Pycnogenol for Brain Fuction, Asthma, Blood Pressure, & More

There’s a little-known supplement that has been in several scientific journals lately with some impressive results for benefits to memory and brain function. The supplement is an extract of French maritime pine bark, known as Pycnogenol (pronounced pick-nodge-eh- nol). It’s not a new supplement, but recently some remarkable results have been reported that I thought were worth sharing.

In a yearlong study, seventy-seven adults aged 55 to 70 participated, and half the group was given 100 milligrams of Pycnogenol daily. At the end of the study, tests showed a seventy-two percent improvement in decision making in the Pycnogenol group (vs. a five percent decline in the placebo group). The attention span of the group that took Pycnogenol was increased by forty-one percent and memory improved by thirty-seven percent (compared to a ten percent decline in the control group). 

With such impressive results, I’m frankly surprised I haven’t been hearing about French maritime pine bark everywhere, though I haven’t, which is why I wanted to write about it here, particularly since the benefits were achieved by taking only one 100mg pill a day.
Pycnogenol also has a wide variety of other conditions it has been researched for positive results and has been the focus of over seventy different studies over the years. 

Another condition that Pycnogenol has had impressive benefits for is asthma, and was found to help both children and adults without adverse effects. Researchers gave participants 1 milligram of Pycnogenol per pound of body weight and found benefits for improved breathing after only one month. Also, the Pycnogenol group was able to rely on their rescue inhalers far less often.

Pycnogenol has also been shown to aid in lowering blood pressure, helping to normalize blood pressure readings in fifty-eight percent of hypertensive patients. Another study found that participants who took Pycnogenol were able to reduce their blood pressure medications after taking the supplement for 12 weeks.

Other double-blind studies have reported Pycnogenol’s benefit for lowering blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes. After twelve weeks of taking the French maritime pine bark, it was reported that the supplement, “significantly lowered plasma glucose levels” when compared with the placebo. Pycnogenol also improved blood flow and blood vessel health.

Pycnogenol has also been studied with benefits for erectile dysfunction, ADD, deep vein thrombosis, menopause and more. I’m always skeptical whenever I read about so-called “miracle pills”, but Pycnogenol seems pretty close to that in reality. In November our

Pycnogenol by the company Solgar will be on sale for 25% off in November, so it’s a good time to try it!

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Natural Remedies for Gout Pain

Gout is extremely common, particularly among men. Gout occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood and eventually crystallizes, most commonly in the joint of the big toe, which causes pain and inflammation. When crystallized, uric acid takes on the shape of a needle, literally jabbing into the joints.

Uric acid is a byproduct of many foods, so gout in most cases is directly linked to diet- rich foods and alcohol are the main culprits, though it can also be brought on by stress, certain medications, crash dieting, or injury to the joint.

Getting a 100% conclusive diagnosis for gout can be difficult since the symptoms occur inside the joints. Other conditions can mimic the symptoms of gout are rheumatoid arthritis and infections (one way to get a definitive diagnosis is for a physician to insert a needle into the affected joint to test the fluid for uric acid crystals- something that people usually avoid).

Luckily, there are some simple natural products that work very well for reducing uric acid in the body and the symptoms of gout. Both cherry fruit extract and celery seed can be extremely helpful for breaking up and reducing uric acid buildup in the body. 

There is one supplement in particular that we recommend for gout at Pass Health Foods, and that is something called Go-Out Plex. It’s a combination of two types of cherry extract- tart cherries and black cherries- both of which work slightly differently for reducing uric acid and inflammation. It also has celery seed extract, another supplement that is very effective at reducing uric acid buildup in the body. Along with those uric acid fighters, Go-Out Plex also has anti-inflammatory ingredients to help in reducing pain and redness from gout.

It’s a supplement we definitely recommend since the ingredients are backed by research, but also because we have a lot of customers who have had relief after using it. Go-Out Plex can be used preventatively if you’re prone to issues with gout, as well as in larger doses if you’re in the middle of an attack.

Some other dietary guidelines for gout would be to limit rich foods, alcohol, and sugars. Foods rich in purines, which form uric acid in the body, including anchovies, shellfish, asparagus, mussels, sardines, peanuts, and meat in general, especially bacon, turkey, and organ meats.

When experiencing an attack of gout, eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables can help, especially blueberries, cherries, and strawberries.

