We’ve all been there at one time or another. The bloating. The cramps. The nausea. The hurried, hectic, and panicked search for a bathroom. I’m talking about digestive upset in its many glorious forms.

Digestive diseases — such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) — are hugely common affecting “up to 70 million Americans” per the National Institutes of Health. The search for a solution is an ongoing challenge for many medicinal practitioners and researchers, yet one of the most promising discoveries has been digestive enzymes.

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Why you ask, do digestive enzymes help with these issues?

Digestive enzymes “are thought to help the body break down food compounds and increase nutrient absorption, relieving symptoms of indigestion in the process.”

Let’s back up for a moment. What exactly are digestive enzymes?

While there are many enzymes created in the human body, the most important “are the proteases (which break down proteins), lipases (fats), and amylases (starches and sugars),” all of which are secreted by the body “to break down the foods that we eat.” A variety of enzymes “are secreted starting in the mouth, and others further down in the digestive tract.”

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Alright, so how can these enzymes help with digestive upset, disorders, and diseases?

Turns out, in many people’s cases, the glands that create enzymes are not functioning properly — these include the “mouth, stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, and pancreas.” If these glands aren’t functioning properly or “have been damaged, digestive enzyme supplements are intended to help pick up the slack.”

While this is a somewhat new field of study and more research is necessary, the initial reports of success are enough to have doctors trying this avenue out for the patients.

Looking to get your hands on some digestive enzymes? First off, talk to your doctor! It’s always important to have an honest discussion with your physician before beginning a new round of supplements. Next, try out one of these vegan-friendly digestive enzymes!

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1. Pure Vegan Digestive Enzyme Complex

Pure Vegan Digestive Enzyme Complex/Amazon.com

This Pure Vegan Digestive Enzyme Complex includes all the enzymes you’ll need including amylase, protease I, protease II, lactase, lipase, cellulase, maltase, and hemicellulase. This product is 100 percent vegan-friendly with zero animal-ingredients! Complete with a combination of stomach-soothing agents — ginger, peppermint, and cinnamon — this supplement is an all-around great digestive aid. A 90-count bottle costs $15.28.

Amazon Customer says “This product is awesome! I take it two times a day before I eat and it really eases bloating and gas. As a vegan some veggies and fruits don mix well and makes me gassy so this stuff really works!”

2. Mary Ruth’s Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes

Mary Ruth’s Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes/Amazon.com

Mary Ruth’s is one of those amazing trusted vegan-friendly brands that you can always turn to! This Mary Ruth’s Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes follow suite offering a 100 percent vegan product. This complete and advanced blend includes a variety of enzymes including protease blend, amylase blend, glucoamylase, diastase, invertase, pectinase, cellulase, hemicellulase, xylanase lipase, lactase, and alpha-galactosidase. By pairing these advanced vegan enzymes, Mary Ruth’s promises this supplement to support vitamin and mineral absorption and easy digestion. A 60-count bottle costs $22.95.

Kitty says “I really like this brand and product. With many food intolerances, Mary Ruth’s digestive enzymes has helped me tremendously. Since taking the Mary Ruth’s products, I have not had any digestive issues. I am pleased that the Mary Ruth products are quality tested in small batches. I would recommend to anyone to give this product a try.”

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3. Nutra Champs Vegan Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics

Nutra Champs Vegan Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics/Amazon.com

This Nutra Champs Vegan Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics is specifically designed to help decrease bloating and gas and increase digestibility. This vegan-friendly blend of enzymes is “formulated with a diverse range of over 21 different nutrients clinically shown to help you digest at your best.” A 180-capsule bottle costs $22.95.

Kristin says “Recently I started a Keto type diet and had never had acid reflux in my life! It was so bad, it was coming up into my throat. I feel so much better eating this way but I just couldn’t handle the reflux. Someone suggested digestive enzymes so I began to research and wanted a clean, straight forward product. This product by Nutra Champs helps metabolize fats, protein AND carbohydrates which is very important. I’m happy to report my reflux is gone. I take one capsule before heavy meals…usually just once a day and problem solved! I’m a believer and won’t be caught without them. Another positive side note, this product helps keep your bowels moving. Love it!!”

4. Now Plant Enzymes with Lactase, Protease, Papain, and Bromelain

Now Plant Enzymes with Lactase, Protease, Papain, and Bromelain/Amazon.com

NOW supplements make the list as one of the trusted vegan-friendly brands. This NOW Plant Enzymes with Lactase, Protease, Papain, and Bromelain are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, kosher, keto-friendly, non-GMO, soy-free, and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) assured. This enzyme blend promises to help “breakdown fats, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates” increasing the bioavailability of consumed nutrients and easing digestive upset. A 240-capsule bottle costs $17.27.

Jacque Gruber says “For as long as I can remember, I have not been able to eat most raw veggies (broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, kale, etc.) and even some fruit (apples, bananas) without horrible, extremely painful bloating and stomach pains. The first time I tried this I was able to eat some of these “forbidden” foods. I have used it a dozen times in the last week and haven’t had any pain no matter which food I chose. It is so worth it!! And it’s made in the USA. 😊”

5. Naturenetics Digestive Enzymes

Naturenetics Digestive Enzymes/Amazon.com

This Naturenetics Digestive Enzymes offers a high-quality and clean product that is vegan-friendly and free of corn, soy, dairy, gluten, wheat, sugar, and yeast. Plus, this product is GMO-free! Naturenetics offers a blend of enzymes that help reduce bloating, gas, cramps, heartburn, and indigestion. On top of that, this enzyme supplement will also help increase the absorption of nutrients and boosts your energy! A 90-capsule bottle costs $21.02.

