It’s BBQ Season!

By guest contributor Barb Swanson

(author of Beyond Foods: The Handbook of Functional Nutrition)


Even though summertime is when we have the most fresh fruits and vegetables available, it is also the season of the BBQ. In the US, over 35 million people grill more than once a month. In peak “hotdog” season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 7 billion franks are consumed. And people grill more beef than dogs. That’s a lot of meat, folks!

Fortunately, many are beginning to choose plant-based ‘meats’ and proteins. Over 80% of Americans plan to grill plant-based protein options this summer. All this yummy BBQ food comes with a price: bloating, gas, flatulence and acid stomach. Even plant protein is a protein, which is hard to digest due to the very large molecules that your body has to break down to get to the actual protein nutrient– amino acids. Food enzymes are a quick and effective way to help your body break down your summer grills–saving you energy, vitality, and whole lot of digestive woes.

What Are Enzymes?
In this article, I am talking specifically about FOOD enzymes. Food enzymes help you break down your food. Your body needs less stomach acid to break down proteins, and uses less energy for digestion. This helps keep you moving. Because enzymes help your body break foods down effectively, they help reduce gas and bloating. The best kind of food enzymes are plant- based, fungal grown. They are proven extremely effective for human use. A good formulation will contain several types of enzymes, to help you digest different types of proteins, carbohydrates and sugars.

In Summary
Ultimately, during summer we all want to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors. For many of us, that also means grilling. We may have friends and family over and create great memories around the BBQ. Here are hints to make your BBQ not only delicious, but great for your health.

  • Be sure and have large pitchers of water and/or unsweetened teas. Encourage everyone to top off before the grill is done. We all need hydration, and drinking enough liquid also helps keep us from over-eating.
  • Add a large salad or fresh veggies. You can grill many vegetables and others are great to have a raw appetizers. Having these as snack foods helps cut down on the over-consumption of main protein choices.
  • Get some exercise after the meal. If you wait for the evening cool to grill (and who doesn’t!), you risk going to bed on a full stomach. This is a set-up for indigestion and poor sleep. Walking, taking a hike, playing low-key ballgames, swimming…all of these help to empty the stomach before bedtime.

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