Enzymes and Your Health
Many of us have heard how our body needs enzymes but what exactly are enzymes and why is it our body must have enzymes?
Enzymes can be defined as being catalysts, substances that cause a chemical reaction to move faster. They are the catalysts of biochemical reactions in living organisms which includes the formation, breakdown, and the rearranging of molecules to provide organisms with the energy and materials required to live and function properly. In fact, enzymes are even more important than vitamins and minerals because without enzymes, vitamins and minerals are totally useless.
All enzymes are substances that occur naturally in all living things, including us. If it’s an animal or a plant, it has enzymes. Researchers have identified more than 3,000 different enzymes in the human body up to now; they are still examining the body as they believe they may discover more.
There is not a doubt that enzymes are absolutely critical for life process. Every activity that occurs in our body needs enzymes. This includes:
- The building of healthy tissue
- Synthesis and repair of DNA
- A strong heartbeat
- Proper digestion
- Absorption of food
- Blood coagulation
- Absorption of oxygen
- Breaking down fats in the blood, regulating cholesterol and triglyceride
Nothing can take place without energy and energy is produced with enzymes. The existence of every living cell in the human body depends on enzymes. Those of us whose bodies are rich in enzymes are people who function at their best and have the greatest advantages in resisting disease. In fact, enzymes are not only critical to human health, but they are also critical to plants and animals as well.
Nutrients and Enzymes:
If a person does not have all the enzymes required then their body cannot process and use the nutrients, vitamins or minerals that we also desperately need to be healthy. Enzymes are rather specific and each one promotes one type of chemical reaction. Some break down the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in our food into smaller molecules so that the digestion process runs smoother.
Like vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, enzymes work best when they are ingested from fresh sources. Taking enzyme supplements doesn’t replace a healthy diet of quality fresh produce.
Enzymes are not only ingested from the fresh vegetables and fruits we eat but our liver produces enzymes in which we cannot ingest. Having a healthy liver is essential so that it can produce the other enzymes we need.
Our body’s ability to function, to mend after injury, and to ward off disease is directly related to the strength and numbers of the enzymes in our body. Enzymes are also important to help recover from back pain, circulation problems and many other ailments.
Many people have an enzyme deficiency and are totally unaware of it.
Enzymes do not work all by themselves; they rely on other elements to complete their intended function. Some vitamins and minerals are really important for enzymes to do what they need to and these are known as coenzymes. Coenzyme Q10 is one that many are aware of and magnesium is another; in fact, magnesium is needed in over 300 enzyme reactions. Thousands of people are magnesium deficient and are totally unaware. According to Dr. Norman Shealy in Missouri, "Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency" and that, "magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient."
Ingesting vitamins, whether from eating foods or as supplements, increases the quantity of coenzymes in the body. Some vitamins helps our body produce coenzymes, such as folic acid (B9) and some of the B vitamins and other vitamins directly act as coenzymes, such as vitamin C.
Boost Your Enzymes Naturally
There are only four things you need to do to increase your enzymes naturally:
- Eat plenty of raw, living foods
- Decrease calorie intake
- Properly (and slowly) chew your food
- Avoid gum chewing
The absolute best way to bring enzymes into your body is by eating mostly raw foods in your diet (at least 75 percent). A great way to help achieve this is to eat sprouts. Sprouting is cheap and easy to do. Although all raw foods contain enzymes, some are more powerful than others and sprouts are at the top of the list.
Other enzyme-rich foods include:
- Papaya, pineapple, mango, kiwi, and grapes
- Raw honey
- Bee pollen
- Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
Our body is very intricate and everything we choose to eat and drink throughout our lifetime will determine just how healthy or unhealthy we are and will become. Be sure to make healthy food choices, eat lots of raw food, and remember, exercise is also important in order to maintain good health.