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Enzymes, the best friend you never knew you needed

What are enzymes? Well in honor of my high school chemistry teacher I can offer you this: enzymes are catalysts, which are basically substances that cause a chemical reaction to move faster.

Tom Bohager, author of the new book Enzymes: What the Experts Know quite obviously did better than I did in chemistry class and has figured out that enzymes are a key to life.

While you may not have time to read his book before Thanksgiving, Tom Bohager offers FitSugar's Gang these tips on how to experience a more enjoyable holiday eating season:

  • Pace yourself. Think of holiday eating not as a sprint, but as a marathon. Try eating smaller portions over longer periods of time rather than a large portion all at once. This allows the digestive system to work progressively at breaking down your food and avoids a heavy demand that can make you feel tired and sluggish.
  • Socialize. Take time to visit with friends and family. This is not only good for relationships, but oxygen is the source of metabolism. Talking allows you to take in that needed oxygen for digestion and slows you down so you don’t eat too fast.
  • There's many more tips, so

  • Chew! This is where it all begins. Chewing
    stimulates the production of saliva, which is full of enzymes and stimulates the digestive response. The more you chew the easier it is for the body to process and the more the digestive system is helped.
  • Start healthy. By choosing a salad or vegetables before going to the dessert table you will suppress the overwhelming desire to fill up on the sweets. This will also ease your conscience, knowing you didn’t go overboard on all those decadent desserts—which may help you sleep a little better too.
  • Combine sensibly. When you combine starchy carbohydrates—such as sweet potatoes or bread—with animal protein you inhibit efficient digestion. Space the starchy carbs out. Also avoid mixing fruit salad with heavy proteins because the fruit may begin to ferment and create unwanted gas when combined with protein.
  • Eat enzyme-rich foods. Foods naturally contain digestion-helping enzymes, but some have more than others. Raw salads, fruits and vegetables are great sources of enzymes. Fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut are also high in enzymes.
  • Take a digestive enzyme supplement. Enzyme supplements provide additional help with digesting food. They can be taken at the beginning of the meal or if someone is eating much more than usual, at the middle and end of the meal, too. Digesting multiple courses is a lot to ask of the body and can make a person want to sleep instead of enjoying the company of friends and family.
  • Fit's Tip: If the tips above appeal to your for the holidays you may want to consider buying the book ($10.17) for more even more tips and enzyme facts. Buy it here.

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