If following these natural remedies for gout does not seem to help, it might be a good idea to see your doctor since the symptoms you may think of as gout might actually be something else. It’s always a smart idea to keep your physician aware of any issues you may be experiencing.

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Natural Supplements for Anxiety

Q: I have a lot of anxiety.  I think I always have, but it seems to have gotten worse lately.  When I need to give presentations at work I am just full of dread.  I’ve also noticed feeling more anxious when different social engagements come up and I’ve actually been making up excuses to get out of them, even with friends.  I don’t really want to take a prescription, but I really hate feeling this way.  Is there anything natural that can help?

A: General anxiety disorder and social anxiety is extremely common.  Sometimes medications can be beneficial, but trying natural options first is a good idea.  There are a number of natural products that can work very well for helping to reduce anxiety and stress.

The first I’d mention is theanine- theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that can be very helpful for anxiety.  Theanine helps to encourage alpha brain waves, which are associated with a calm, relaxed state.  It can be taken every day without a problem if needed, but is also effective if used only occasionally when you know you’re going into a stressful situation.  All of us at Pass Health Foods use theanine at one time or another.  It’s a great supplement that helps to “take the edge off”.   

The standard dose for adults with anxiety is 200-400mg of theanine once or twice a day.  It’s a nice supplement because while it does help to reduce anxiety, it does not cause tiredness, so it can be used during the day without a problem.   Interestingly, theanine is also known to help with increasing focus.  We have our Jarrow brand theanine on everyday sale at the store since it’s a supplement we love so much.

Another idea for anxiety, especially when dealing with more extreme issues, is CBD oil. CBD is an extract from the hemp plant which has similar chemical and health properties to the THC (the psychoactive extract in marijuana known for its “high”) in cannabis, but without the mind-altering effects.

CBD is best known for its benefits for pain relief, but there are also numerous very positive studies on its benefits for reducing anxiety, as well as helping to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.  Many published studies have reported benefits of CBD for a number of different mood and emotional disorders- CBD has even been found to be beneficial for people who have not had success with conventional treatments for anxiety and depression.

CBD extract is present in both marijuana and hemp plants.  In Illinois, medical marijuana and all extracts from the cannabis plant are illegal for use without a prescription. Because of this regulation, the CBD oil we have available is sourced from the hemp plant. CBD oil ranges vastly in quality, potency, and effectiveness. Conventionally grown CBD from hemp can also have a large amount of toxins in it because hemp is naturally a “bio-accumulator” plant, which means that it draws toxins from the soil.

Because of this, we’ve been very careful in the types of CBD oil that we’ve decided to carry in the store, and have chosen the brand Green Gorilla, a high quality CBD extract consisting of entirely organic ingredients. 

Also, I wanted to say that our CBD oil is completely safe for drug testing.  Since it is source from the hemp plant, the amount of THC (the compound in marijuana that shows up on a drug test) in our Green Gorilla CBD is 0.003%, so there is absolutely no worry about any problems with a drug test (which I can’t say is the case with all CBD oils on the market).

All our Green Gorilla CBD Oils will be on sale during the month of October for 25% off.

Also, we will be having a representative from Green Gorilla in the store on Saturday, October 7th from 11-1 offering free sampling of their CBD oil that day.
 

Zinc Lozenges: Clinically Proven to Boost the Immune System

As the weather gets cooler, an increase in illness is often the unhappy companion of autumn. I wanted to share a simple thing to add to your arsenal against colds and respiratory infections- zinc. Most people have heard that zinc lozenges are good for the immune system, and of course I know they’re good for you, but that knowledge up until now had not made me ever want to take them- for the simple reason that I’d had them before and thought they tasted disgusting, and I basically swore them off.

Then recently, I read a new study on zinc lozenges and the immune system, and I was pretty much astounded. The analysis, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open, found that zinc lozenges containing zinc gluconate were found to shorten the duration of colds by 33 percent!  Well, that convinced me (since that’s really an amazing amount). Strangely, zinc lozenges that contained vitamin C (a nutrient long used for the immune system) were significantly less effective.

Science had convinced me, and I began a search for the best tasting (or at least one that I could stand the taste of) zinc lozenge. Thankfully, my quest was not in vain, I found Zand’s Zinc Elderberry Lozenges- lozenges that contain the requisite zinc gluconate and no vitamin C. I’ve been really impressed by how good they taste (even my seven year old loves them), particularly since they contain zinc, which isn’t the greatest tasting mineral. An added benefit of these zinc lozenges is that they also contain elderberry, a superfruit with fantastic antiviral properties and they’re also low in sugar. 

