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: