Sunday, 22 September 2013

Lactase, Amylase, Lipase...Which enzymes to digest which food?/ Enzimas para tu digestión, sí pero¿cuáles?

  Para la Versión en Español: Más abajo

The more food we have available the unhealthier many people tend to eat. This is what I have experienced in the city of London, and many other big capitals, where the choice of great foods from all over the world is really amazing but the pace of life is too fast to let us enjoy and nourish our body and mind with good food.

 The result is people in a rush, juggling between work, social life and family in an already stressful environment that does not allow to stop for a second.  It´s the work hard, play hard type of life. 

So, instead of prioritizing  mealtime with some quality time for our digestion, we rush with whatever we can grab on the go. No wonder that after this we go directly to the healthstore to buy the whole range of digestive aids for flatulence, heartburn,acidic reflux, food intolerances, constipation...
So many remedies, but enzymes are becoming more and more popular cause they help us break down the macronutrients of the food and help our digestive system so it doesn´t need to work that hard. The MOST popular ones are:

Protease--> When we have that piece of beefsteak in our stomach for ages, the solution is the enzyme that breaks down the protein. 

Papain is one of them and is present in Papaya fruit, hence the name. So.. another tablet goes into the shopping basket.

Amylase--> Rice, potatoes... all those carbohydrates might give us also a hard time, especially if we indulge too much in them. 

Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down those type of starchy foods.

Lipase--> A bit too much of a fatty meal and the digestion feels like is going to last forever. This is the case of things like fried food or too much cheese or cream. Lipase is another good friend willing to give us a hand in the arduous task of reducing the big molecules of fats into fatty acids.

Lactase-->When we cannot tolerate well the lactose,  natural sugar of dairy and milk, we have difficulties digesting milk. This is because maybe we don´t have enough lactase ,the enzyme that digests the lactose. So we go and buy Lactase in capsules to swallow them before drinking our skinny latte or eating cottage cheese.

These are some of the most common over the counter solutions, really useful if you know that you might have to struggle with upset stomach at the same time as trying to concentrate in a meeting. 
More alternative options are also within certain foods  that are already an excellent source of digestive aids. This is clever eating, which is going to be my next post. Stay tuned!



Contra más comida disponible en el mercado, peor comemos. Sobretodo en grandes capitales, donde el ritmo de vida frenético no nos deja nutrir adecuadamente nuestro cuerpo con comida sana y rica.El resultado es que mucha gente acaba haciendo malavares entre la vida laboral y personal. 

 En vez de priorizar nuestra hora de la comida con un momento para nuestra digestión, vamos corriendo a comprar cualquier cosa del supermercado que nos llene el estómago. No es de extrañar que después hagamos una visita a la parafarmacia para comprar todo el catálogo de suplementos para facilitar la digestión pesada, flatulencias, acidez de estómago, intolerancias a la comida, estreñimiento...

Hay tantos remedios... pero las enzimas se están haciendo cada vez más populares por que nos ayudan a desintegrar los macronutrientes de la comida en los componentes absorbibles y ayudan a que nuestra digestión sea más fácil.  Nuestro organismo requiere de cientos de enzimas que regulan muchísimas reacciones. Pero vamos a repasar las enzimas más populares para nuestra digestión:

Proteasas--> Cuando tomamos mucha carne o un buen beefsteak y se nos eterniza en el estómago, la solución es esta enzima. La Papaína es una de ellas y es especialmente buena ya que ablanda facilmente la proteina. Se extrae de la papaya, de ahí su nombre.  Encontramos capsulitas preparadas de papaína, una buena recomendación para llevarla en el bolso.
Amilasas--> Pastas, Arroz, Patatas... todos los carbohidratos con mucho almidón a veces son pesados sobretodo si solo comemos esto. Las amilasas nos ayudarán a no sentir la hinchazón de estómago por demasiada patata.
Lipasas--> Cuando nos pasamos de grasa en la comida, ya sea por alguna salsa o aceite o por tomar algo frito, es muy frecuente sentir gran pesadez e indigestión. La lipasa facilita la árdua labor en el estómago  de romper las grandes moléculas de grasa en pequeños ácidos grasos.
Lactasa--> Cada vez hay más gente con intolerancia a la lactosa, que es el azúcar natural de la leche y sus derivados. Es por esto que un yogur, un helado o el poquito de nata en un café pueda ocasionar diarreas y dolor abdminal. Comprar lactasa es la forma más segura de evitar este problema. Siempre hay que tomarla antes de ingerir algún alimento que pueda tener leche o derivado.