Since I wanted to write about how great zinc lozenges are, we put all of our Zand zinc lozenges on sale for 25% off. We have a number of other flavors, but zinc elderberry is my favorite. Zinc taken in supplement form is good for the immune system as well, but the action of slowly sucking on a lozenge containing zinc is what has been shown to make the biggest difference when it comes to reducing cold symptoms.

I’d definitely recommend keeping a few bags of zinc lozenges in the house if illness happens to visit you. Best of all, zinc lozenges can be used in conjunction with other immune boosters for an even greater immune response. One of our favorite at the store, Irwin Naturals Immuno Shield is also on sale this October, so this month is a good time to stock up, just in case.

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Natural Help for Cold Sores

Q:  I’ve been getting cold sores more frequently lately, and they’re driving me crazy!  Not only are they painful, but they don’t look great either and I feel like it’s so embarrassing. Do you have anything natural that can make them heal faster and maybe even prevent them from coming around?  Thanks.

A: Cold sores are caused by a variation of the herpes virus, and are incredibly common; it’s been estimated that between 50 to 80 percent of people in America experience (or will experience) cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. According to the National Institute of health, 90 percent of people have the virus in their bodies, even if they’ve never had a cold sore.

Cold sores can be brought on by a number of factors, stress being one of the biggest ones. Thankfully, there are natural supplements which can both help cold sore outbreaks to heal quicker and also reduce the frequency cold sore outbreaks.

Lysine is the best supplement there is when it comes to cold sores. Lysine is an amino acid that aids in the production of antibodies and slows replication of the herpes virus. The typical dose for preventing and healing cold sores is 1500mg per day, which usually works out to be three capsules (best taken in divided doses). Generally, lysine should not be taken for more than six months continuously; it’s best to take lysine for several months and then take a break until a new outbreak occurs.

Even better than taking lysine straight, is Quantum’s Super Lysine Plus capsules, which combine the recommended dose of lysine with garlic, echinacea, and propolis- potent immune boosters with antiviral properties which help to keep the herpes virus in check.

In addition to taking lysine internally we have salves containing lysine for topical use.  The one we’d recommend is again by the brand Quantum (they really seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to cold sores) which has been shown to reduce the amount of time to heal a cold sore by half (a claim backed up by scientific research). The salve also helps with reducing pain and irritation while it heals. In addition, we also have cold sore bandages at the store, which are particularly helpful for oozing or weeping cold sores (when a cold sore is weeping is also the time they are the most contagious).

Cold sores aren’t fun, but you aren’t alone in dealing with them, and there are natural things that can really make a difference- both in getting rid of them faster, as well as making them less frequent. Good luck!  Stop by the store and we’d love to help you further.



 

The Many Benefits of Probiotics, the Good Bacteria Your Body Needs

There are many wonderful natural products that have all sorts of benefits, but probiotics are part of a handful of supplements which we believe are vitally important for people of all ages- they’re a group of supplements that everyone would benefit from.

Probiotics, or “good bacteria”, are best known as an aid to digestive health, where they have impressively documented benefits for helping the body to digest and process foods. Probiotics also help the body to assimilate nutrients from foods and improve nutrient availability.

Probiotics are also fantastic for the immune system, enhancing our bodies own disease fighting white blood cells. One yearlong study showed that children who took probiotic supplements had significantly fewer upper respiratory infections (colds, etc.) and had a 30 percent reduction in missed school days. Research also found similar immune system benefits for adults.

In addition to activating the immune system against illness, it appears that probiotics are also able to modulate the immune system to diminish over reactive responses to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Interestingly, new research is also showing benefits for bone health for people who use probiotics. One new study found that in animals with hormone changes similar to what happens in women after menopause those who consumed probiotics were able to stave off bone loss compared to the group that was not given probiotics. The control group that did not use probiotics lost half their bone density compared to the probiotics who were able to retain bone density.

Also, pregnant women who use probiotics have been shown to have children with a lower incidence of eczema and atopic dermatitis. Additionally, research has suggested that pregnant women who use probiotics may have children with fewer food allergies.

Probiotics can also have benefits to overall brain health and mood. One study which was measuring the benefits of probiotics on IBS found that the probiotic takers had twice as many people that saw decreases in depression and depressive symptoms when compared with a placebo.

