Enzymes are Essential to Digestion and Metabolism
Our need for proper nutrition is well known, but few people understand the process by which the body absorbs nutrients in a form it can use. The source of much disease and premature aging is the inability to absorb the nutrients in our food and the resulting toxic (poisonous) effects of undigested material clogging our intestines. Much of our food does not get absorbed and many dietary supplements are worthless because they have little active material and are not well digested.
Enzymes are complex "helper molecules" which speed up thousands of essential chemical reactions in the body. Metabolic Enzymes are vital to every organ and system of the body. Digestive Enzymes such as protease, amylase and lipase are secreted by the pancreas and other organs to digest protein, starches and fats respectively. In the balanced plan of nature, it turns out that raw, naturally grown foods contain some of the exact Food Enzymes necessary to break these foods down to constituent nutrients the body can use.
Cooked Food is Denatured Food
Each enzyme molecule branches in a specific pattern that enables it to attract and break down certain large food molecules. But cooking, preserving, microwaving and irradiating food are processes which "denature" enzymes, changing their shape and making them useless; any heat treatment 118 degrees and over destroys 100% of enzyme activity! Dr. Edward Howell and other researchers point to the preponderance of denatured, processed food in our diets as the key source of degenerative disease today.
Optimizing the Digestive Process
Chewing raw food breaks down the cell walls and amylase in the saliva starts to break down any starches in the food. When swallowed, our food goes to the cardiac or upper portion of the stomach. During the next 45-60 minutes, food which contains enzymes, naturally or from supplements, predigests to a soupy consistency. Cooked food just sits there. Do you know that feeling? Another fascinating thing happens: cooked food causes the white blood cell count to go up as the immune system treats it as a foreign substance! And undigested food particles go directly into the bloodstream. (Food Enzymes, Santillo)
After this predigestion period, food moves to the acidic lower stomach which secretes hydrochloric acid and other digestive fluids. The next stage is the duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine, where different enzymes from the pancreas and gall bladder further digest the food in an alkaline environment. As the food moves through the small intestines, specific surface areas absorb specific nutrients into the blood to be carried to the cells. Finally, waste products, undigested food and bacteria, move into the colon, an acidic environment, to be eliminated.
What happens when we eat enzyme deficient food?
Enzyme deficient food sits in the upper stomach putrefying instead of pre-digesting. The body stresses itself to produce extra digestive enzymes, reducing its ability to produce metabolic enzymes for cellular activity. Stomach acids are not able to finish their work before food moves into the small intestines. Putrefying materials coats the small and large intestines, reducing absorption of nutrients and hindering release of toxins through the intestine wall. Bacteria and viruses multiply and pass into adjacent organs and blood. The immune system attacks proteins and starches entering the blood while fats build up in the arteries. The stage is set for infections, fatigue and degenerative disease.