Kirk says “This product is “full-stack”! It digests carbs, proteins and more… So many other products are limited by what they breakout down for you. I already see and feel a difference. My bathroom visit is 10x improved and my skin has never been healthier. That’s only naming a few of the benefits that stand out right now. I’ve only been on the product 30 days, so I’m sure more benefits will begin to reveal themselves. It just feels so good to know that the foods you are eating are truly being absorbed by your body! This product has changed my life!”

6. Garden of Life Organic Chewable Enzyme Supplement

Garden of Life Organic Chewable Enzyme Supplement/Amazon.com

Garden of Life seems to always make the list and for good reason! This Garden of Life Organic Chewable Enzyme Supplement is vegan certified, hypoallergenic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and has zero artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, preservatives, fillers, or binders. Garden of Life promises that this supplement will boost nutrient absorption and help with digestion. With 29 powdered certified USDA organic fruits and veggies, along with 13 digestive enzymes, this is one of the most powerful enzyme product on the market! A 90-chewable tablet box costs $21.69.

Strawberrymom says “I have noticed a sizable difference in belly bloat since taking this product. I have been on 2 probiotics a day and had tried another digestive enzyme prior that I did not notice much of a difference too. I also think the taste of these is pretty good so that is a bonus. I like that there is a variety of the enzymes also. UPDATE- I have now been using these for several months and find them invaluable. My bloating that was daily and painful previously has been reduced to very occasional.”

7. Integrative Therapeutics Similase Supplement

Integrative Therapeutics Similase Supplement/Amazon.com

This Integrative Therapeutics Similase Supplement contains a proprietary blend of plant-sourced enzymes making this a great vegan-friendly enzyme supplement. This supplement promises to support the digestion of difficult foods including carbs, fats, protein, and fiber. Plus, this product contains zero sugar, salt, yeast, wheat soy, and dairy, as well as zero artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. A 180-capsule bottle costs $43.70.

bodybyfisher says “This brand was recommended to me by a doctor of functional medicine. I have been taking it for about four years. The main thing I have noticed is that I do not have any more belly bloat and it helps with my lactose intolerance, as long as I don’t overdo it. Also, I have interstitial cystitis and pelvic floor dysfunction and cannot tolerate many supplements. This has not been a problem for me.”

8. Nested Naturals Digestive Enzymes

Nested Naturals Digestive Enzymes/Amazon.com

This Nested Naturals Digestive Enzymes contains a vegan-friendly blend of amylase, lactase, lipase, protease, bromelain, and papain. This product is free of GMOs, gluten, and soy and contains ethically produced ingredients. With a blend of the aforementioned enzymes, plus five additional enzymes and soothing herbal extracts, this is the perfect supplement to soothe an upset digestive system. A 90-capsule bottle costs $25.95.

Donna says “I love this product! I had my gallbladder removed 25 years ago and never realized how much it affected my ability to get nutrients from foods. By the time I found out, I was literally dying of malnutrition. I started taking digestive enzymes and probiotics and the results have been nothing short of amazing. I switched to using this digestive enzyme because it is only 1 pill vs the 3 or 4 I was having to take to get the right amounts of each enzyme I need. The lipase in this is really high! I have had no breakthrough indigestion since taking the Nested Naturals Digestive Enzymes. Very powerful!”

9. HealthForce SuperFoods Digestion Enhancement Enzymes

HealthForce SuperFoods Digestion Enhancement Enzymes/Amazon.com

This HealthForce SuperFoods Digestion Enhancement Enzymes is 100 percent vegan-friendly, certified organic, kosher, non-GMO and gluten-free. HealthForce promises their products are held up to the highest standards of quality and purity and also provide EcoFresh packaging for superior freshness. This blend contains digestion enhancement enzymes to support “digestion, assimilation, and utilization of all types of foods and nutrients.” A 120-capsule bottle costs $32.95.

Seven Seas says “HealthForce products are quickly becoming the gold standard of healing supplements. HealthForce Digestion Enhancement Enzymes are no exception. These enzymes are highly effective & fairly priced. They are more effective – with smaller doses, even – than most (if not all) their competitors. Well worth the price. A fantastic product truly ethically produced by a rare breed of a company. Excellent.”

MaryRuth Organics Ultra Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes

Mary Ruth Organics Ultra Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes/Amazon.com

Mary Ruth makes the list again with this Mary Ruth Organics Ultra Vegan Digestive Food Enzymes. Offering a second boosted formula of digestive enzymes, this supplement also proves to be raw and vegan-friendly. This supplement is a blend of “every enzyme that can help you feel your best: Protease, Amylase, Glucoamylase, Diastase, Invertase, Pectinase, Cellulase, Hemicellulase, Xylanase Lipase, Lactase, Alpha-Galactosidase, and Beta-Glucanase.” All enzymes are sustainably and ethically sourced. A 60-capsule bottle costs $24.95.

freesia3 says “I have IBS and other digestive issues due to medical conditions which means my body does not break down foods very well. This only aggravates my conditions and not absorbing nutrients from foods properly. I have taken MaryRuth multi-vitamins in the past. They were quite potent and I could not tolerate them. But the Digestive Enzymes work great. I do not feel overfull after eating a meal which is important because acid reflux can sneak up on me. However, I do take this with the MaryRuth probiotic as well which further reduces bloating, IBS discomfort and increases regularity. I would recommend taking both together if you are looking to heal your gut. This is a great step in that direction.”

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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