There are many wonderful, high-quality probiotics that we have at the store, but I wanted to specifically mention one by Flora called Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic, a probiotic which has actually won a number of different awards. Flora is a small company that makes exceptional products. They don’t come out with a ton of different “hot, new products” every year, but instead specialize in a few different areas, like probiotic supplements, where they really excel.

Flora’s Super 8 is a mix of eight well researched, scientifically identified strains that have been shown to survive in the body and form colonies.

Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic has probiotic strains that aid digestion, breaking down carbohydrates and helping to synthesize B vitamins. It also contains specific strains which have been shown in research to help inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the colon and GI tract. Super 8 is also formulated with strains that have been found to help reduce gas formation as well as other strains that help with urinary tract health and even a strain that helps with lowering cholesterol levels!

Best of all, it’s a high potency probiotic (42 billion per pill) that is very reasonably priced, especially when compared to other probiotics at similar potencies. This September, we’ll be having our Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic on sale for 25% off, so it’s a great time to try it!

 


 

 

New Study: Aloe can increase nutrient absorption by up to 2000%

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, the most important factor to consider is absorption- how well is your body able to assimilate and use those nutrients. That’s why it’s important to choose the best forms of certain vitamins since not all supplements are created equal.

A few new studies have come out that I wanted to share regarding aloe and it’s seemingly amazing benefits for increasing nutrient absorption. The research found that when aloe, in the form of aloe juice or gel (the gel performed the best), was ingested with vitamins, it increased the blood levels of the nutrients studied as much as 2000% in a study using Lily of the Desert aloe vera products (see the study here). There are also additional studies on increases in nutrient absorption after taking aloe on pub med (see the links here and here).

While the studies are still preliminary and have only researched aloe vera impacting a few different nutrients, the science is sound. Adding aloe vera juice or gel to your supplement regimen seems to make a lot of sense. Drinking 2 ounces of aloe juice or gel (the amount used in the studies) with the supplements you already take can increase their absorption by as much as 20 times than with supplements taken with water.

In addition to the documented benefits for increasing nutrient absorption, there are many other benefits for taking aloe juice or gel internally. Aloe is very soothing and healing to the digestive tract, and has benefits for heartburn, GERD, IBS, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and ulcers. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. 
 
 

Back to School Supplement Essentials for All Ages

August heralds back to school for most kids, and while you begin to get back into the school routine, it’s a great time to begin a supplement regimen for your kids. 

We’ve made a list of the best products for back to school for kids of all ages. Each age group section (grade school, high school, and college) has the following items:

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are important for filling in gaps in the diet, particularly for picky eaters or kids on the go due to sports or activities who do not always have the best of diets.

Probiotics

Probiotics are Important for the immune system and proper digestion. Probiotic use has been researched with children and has been found to dramatically reduce the amount of respiratory infections children contract (probiotic use reduced respiratory infections by 30%).

Omega 3s 

Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for brain function in children. Omega 3s are not produced in the body and must be obtained through foods. If a child is not eating fatty fish or flaxseeds on a regular basis (multiple times a week), it is likely that they are deficient in omega 3s. Omega 3 fatty acids in children have been linked to fewer behavior and attention problems, and have even been in a recent study showing benefits for helping struggling children learning to read when compared with those who took a placebo.

Optional Supplements if Needed

Stress and Anxiety

Many children of all ages suffer from stress and anxiety at school. We recommend theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, which helps to produce a calm, focused state. Theanine reduces anxiety without feeling tired, drugged, or “out of it”. Theanine is effective whether it is used every day or only occasionally, and can help sensitive kids have an easier time of it.

Extra Immune Help

Probiotics are extremely helpful for the immune system, though we have also listed a few other products in this section which are helpful when taken at the first signs of illness to help to get better faster.

Calcium

Depending on a child’s diet, calcium supplements may be a good idea. Research has found that the majority of children aged 9 to 13 years are calcium deficient. Only about 12% of girls and 17% of boys consumed the recommended daily amount of calcium. For older teens, 42% of boys and only 10% of girls consumed enough calcium daily. Supplements are a simple way to ensure that kids have the proper amounts of calcium needed for healthy bones.

