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Did you know that 8 of these food items are great sources of natural digestive enzymes?

Enzymes are bio-catalysts that are produced by organisms to break down complex food substances into simple, absorbable ones. 

Various enzymes found in different organisms are responsible for the conversion of different food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats into their constituents. 

Enzymes function optimally at a specific temperature and pH level; 32 degree celsius and a neutral medium of around 7 pH.

Variation from these conditions leads to the inactivation or denaturation of these enzymes. Some of the common enzymes found in foodstuff consumed by the Indian household are as follows :

  • Proteases break proteins into their building blocks – amino acids
  • Amylases break starch into simple sugars. 
  • Lactase, Sucrase & Maltase break lactose, sucrose and maltose into glucose and other simple sugars. 
  • Lipases break fats down into fatty acids and glycerol.

Some of the foods containing these bioactive catalysts which are essential to the process of digestion in the human body include: 

  1. Avocados

Avocados are a type of fruit that contain a high amount of healthy fats and low amounts of sugar. They contain an enzyme known as lipase which facilitates the breakdown of fats into fatty acids and glycerol, which are simple substances that can be easily absorbed and assimilated by our body. They also contain polyphenol oxidase.

  1. Kiwi

Did you know that kiwi is a type of berry? This berry contains a protease known as actinidin – it aids in the digestion of many proteins and can be commercially used to tenderize typically tough meats such as beef. It may also digest soy protein and wheat protein (gluten) in the human stomach. 

  1. Papaya

Papaya is a tropical fruit that is rich in a digestive enzyme known as papain. This enzyme is also commercially used as a meat tenderizer as well as a digestive supplement. If the enzyme is exposed to heat, it denatures and does not function as well as it would at the optimal temperature. 

  1. Ginger

Ginger is commonly used to flavor dishes in households across the globe. This root contains a protease known as zingibain which isn’t usually used to tenderize meats as it has a short shelf – life. Ginger is also known to stimulate the production of amylases and lipases in our own stomach, which is why it often cures digestive disorders. 

  1. Pineapple

Pineapple is yet another tropical fruit that contains several protein-digesting enzymes found as a combination known as bromelain. Consuming this fruit raw is the best way to derive the optimum benefits provided by the enzymes.

  1. Mango 

Mango is a favorite for many – we eagerly anticipate its arrival during the summer season. It contains amylases, which is responsible for the breakdown of carbohydrates. As the fruit ripens, the activity of the enzyme increases, this is why it becomes sweeter, too. The starch is broken down into sugars. 

  1.  Apricots

Apricot is a stone fruit that contains a digestive enzyme known as invertase, which is responsible for breaking down the fruit sugar into simple, absorbable substances that can be utilized by the body to quickly derive energy. Invertase is used by industries to hydrolyze sucralose and manufacture plasticizing agents that are used in the cosmetic and paper industries. 

  1. Honey

This precious nectar obtained from flowers by hardworking bees is filled with numerous compounds beneficial to the human gut. It contains enzymes such as diastases, amylases, invertases, and proteases. These enzymes are specific to and catalyze the reaction of breaking various substances such as sugars, carbohydrates and proteins down. Raw honey is the best source for all these enzymes.

Bhookha Haathi’s range of raw, organic and infused honey is a great source of natural digestive enzymes that you can get from natural sources. Choose from 34 different varieties of honey to suit your taste.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.

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Building Immunity in our Community

It is often during times of widespread panic and global scare caused by a particularly infectious virus, that we are reminded of the absolute importance of practising and maintaining good hygiene and building our immunity. Pathogens such as viruses can rarely ever be defeated with a simple “cure” as they keep modifying their genetic material in accordance with their hosts. So, until a viable precautionary vaccine is invented, strengthening our immunity remains to be our safest bet.

The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic is that the former is a disease or an outbreak that spreads uncontrollably and when there is a sudden increase in the number of infected cases. A pandemic affects a wider geographical area and infects a large number of people. Often, the virus is allowed to spread quickly because humans have little or no immunity to combat it. 

Amid such circumstances, there are various steps that we, as a community, can take.

We should make sure that those who are more susceptible to the threats of a virus (those with weak immunity) are kept indoors as frequently as possible – the elderly, expectant mothers and the infants. 

We can additionally make home-cooked meals, try our best to ensure that the working populace works from home, give a few days of paid leave to our domestic help as they are more exposed to such viruses because of their daily travel and usage of crowded public transport. We should regulate and monitor the entry and exit of those responsible for making deliveries.

We should ensure to keep ourselves and our surroundings sanitized, avoid touching our hands and face, and remember to similarly keep our pets and their paws clean. We should limit going outside and gathering in groups and only step out for daily essentials.

Our innate immunity is imparted to us from the B&T lymphocytes in our bodies. Their manufacture is co-dependent on the physiological processes that are being undertaken in our bodies. For example, if our stress levels are higher than usual, our immunity invariably takes a toll therefore, keeping a positive outlook helps.

In today’s day and age, where social media plays a big role in news dissemination, we should make sure that we do not believe each and every story we get through these media and get into panic mode. We should rely on information provided by relevant authorities in this regard and follow their guidelines.

We should aim to get enough amount of quality sleep to regulate our hormones and strengthen our immunity by encouraging the thymus to release more pathogen-fighting lymphocytes. 

India is a country that is massively wealthy in terms of the natural resources it owns, like plants that have the potential to enhance and strengthen our immunity. Various plants, herbs and spices like neem, tulsi, saffron, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, star anise, ginger, and garlic contain highly effective phytochemicals and antioxidants that are used by the plants themselves to prevent microbial action. These natural ways to boost immunity are highly beneficial and help prevent many bacterial and viral infections.

Vitamin D from sunlight, enriched foods or as a supplement is essential to build immunity as it helps produce antimicrobial proteins in our bodies. We can also include foods rich in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and kiwis and zinc-rich foods such as dry-fruits, seeds & nuts that are needed for the body’s immune system to work properly. Honey is another great source of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that is highly beneficial for our immune system.

Bhookha Haathi’s 100% natural products based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains & honey are great supplements to boost the immune system that our regular diets otherwise are deficient of. Sourced directly from farmers & producers Bhookha Haathi Replace range of proprietary health food products celebrate pure, powerful, healing and health-promoting ingredients that are without any preservatives, added colours or artificial flavours.

Written by: Jahnabee Adhikari
Jahnabee is a part-time blogger, full-time dog lover. She believes that writing actually possesses the potential to change the world. She can be often found fantasizing about poetry or buried nose-deep in a Sudha Murthy novel.