(Health Secrets) Enzymes are an essential component of health that is often overlooked but truly amazing. What are enzymes? If you have ever had your hair rinsed with vinegar to make it shiny, cleaned your skin with a product featuring pineapple to make it glow, or used yogurt to get rid of dandruff, you have seen enzymes at work. Or maybe you have tried apple cider vinegar for poison ivy, used yogurt facial masks, or discovered the wonders papaya produces on the digestive system. Of course in whole food use, there are other constituents at work too.
Enzymes have multiple functions in the body. They are key to the proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from plant and animal products. Recent research has investigated the use of systemic proteolytic enzymes to support the immune system and help the body normalize the inflammatory process.
Are you low on enzymes?
Enzymes are produced in living being. Humans produce them in the body, and also take them in from properly prepared foods. As we age, our enzymes become depleted. Bad diet, environmental toxins and general stress contribute to the destruction and depletion of enzymes. Chronic illness also tends to deplete the body’s stores of these specific proteins. Enzymes are sensitive to heat, so when foods are cooked, the enzyme content is greatly reduced, or destroyed. This is why you so often hear health experts advocating eating a diet high in raw foods. When foods are commercially processed, for example in canning, they lose their enzymes too. Raw meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables are perfect synergistic packages that come complete with everything needed to digest them.
The pasteurization process where milk or fruit juice is heated to approximately 145 degrees to destroy bacteria and microbes also destroys the enzymes needed for digestion. The cooking, barbecuing, frying and drying of meat destroys enzymes making the meat harder to digest and stressful to the stomach and intestines. If you feel you must eat largely cooked foods, lost enzymes can restored by taking a supplements.
Enzymes are the catalysts of the body
In addition be being critical to the digestion process, enzymes are essential for all metabolic processes. They facilitate biochemical reactions in our cells. There are an estimated 75,000 different enzymes in the body.
When levels are no longer optimal, the results can be:
Gas and Bloating
Food Allergies/Food Intolerance
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Hypertension/high blood pressure
Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/CFS
Two types of enzymes are essential to health
If you have ever wondered why you feel bloated or constipated after eating the same food several days, it is because you have depleted the enzymes for digesting that type of food. If you have a tendency to over eat, enzyme supplements can make up for over eating.
Although the body produces digestive enzymes, there may not be enough to completely break down cooked or processed foods. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down food-derived fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into smaller substances that our bodies can use. But although the body produces digestive enzymes, there may not be enough to completely break down cooked or processed foods. More complete digestion results in fewer digestive problems.
Digestion initiates when the enzyme amylase is in our saliva begins the break down of carbohydrates through chewing. Thus chewing food slowly and thoroughly improves digestion. The pancreas produces and secrets the enzymes ptyalin, pepsin, trypsin, lipase, and protease into the gastrointestinal tract. The small intestine itself also creates enzymes.
Systemic enzymes have these functions:
· Breaking down plaque in the blood veins
· Breaking down fibrin that has spider webbed its way inside internal organs reducing their size and function over time
· Moderating immune function
· Cleansing excess fibrin from the blood and reducing blood cells stickiness (fibrin and sticky blood cells are leading causes of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack)
· Breaking down dead materials small enough to immediately pass into the bowel
Enzymes also clean the receptors on white blood cells to improve their ability to fight off infection
Systemic enzymes dissolve excess fibrin by removing metabolic waste produced by inflammation, while delivering nutrients and oxygen-rich blood. Therapeutic enzymes have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of various types of inflammation and cleaning the bloodstream of debris.
Enzymes supplements have been used to treat issues caused by excessive or insufficient bacterial growth in the gut, and in the breaking down fats. Lipase is known to enhance mental capacity. Nattokinase is used for the prevention of inappropriate blood clotting. Serrapeptase has been used for the treatment of conditions like chronic sinusitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
To have a systemic effect, proteolytic enzymes need be taken on an empty taken on an empty stomach. They pass through the stomach or intestine lining and enter the circulatory system where they circulate throughout the body and perform their work.
Enhance your digestion with enzyme supplements
Sprouted seeds and vegetables are exceptionally high in enzymes. Pineapple and papayas contain large amounts of the enzymes papain and bromelain, two potent natural pain relievers. Apples, pears, and citrus fruits are also high in enzymes. Nuts and grains such as barley, wheat and corn contain enzymes, which support metabolic functions. Raw meats contain several kinds of enzymes, including catalase and lipase. The presence of stomach acid is essential for digestive enzymes to function properly. Low stomach acid can impair the action of digestive enzymes.
Grains, beans, nuts and seeds are foods that contain enzyme inhibitors. These enzyme inhibitors can be deactivated by germinating or sprouting, which enlivens the enzymes allowing the food’s nutrients to be more available.
Drinking liquid with meals dilutes the concentration of hydrochloric acid and enzymes needed for proper digestion. Do your drinking before your eat, and do not drink after eating for a long period of time.
To treat symptoms of indigestion, drink one teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar, which is loaded with enzymes, in 2-4 ounces of water with your meals.
Published with permission from Alignlife. Original article link is here.