Todas estas enzimas y más las puedes encontrar en el mercado y pueden solucionarte una tarde de digestión difícil. Aunque opciones más alternativas las podemos encontrar en los propios alimentos que son fuente excelente de enzimas.  Esto es alimentación inteligente, mucho más que llenarse el bolso de pastillas. Mi próximo artículo lo dedicaré a esos alimentos.  ¡No te lo pierdas!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Retrain your Taste Buds

Acquiring a new taste and adjusting our diet to eat more vegetables, fruits and fish is easier for those who simply like anything, or swallow anything. But for some, the taste of a simple leaf of spinach is really unpleasant, therefore the healthy lifestyle becomes a nightmare.

Why is that?

2 things:
1-Our DNA
2- Like mother like son

1-Genes naturally determine how developed certain taste buds will be. We have 5 different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter (and umami).  Some people will react differently to bitter or salty depending partially on the way their buds assimilate that sensation. The classic example is the bitterness of Broccoli.And this is due to our unique genes that are inextricably connected to the type of receptors for that taste. 

2-The second reason, and most powerful one, is how varied the diet of our mum was before we were born and even months after. Let me explain you ...

Everything the mum eats goes through the amniotic fluid to feed the fetus, and that includes flavor components too.
Not only this, but another crucial aspect is the breast milk (versus infant formulas) which will also contain flavors from the mum´s diet. 
I recently read a very interesting research study to determine how our taste buds develop and whether if there was a link between mum´s diet and a well developed taste to all sorts of foods from a young age.
And this was the case study for a group of mums planning to breastfeed:
Group A:
- Last 3 months of pregnancy: water
- Breastfeeding: carrot juice
Group B:
- Last 3 months of pregnancy: carrot juice
- Breastfeeding: water
Group C (Control):
Last 3 months of pregnancy: water
Breastfeeding: water

When the mums started to give a solid diet they prepared cereals with carrot and with water and... the result was that the babies whose mums had a diet  with carrot juice during and/or after pregnancy enjoyed much more the carrot flavor. While babies who did not taste the carrot flavor before (from breast milk or mother´s diet) did not enjoy the carrot cereal according to the negative facial expressions the mums noticed (the mums did not know anything about the researchers' question)
Those happy babies had tried the flavor many times before and got used to it! So, training your taste buds requires trying once and again and again... and eventually you will start to appreciate the new taste. It has been reported in several studies that we need to give it a try, at least 10 times. So even if you don´t appreciate your broccoli or your kids cannot eat anything, don´t give up! It´s all about training and eventually you will discover a whole new world of healthy foods. 

Flavor is a combination of many factors, not only the taste but also smell, texture, spice, temperature, setting, and memory. To really appreciate food’s flavor, experience it with all the senses. The simple scent of freshly baked bread may be a large part of your indulgence. And, a calorie-free one!

The key!  Remember that is not only the taste, but many other factors that will make a much more enjoyable experience eating all sorts of foods. And the best news is that weight loss accelerates cause we eat slower and recognize when we feel full and satisfied.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Lunchbox is back/ Vuelta al tupper!

September, back to work , back to school! And back to the tupperware! Don´t panic !

Did you learn the lesson? Colours!! The American Association of Dietetics launched a beautiful campaign in 2011  to visually illustrate what we all mean when we say :Color your plate! , Color your Tupperware too!

And have a second read (or maybe first) to the post about Colourful meals: Do you see the rainbow?

Do you need inspiration for lunch or snacks? Here are some creative colorful tupperware.

It is the last quarter of the year, don´t delay your year resolutions , you can still make it happen!!! Healthy lifestyle is around the corner.