money and creating even more mal-digestion.
Enzymes are the key to opening biochemistry in your body. They break things down for us, to their smallest basic components. They are the catalysts that make the chemical changes occur. Without them, our vitamins wouldn't 'work'. Together they make a great team. Vitamins are cofactors, equally important, but yet potentially useless without enzymes.
A lack of enzymes in the food you eat, or in your body, means your body will use enzyme reserves found in your own body tissue in order to break down food. Or, the nutrient goes right through your digestive tract, unused. This is one way you become vitamin deficient. Particles of undigested food cross the gut lining. This is called 'leaky gut', and your body will see the particle as a foreign substance. Over time, this leads to many chronic conditions, including autoimmune disorders. Most don't realize these conditions actually initiated in their own gut with vitamin and enzyme deficiency.
Get More Enzymes
The first way is through the right foods. Eat raw vegetables and fruit. Cooked food is dead food. There are no enzymes in cooked foods. Since raw foods already have enzymes in them, they require less effort in digestion.
My favorite way to get raw veggies in abundance is to juice them. They are delicious when freshly juiced and you can get so many more vitamins, minerals and enzymes into your diet this way. Using a juicer makes the magic happen. Breville Compact Juice Fountain is one I use, and I love it. I juice 2-3 time a day, and it increases my enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
Another way is to supplement with nutritional digestive enzymes. If you have any chronic issues, even general fatigue, you are likely going to benefit from supportive nutritional digestive enzymes. They will help you break down food in your stomach before the hydrochloric acid kicks in 30-60 minutes later. There are different kinds of digestive enzymes. A good all around one is this one HERE.
Another enzyme I use frequently with my clients is proteolytic enzymes. They break down proteins everywhere else in your body, as opposed to digestive enzymes in the digestive tract. They will be in your tissues and blood. They help with cell turnover. Early aging can occur when there aren't enough metabolic enzymes. They can help with circulation and pain. A favorite of mine is HERE.
Improve Functionality for Your Enzymes
Probably one of the biggest ways to improve your usage of enzymes is to make sure you have acid/alkaline balance within your body. Enzymes don't work unless the pH is correct. Different parts of your body are acid, and other are alkaline. For example, the duodenum, a part of your small intestine, needs to be more alkaline. The stomach uses hydrochloric acid, and therefor, is more acidic. This commonly becomes reversed and leads to a sluggish digestive system, other symptoms and conditions.
Inadequate digestion also leads to indican, which is putrefaction, or rotting food particles. These toxins can cause irritations to your gut wall. To see if you have indican and patterns of pH imbalance, you can do the Functional Terrain Assessment. With the FTA, you can see where supplemental support is needed and what kinds would be best. This knowledge helps in acid/alkaline balancing and improving your biochemistry on all levels and the value and virtues of the supplements you take.