Enzymes carry nutrients to various parts of the body and also remove waste and toxic matter from the system.
Enzymes are catalysts
That means that they increase the speed and effect of chemical reactions without being changed themselves. All life is a series of chemical reactions and these constant chemical reactions that allow us to live is known as the metabolic process. Our bodies need enzymes for the metabolism to function. Without sufficient enzymes, the functioning of the body will be adversely affected leading to all kinds of medical complications. There are millions of different enzymes and science has yet to identify them all.
The enzymes we need to continue living are provided to our bodies by the food we eat. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have had a negative impact on our diets and consequently on our intake of enzymes. We all know about the dangers of eating the wrong types of food, overcooked foods and processed foods and the dangers to our health. But what we often overlooked is the effect that these foods have on the enzyme levels in out bodies.
Nearly all forms of raw food are highly perishable.
When these raw foods are exposed to high temperatures (in other words are cooked) they begin to break down very quickly and a large number of chemical changes take place. One of the most affected are the enzymes in the food. Enzymes are proteins and have a three dimensional structure. Heat causes the structure to change and this changes the catalytic capabilities of the enzymes and often completely destroys them. Either way, that's not what we need.
Enzymes which are exposed to heat are no longer in their natural state and this means that they are unable to function as they are supposed to - being the catalysts that supports the metabolic system of the body. So the more cooked food you eat, the less enzymes your body is ingesting. The body is also able to produce enzymes of its own, principally from the pancreas. But these are not in sufficient quantity to meet the metabolism's needs. So the pancreas pushes itself to produce more. While this is fine in the short term, over a period of years the pancreas and other organs become weak due to the excess strain placed on them. This weakness impairs their functioning and among other effects, reduced their ability to produce enzymes.
Additionally, enzymes are important to our digestive process since they help to break down the food we consume. Cooked food not only has less enzymes, it also requires more enzymes to enable it to be properly digested. Its really a vicious cycle.
As we grow older, our digestive system becomes naturally weaker and we have to be more careful with our diets. But the degree of care and the nature of the foods our bodies can accept is dependent, to a large extent, on the ability of the pancreas and the other organs to produce enzymes. The weaker and less efficient these organs are, the more problems we will have with our digestive system as we age.
While enzyme supplements are becoming more common - perhaps due to the kinds of food we are eating more and more of, the best way to provide your body with the enzymes it needs is through the natural process of eating. The more raw fruits and vegetables you eat, the better for the enzyme levels in your body.
There is no need to go to extremes and eat only raw and unprocessed foods.
That is not practical. But understanding what your body needs, why these things are needed and eating with this in mind will go a long way towards keeping your body in good condition. There is an old saying - "We are what we eat." It would be more accurate to say - "We are what's in what we eat."
Helena Ederveen, Clinical Nutritionist, Master Practitioner NLP. Advanced Eriksonian Practitioner Eriksonian Hypnosis, Associate Member Australasian College Nutritional&Environmental Medicine. Talk for 30 minutes to the expert Helena Ederveen and discover what YOU can do in order to balance your chemistries - www.apneasleep-snoringtreatments.com