digestive enzymes

Natural food enzymes that, when taken with gassy foods, help reduce flatulence—sometimes even stopping it before it begins. Gas-producing foods like beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grains and onions cause trouble because they contain hard- or impossible-to-digest complex sugars (see carbohydrate) that ferment in the large intestine. Digestive enzymes help break down these complex sugars into simple sugars that are more easily digestible. They generally come in tablet form and are commonly available in natural food stores. Some, like the popular Beano, also come in a liquid form and can be found in supermarkets and drugstores.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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