 

And so, without further ado- the lists!  We’ve also made printable PDFs of each of the lists, linked below:

Grade School Supplement List

High School Supplement List

College Supplement List

 

Back to School Supplement Supply Lists

Scroll down to find the list for your child's age, though for length it may be easiest to click on the PDFs linked above.

Grade School Essentials

Multivitamins

Animal Parade Gold  
These have the best ingredients of any kids chewable. It is the premium kids multi available.

Nordic Berries Gummy Vitamins on sale in August!
These are great tasting gummy multivitamins for kids. They are similar in look and taste to gumdrop candies.

My Kind Organic Kids Gummy Vitamins on sale in August!
These are the first food based kids organic gummy vitamin; it’s a fantastic choice for a gummy.

Probiotics

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Chewable Probiotics on sale in August!
This is the highest potency children’s chewable available, at 5 billion probiotics per chewable. We recommend it very highly.

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Gummy Probiotics on sale in August!
If you need a gummy probiotic, this is a great choice with a good potency (plus, they're great tasting!).

Omega 3s

Yummy Bears Omega Gummies
This is the highest potency fish oil gummy available (most kids chewable omega 3 supplements are very low potency, so this is a good tasting choice for kids).

Barleans Omega Swirl Fish Oil Liquid on sale in August!
A liquid fish oil does not sound particularly appetizing, but Barleans has made their Omega Swirl Fish Oil to be more of a cream than an oil, in several great tasting flavors without any fishiness. Stop by the store to try a sample.


Optional Supplements if Needed for Grade School

Stress and Anxiety

KAL Relax a Saurus on sale in August!
This is a good, theanine based chewable to help young children feel more relaxed.

Jarrow Theanine Gummies on sale in August!
These great tasting gummies have a nice amount of the relaxing amino acid theanine, and are very effective for stress and anxiety for children and adults of all ages.

Extra Immune Help

KAL ImmunoRaptors on sale in August! 
This is a great combination of supplements designed to help boost children’s immune systems.

Nature’s Answer Sambucus Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup has been studied extensively for its benefit as an antiviral, reducing the length of colds and flu. It is safe for both children and adults and is a great tasting liquid. It can be taken preventatively or in higher amounts if you are trying to combat an acute illness.


Calcium

Carlson Calcium Gummies on sale in August!
These gummies are wonderful tasting and are appropriate for both children and adults. Each gummy has 250 mg of calcium.

 

High School Essentials

Multivitamins

Nature’s Plus Power Teen for Girls or Boys
These are chewables specifically designed for the needs of growing teenagers. They’re also a nice option for teens who have trouble swallowing pills.

Solaray One-A-Day High Energy Multivitamin on sale in August!
These are nice, easy to swallow capsules with high B vitamins, which help with energy.

Probiotics

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Chewable Probiotics on sale in August!
This is the highest potency children’s chewable available, at 5 billion probiotics per chewable, and is appropriate for teenagers who prefer chewables.

JarrowDophilus EPS on sale in August!
These are easy to swallow capsules with a potency of 5 billion each.

Omega 3s

Nordic Naturals Lemon Fish Oil Softgels on sale in August! 
These softgels are smaller sized than many fish oil supplements, and also have added lemon oil inside the softgels to prevent “fish burps”.

Barleans Omega Swirl Fish Oil Liquid on sale in August!
A liquid fish oil does not sound particularly appetizing, but Barleans has made their Omega Swirl Fish Oil to be more of a cream than an oil, in several great tasting flavors without any fishiness.

Optional Supplements if Needed for High School

Stress and Anxiety

Jarrow Theanine Gummies or Capsules on sale in August!
Whether teenagers prefer a gummy or a capsule, theanine is wonderful for anxiety and stress- it works to produce a calm, focused, and relaxed state. Theanine is not habit forming and can be extremely useful for children and adults for reducing anxiety.

Extra Immune Help

Irwin Natural’s Immuno Shield
Immuno Shield is a fantastic immune booster that combines a variety of supplements that work to activate the immune system.

Nature’s Answer Sambucus Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry is a great antiviral, and works well to shorten the duration of illness caused by viruses (the flu in particular).


Calcium

Carlson Calcium Gummies on sale in August!
These gummies are wonderful tasting and are appropriate for both children and adults. Each gummy has 250 mg of calcium.

Digestion

American Health’s Chewable Papaya Enzymes
Papaya enzymes are helpful for anyone who gets occasional stomach upset or indigestion after eating. Papaya enzymes are all natural and work by breaking down the food in the stomach so it’s able to be digested easier.
 

