Enzymes, along with hormones and the nervous system are the control mechanisms of the body. Hormones are the chemical signals that dictate all biochemical activity in the body, the nerves carry the electricity that powers the boy, and enzymes accelerate chemical reactions so that metabolism can occur quick enough in the cells for the body to function. It is important to know about enzymes as many of them can only be obtained from raw healthy vegetables, another reason why this is an essential part of a balanced diet.
Enzymes are a type of protein that accelerates chemical reactions. Bacteria produce a lot of enzymes in nature and they play an important role in millions of chemical reactions.
Metabolism simply means the process by which chemical reactions occur in the human body. The word is derived from the Greek words metabolē, meaning “change” and metabolismos, “outthrow”).
Every cell in the human body is engaged in metabolism and every day the human body engages in thousands of metabolic processes. It is extracting nutrients from food and converting it into energy, it is engaging in respiration and pumping blood round the body, the list is too long to record in full here in this article.
These chemical processes are vital for life and without enzymes to speed them up the body is unable to function.
Enzymes are derived from 2 sources, the glands in the body and food. If you are healthy and have a reasonable diet your body will produce a lot of your enzymes from the glands.
Not enough research has been done on enzymes derived from food to determine if they have a role in human health , there are about 2,000 known enzymes that can be obtained from raw vegetable matter. Only a fraction of these have been studied by scientists but in my opinion their importance will become more and more clear as they are researched into the future. The sensible person may decide to “cover all their bases” in the meantime by ensuring they have as many as possible in their diet. Many of these enzymes may perform a vital role in human health. Time will tell.
One thing we do know about enzymes are that each has a very specific function as regards a specific metabolic process. It is also known that metabolic disorders such as arthritis, diabetes and dementia (to name a few) have a number of possible causes but one of the triggers can definitely the deficiency of a specific enzyme.
The most researched of the dietary enzymes are the digestive enzymes, these are enzymes that specifically involved in metabolism of food so it can be properly utilised by the body. There is quite a long list of these enzymes that each metabolise a different type of food. They need to be present in the mouth, small intestine and stomach so food can be digested properly. The effect of a deficiency in these enzymes can cause a wide range of ailments as efficient digestion is central to the overall health of the body.
Enzymes can be damaged or destroyed by a number of factors.
- All enzymes, whether from food or produced by the body tend to decline with age.
- From a dietary viewpoint all enzymes are affected by an over acidic bodily system, this is mainly caused by eating the wrong foods like too much sugar, trans fats and grains.
- Chemicals in the food and environment can destroy enzymes.
- Enzymes that are normally obtained from food can be depleted by poor growing methods (intensive farming that reduce the health of the plants), poor harvesting methods, poor storage and food processing. Cooking food destroys them as enzymes are destroyed by heat.
It is therefore essential to eat a healthy diet that alkalizes the body and to eat food that is organic, healthy, grown in rich soil and free from chemicals.
Digestive enzymes are widely available as a health supplement but raw fruit and vegetables are rich in these types of enzymes. Therefore raw fruit should be eaten for digestive enzymes and many vegetables are rich in enzymes. Not all vegetables are best eaten raw but a proportion of your diet should also consist of appropriate raw vegetables that are healthy and organic.
Spirulina and Seaweed supplements are very rich in enzymes, take the raw powder but make sure it is produced in a way to preserve as many of the enzymes as possible. Your supplier should be able to tell you how their brand is produced.
Both the above are the highest sources of natural enzymes that I am aware of.
In summary, we cannot obtain optimum health without enzymes as they are basic to every metabolic process in the body. It is not enough to just eat the right food to do this, what is needed is the right type of food that has been grown and processed in the right way. Adjust your diet accordingly.