Ahhh, the long summer days have arrived, and our thoughts turn to cooking and eating alfresco. Whether you’re picnicking, camping or backyard grilling, safety comes first when it comes to food preparation, but how about preparing your digestive tract? We want to ensure that what we eat will be digested optimally and utilized by the body. When we eat foods that we are not used to, or perhaps overeat, we might notice symptoms such as gas, bloating, heartburn and feeling uncomfortably full. When this happens, there are a few easy things you can do to help digestion. Slow down and savour the sight, smell and taste of your food, chew your food thoroughly before swallowing and try not to drink a lot of liquid when you eat. You might also consider taking a digestive enzyme with your meal.
Digestive enzymes are proteins your body makes to help break down the food you eat into usable nutrients that are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and used throughout the body. Taking an enzyme supplement with each meal can help improve your digestion and reduce the symptoms of gas, bloating and heartburn.
What to Look for In a Digestive Enzyme
At Renew Life®, our digestive enzymes are formulated for maximum effectiveness. Each plant-derived formula contains powerful enzymes chosen for their ability to break down protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and dairy. Whether you’re having trouble digesting certain foods or all foods, all the time, there’s a Renew Life® digestive enzyme formula that’s right for you!
Renew Life® DigestMORE® Formulas
- DigestMORE® Regular Strength is a digestive aid that includes plant enzymes, herbs and amino acids to help digest foods and soothe the digestive tract.
- DigestMORE Ultra® Strength provides powerful digestive support to maximize nutrient absorption.
- DigestMORE HCl® is a comprehensive plant-derived digestive enzyme formula that contains Betaine Hydrochloride (HCl) to help digest protein and support optimal digestion.
Here are some extra tips to follow when eating outdoors:
- Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often to avoid the spread of bacteria and germs.
- Separate: Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria.
- Chill: Keep cold food cold. Letting food sit at unsafe temperatures puts you at risk for bacteria growth and food-borne illnesses.
- Cook: Make sure you kill harmful bacteria by cooking food until it reaches the proper temperature. Don’t guess! Use a digital instant-read food thermometer to check when meat and poultry are safe to eat. Don’t add extra marinade within the last 5 minutes of cooking. Marinades also need to be safely cooked before consuming. Discard any leftover marinade. Don’t try to re-use it for another dish or another day.
The safe temperatures for cooked foods are:
- 71º C (160º F) for ground beef
- 74º C (165º F) for leftover food
- 85º C (185º F) for whole poultry
- Cover: Cover foods when not serving them to avoid attracting bugs. Insects such as flies and wasps carry food poisoning bacteria and other germs on their legs and bodies, which contaminate food when they walk on it.
- Pack: Always carry food for a picnic or outing in a cool bag with some ice bricks or frozen cartons of fruit juice to help keep it fresh. Food should be kept in the cool bag until ready to be eaten, and raw foods such as meat should be kept separately from ready-to-eat foods. Keep food that is supposed to be cool in the cooler after use; don’t leave it sitting out to spoil.
By following the suggestions above, you can enjoy safe eating and optimal digestion.
By Caroline Farquhar, RHN, EMP, BA