College Student Essentials

Multivitamins

My Kind Multivitamins for Men or Women on sale in August!  
My Kind vitamins are organic, food based and extremely gentle on the system. 

Solaray One-A-Day High Energy Multivitamin on sale in August!
These are nice, easy to swallow capsules with high B vitamins, which help with energy.

Probiotics

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Men or Women on sale in August!
These are wonderful, high potency probiotics that have specific strains for male and female bodies- for example, the women’s probiotic has strains that help with preventing urinary tract and yeast infections. 

JarrowDophilus EPS on sale in August!
These are easy to swallow capsules with a potency of 5 billion each.

Omega 3s

Nordic Naturals Lemon Fish Oil Softgels on sale in August! 
These softgels are smaller sized than many fish oil supplements, and also have added lemon oil inside the softgels to prevent “fish burps”.


Optional Supplements if Needed for College Students

Stress and Anxiety

Jarrow Theanine Gummies or Capsules on sale in August!
Whether teenagers prefer a gummy or a capsule, theanine is wonderful for anxiety and stress- it works to produce a calm, focused, and relaxed state. Theanine is not habit forming and can be extremely useful for children and adults for reducing anxiety.

Extra Immune Help

Irwin Natural’s Immuno Shield
Immuno Shield is a fantastic immune booster that combines a variety of supplements that work to activate the immune system.

Nature’s Answer Sambucus Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry is a great antiviral, and works well to shorten the duration of illness caused by viruses (the flu in particular).

Calcium

Carlson Calcium Gummies on sale in August!
These gummies are wonderful tasting and are appropriate for both children and adults. Each gummy has 250 mg of calcium.

Country Life’s Calcium Magnesium Capsules
These are nice for teenagers and adults who prefer a capsule to swallow.

Digestion

American Health’s Chewable Papaya Enzymes
Papaya enzymes are helpful for anyone who gets occasional stomach upset or indigestion after eating. Papaya enzymes are all natural and work by breaking down the food in the stomach so it’s able to be digested easier.
 

Stop by the store this month, we'd be happy to help you find the exact supplements that would be best for the children in your life!

 

Jarrow Formulas: One of Our Favorite Brands

Papaya Enzymes for Preventing Upset Stomach this Summer

I’ve written about digestive enzymes before for people with chronic or persistent digestive issues (bloating, indigestion, etc.) on regular use can make a huge difference in symptoms. This month, however, I wanted to write about the more basic papaya enzymes, which are great for people of all ages for occasional stomach upset or overindulgence. Enzymes are nice, since they are only beneficial- there are no negative side effects. When taken with or after a meal, they help to break down foods so they are more easily digested.  

Papaya enzymes are great for times when you may eat heavier or greasy foods, or for times when you feel overly full after eating- something that happens a lot at summer BBQs or on vacations.  They’re a great thing to keep in the house or a travel bag.  Having an upset stomach is a surefire way to ruin a fun time this summer, so keeping some chewable papaya enzymes on hand is a great idea.

I’ve also found them to be extremely helpful for when my daughter complains of an upset stomach.  Many times I don’t necessarily believe that her stomach actually hurts (since it’s frequently a bedtime complaint), but giving her one chewable papaya enzyme makes her happy.  It’s something I feel completely comfortable giving her, since it is just natural enzymes from papaya, which will help to digest any food in her stomach.  Even if her “upset stomach” is just imaginary, a papaya enzyme won’t hurt at all.  In fact, enzymes on an empty stomach can even help with reducing inflammation in the body.

Papaya enzymes can also help with heartburn.  My family usually eats pizza once a week (we’re dairy free, so I make homemade pizza with Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds), and my husband had been complaining of heartburn on pizza nights.  He started taking chewable papaya enzymes- two right before he’d eat pizza and two after if needed, and he has said it has completely taken away his pizza-heartburn.

We use the chewable papaya enzymes from American Health.  The standard dose for adults is three chewables (they’re small) with a meal or as needed.  They’re good tasting and can really help.

Again, papaya enzymes are the most basic of enzymes, so while they’re a good place to start, they might not be the best choice for everyone.  I’ll link a few articles below on digestive issues and supplements that can help:

Digestive Enzymes for Bloating, Gas, and Indigestion

Natural Relief for GERD

Natural Remedies for Indigestion and Heartburn