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Food Enzymes

By: Ron Lagerquist

“The greater percent of raw food in your diet the healthier you will be. It’s that simple!”

Enzymes are protein molecules that act like spark plugs in the body. Without them we would die. Scientists are learning how enzymes are crucial to the healing process. These tiny keys are the biochemical foundation for thousands of digestive and metabolic functions within the body. About 5,000 different enzymes have been identified so far and researchers estimate it takes about 100,000 enzymes to run the body.

In 1933, the first enzyme, diastase, was discovered. Found in the wheat germ, it acts on decomposing the natural starches in the surrounding kernel. By removing both the diastase and the wheat germ, bread had a longer shelf life; however, bread became more difficult to digest. In digestion, enzymes are the active materials within digestive juices that break down food. Enzymes unlock nutrients and they do this job without being changed. They are found in the salivary glands, liver, stomach, pancreas and the wall of the small intestine.

Raw fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens, are filled with enzymes, and these foods help protect the body from many cancers. Vital to life, enzymes tirelessly work at breaking down food, assisting the immune system and carrying on the functions of metabolism. Three other enzymes in our bodies are lipase, which helps in the digestion of fat, protease, which breaks down protein, and amylase (found also in raw honey), which breaks down starch.

Enzymes in living foods are little digestion machines, working and assisting to help break down food so that the body may easily assimilate its nutrients. The ripening process of fruit left on the counter for too long is due to living enzymes breaking down and digesting. In contrast, pasteurized fruit juice can remain fresh for a year because the enzymes have been destroyed by heat.

A Diet High In Cooked, Enzyme-Dead Food

There is nothing like the taste of chicken, deep fried to golden brown. But once past the taste buds, fried chicken contains zero enzymes to assist digestion, and this is worsened if the chicken has been scarfed down quickly, allowing little enzyme activity from saliva. Large unchewed chunks of chicken dump directly into the stomach, forcing the production of strong acids for digestion. Partly digested chicken will move into the small intestine where bile from the gallbladder will go to work in emulsifying excessive, sticky fat. Digestion still incomplete, large quantities of enzymes are required from the already overworked pancreas to finish the job.

Studies show that eating a high percentage of cooked food causes the pancreas to enlarge. A pancreas that is enlarged as a result of over-stimulation eventually breaks down. After years of abuse, this vital organ secretes fewer enzymes and causes digestive problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, gastritis or diabetes. Returning to our piece of fried chicken, it has now been sitting in the intestinal tract for 24 hours. Because of its partially digested state, it has become rancid. The body must respond by producing mucus which envelops the putrefying chicken in a protective sack. As the fiberless meat moves slowly through 30 feet of intestine, the mucus sack begins to dehydrate and impact on the colon wall. This creates a hard, black, crust-like substance that builds up, layer upon layer, inside the folds of the intestine, further hindering the absorption of nutrients. Mercifully, after 30 hours, this mucus sack of putrefying chicken is deposited with great effort into the toilet. Our fried chicken has taken more than it has given, depleting the enzyme bank, depositing very little in nutritional value, and leaving impacted, dried mucus in its wake.

In contrast, a perfectly ripe banana is sweet to the taste and pleasant to the stomach. Quickly, the enzymes that are present within the banana mix with saliva to break down into an absorbent vitamin-rich mix. No acid secretion is needed. Passing quickly through the bowel, instead of creating mucus, the natural soft fibers clean the intestinal wall. In a matter of a few hours the banana is easily pasted.

Related Article: The Raw Diet

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Your Comments
Interesting article, I thought there was a reason why I don't eat fried chicken!!!
Where is the research saying raw foods provides enzymes that do not get degraded in your stomach and help you digest foods better? I am a biologist and this is an interesting comment, but I need to see the science behind it.
great artivle
Very informative article
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