With over 100 different enzymes in the body, of which 22 are digestive enzymes, I won’t have the time or the space to discuss each one. But I want to give you an overview on how important enzymes are to your health.
Enzymes are proteins that act like catalysts by binding to an initial substance and converting it into something else. They are needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in your body. No mineral, vitamin or hormone can do any significant work without enzymes.
Because of this, they are critical to your overall health and wellness and play an important role in how you age. That’s why digestive enzymes are need for an effective anti aging strategy.
Think in 3’s!
There are 3 classes of enzymes:
Metabolic – which run our bodies.
Digestive – which digest our food.
Food – which come from raw foods and start food digestion.
There are 3 types of digestive enzymes and they have 3 main jobs:
Proteases are enzymes that digest proteins.
Amylases are enzymes that digest carbohydrates.
Lipases are enzymes that digest fats.
Some say, “You Are What You Eat” but I say, “You Are What You Digest!”
The Digestive Process and How Digestive Enzymes Fit In
Enzymes from raw foods start the digestive process. They help break down complex foods into simple structures. That’s why the chewing process is so important.
Food enzymes are beneficial to digestive enzymes because the more the food is already broken down (prior to entering the lower portion of the stomach) the less the digestive enzymes are needed to complete the breakdown. The more your food is broken down into its simplest form, the easier it will be for your small intestine to absorb these nutrients. This allows your blood stream to delivery these nutrients to the needed areas.
Raw foods are rich in food enzymes. The most powerful enzyme rich foods are sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes.
What is the Natural Enemy of Food Enzymes?
The enzymes in raw foods are destroyed by heat. In fact, cooking any food at temperatures above 116 degrees Fahrenheit kills all enzymes. This increases the amount of energy the body needs to digest the cooked food. It also increases the amount of time needed in the digestive tract to try to absorb nutrients. This puts wear and tear on your pancreas.
If there are no food enzymes to help predigest the food, then the pancreas must put out the “HELP WANTED” sign. The pancreas will convert metabolic enzymes into digestive enzymes. This can stress the pancreas. It will also rob your body of the metabolic enzymes necessary for creating the energy needed for optimal health.
The digestion of cooked and fried foods demands much more energy than the digestion of raw foods. Generally, raw foods will pass through the digestive tract in approximately ½ the time it takes for cooked food. Additionally, we loose our ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes as we age. This all takes a toll on the metabolic health of your body especially as it relates to the production of free radicals, which accelerate the aging process.
Those Nutritionists Got It Right Again!
The nutritionists who keep recommending 5-8 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day are really trying to help your body work at a higher level of wellness. An increasing number of studies have shown the effectiveness of proper enzyme intake to:
Combat heart disease
Help diabetics control their blood sugar levels without the use of insulin
Help alleviate arthritic symptoms
Be beneficial in weight management
If you factor in the studies from the Journal of Longevity Research, which praise enzymes for their ability to combat cancer, you begin to see why enzymes are important to your health and aging process. Most people would experience a significant improvement in their energy if they increased the amount of living raw food in their diet.
The enzymes in raw food can digest as much as 75% of the food itself without the help of digestive enzymes. Although this is not universal, the lack of digestive enzymes can be a factor in food allergies, bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, and heartburn.
Let’s Have Some Fun With Digestive Enzymes!
Let me briefly educate you on a couple of enzymes that you can throw into your next conversation to impress your family and friends:
Lipase – Lipase is a digestive enzyme and is highly effective in the digestion of fats. Without it fat would stagnate and accumulate in the organs and arteries. If you’re talking with someone who eats most of their meals at a fast food joint you could say something like “Did you want some extra lipase to go with that double cheeseburger?”
Amylase – Amylase is a digestive enzyme that targets complex carbohydrates. Your body uses this digestive enzyme to break down these complex carbohydrates into manageable sugars. Sugars are then used for energy production throughout your body. So the next time you’re at the local Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast you can say “Do you have any amylase to go with my pancakes?”
Protease – Protease is a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of all protein structures within your body. But your body first needs to break down the proteins you eat so that it can take these amino acids and reform them into the proteins your body can actually use. This means that when you have a home repair project, and you go to the hardware store, you can say “I need a bag of protease to help me complete my home repair project!”
P4D1 – P4D1 can actually stimulate the repair of the DNA molecule. It has also been shown to destroy the protein sheath of cancer cells so that the white blood cells can attack and destroy them. Next time you’re at a Star Wars convention you could say something like “Dude, that P4D1 droid is awesome!”
Cytochrome Oxidase – Cytochrome Oxidase anchors an important chain of metabolic enzymes that produce energy in the mitochondria of the cell. Next time you’re at the spa you can say something like “Wow, that Cytochrome Oxidase therapy really got my energy flowing!”
Just think what you could do with enzymes like Catalase or Hexokinase or Superoxide Dismutase. Well, I think you get the picture.
Enzymes need to be a big part of any anti aging strategy. That means that raw foods, especially fruits and vegetables, need to be an important part of your daily routine. They will help to improve your energy, reduce the effects of free radical damage, and have a powerful influence in helping to prevent disease. All important factors in helping to improve your overall health and wellness!