How Are We Digesting Animal Protein?
Our bodies use enzymes for digesting animal protein. Anytime we ingest food, our body releases digestive enzymes to break the food down or digest the food. Because animal protein (meat) is a more complex food, our body expends a much larger amount of digestive enzymes to digest it.
The process of cooking meat destroys most of the naturally-occurring enzymes that are needed to break down meats complete proteins into amino acids that the body can utilize; the more the meat is cooked, the more naturally-occurring enzymes are destroyed. This is the main reason that a well-done steak is more difficult to digest than a rare steak.
It’s also important to note that as we get older, our bodies naturally start to produce fewer digestive enzymes. Some meats take longer to digest than others; pork takes the longest to digest, followed by beef and lamb. The longer the meat takes to digest, the more digestive enzymes are exhausted.
How Can We Help Our Bodies in Digesting Animal Protein?
There are several things we can do to make the digestion process of meat easier, especially when it comes to the harder-to-digest meats like pork, beef, and lamb.
There are a few foods and supplements that naturally contain digestive enzymes including fresh, raw pineapple and fresh, raw papaya. By eating these fruits as accompaniment to meat, our bodies are less likely to be depleted of its own digestive enzymes.
Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, while fresh papaya contains an enzyme called papain; both help the body to break down protein quickly. Sometimes, it may not be possible to eat fresh pineapple or papaya with your meal, especially if you are eating away from home. In this case, there are combination bromelain and papain supplements available. Remember to always check the labels of your supplements for unwanted ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, MSG, and other neurotoxins.
“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for over 25 years and have always had good outcomes. My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery.”
Does someone you love suffer from an eating disorder?
Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.
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Materials contained on this site are made available solely for educational purposes and as part of an effort to raise general awareness of the psychological treatments available to individuals with health issues. These materials are not intended to be, and are not a substitute for, direct professional medical or psychological care based on your individual condition and circumstances. Dr. J. Renae Norton does not diagnose or treat medical conditions. While this site may contain descriptions of pharmacological, psychiatric and psychological treatments, such descriptions and any related materials should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified mental health care provider. You are advised to consult your medical health provider about your personal questions or concerns.