Enzymes in Food

The United States has an obesity epidemic that far outweighs the rest of the world. Over sixty percent of Americans were overweight in 2000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers have concluded that this epidemic carries several underlying factors, including a decline in physical activity, nutritional food consumption, and an incline in eating processed fatty foods. Americans have acquired a taste for fast food. In fact, the American fast foot addiction has spawned over 90,000 operational fast food restaurant locations around the nation. Even the small percentage who avoid the Standard American Diet (SAD) have difficulty losing weight. The reason may lie quite underneath our noses.

What if the reason for an epidemic in obesity and diseases stemmed from simply cooking our food? Early pioneers in vegetable juicing demonstrated that certain ailments tended to fade away with the introduction of fresh fruits and vegetables. While juicing should not replace competent medical supervision, it should raise an eyebrow when countless individuals claim that consuming fresh juices helps with common problems, such as constipation, blood pressure, and urinary continence. Juicing acts as a fast means of consuming raw food without spending hours waiting to digest several portions. In fact, some estimate that one could consume nearly fifty percent of all raw food when juicing fruits and vegetables. This could mean the world of difference for those who have test results showing positive for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

What are food enzymes? The foundation of a raw food diet centers around the food enzymes contained within the perishables everyone eats. Food enzymes are very perishable, especially when exposed to temperatures in excess of 118 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the enzymes in food start to rapidly break down in the same way as any other organic being exposed to extreme temperatures. Heat destroys the enzymes in food, because of its three dimensional structure in open space. Unfortunately, food enzymes help the body to digest. The change that the enzymes in food undergo usually reveals the dysfunction they were designed to achieve.

Unprocessed, unpasteurized products contain foods with enzymes. Cooking foods with enzymes contribute to chronic illness, because the body resorts to making its own digestive enzymes to process the food. Digesting cooked food requires valuable metabolic enzymes that help digest the food. In addition, the digestion of cooked foods requires much more energy than foods with enzymes. A small sect of society has committed themselves to eating raw food, or foods with enzymes in their uncooked form. A raw food diet, or a whole foods digestive enzymes diet, can restore the body back to full functionality by introducing these enzymes back into a regular diet.

A raw whole foods digestive enzymes diet allows the body to pass unprocessed food through the digestive tract in one half to one third of the time it takes for processed foods. Opting for a raw whole foods digestive enzymes diet can remove the burden that a cooked food diet places on one's pancreas. In fact, studies have shown that a cooked food diet eventually exhausts the body's vital organs, which can lead to major complications, including the development of debilitating diseases.

So, what are food enzymes in scientific terms? Food enzymes break down food particles in order to provide the body the necessary energy to properly function. The human body produces roughly twenty-two different digestive enzymes capable of breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Raw fruit and vegetables serve as an excellent source of enzymes; however, some of the potent foods with an enzyme-rich content include sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. In fact, sprouts contain the highest enzyme content of all raw foods.

A lack of digestive enzymes can lead to a variety of problems, including food allergies, bloating, flatulence, bowel disorders, cramping, and heartburn. The human body loses its ability to create concentrated digestive enzymes as it ages, which emphasizes the need to consume raw foods in their uncooked state. Supplementation can help those suffering from food allergies; however, the easiest means of obtaining these enzymes are from raw whole foods.

What are food enzymes found in supplement form? Every over-the-counter supplement containing digest enzymes can be found in the produce section of the nearest grocery story. Each of these digestive enzymes function to break down certain foods. For instance, amylase serves to digest carbohydrates. Bromelin, found in pineapple, breaks down proteins. HCL hydrochloric acid stimulates the pancreas and activates pepsin to sterilize the stomach. Lactase breaks down lactose found in milk and dairy. Lipase breaks down fats into fatty acids. Ox bile improves fat digestion and stimulates bile flow. Pancreatin stimulates the intestines and blood flow. Papain, from papaya fruit, breaks down proteins. Pepsin digests proteins. Finally, protease breaks down proteins into amino acids.

Quite simply, the more raw food one consumes, the better their digestive tracts will function. It goes without saying that people should stray away from overly processed cooked foods. The human body has a difficult time digesting fried, barbequed, pasteurized, dried, and dense foods. Beginners should start with a fifty percent raw food diet and then gradually introduce more uncooked food and juices.

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