Digestive Enzymes Are Important for Health and Longevity - Eating foods rich in enzymes helps in the healing process.
Until the advent of modern agricultural techniques and food preparation, most people got ample amounts of digestive enzymes from the plants they harvested and ate, consuming a great deal more. or less ripe directly from the plant.
Where are digestive enzymes found?
A freshly harvested ripe fruit or vegetable contains the highest number of digestive enzymes it will ever have. Just a couple of hours after harvesting, significant fruit deterioration takes place. If a fruit that is not yet ripe is harvested and shipped cold to a store, it will have less than 10% of the enzymes as a freshly picked ripe fruit or vegetable.
If you add to this the soils that are over-depleted by agriculture and lacking in minerals due to the lack of time between plantings of crops and lack of sufficient microorganisms, which convert the available minerals into bioavailable forms that plants can use, the end result is crops that have much less nutrient and enzyme content than decades ago.
What are the functions of digestive enzymes?
Digestive enzymes play key roles in our health by allowing our bodies to digest and utilize all the nutrients we ingest to the maximum extent possible. Furthermore, these enzymes also play a key role in the elimination of toxins and the digestion and elimination of scar tissue that accumulate within all of us as we age.
A recent article details how home plants help eliminate toxins and pollutants from our air, for this it is necessary to use indoor plants that purify the air. it is the digestive enzymes of plants that allow them to eliminate toxins.
When it comes to our bodies, there are at least 45 essential nutrients the body needs to perform necessary bodily functions - and probably more if all the vital trace elements are included. "Essential" means that the body cannot manufacture them and they have to come from external sources.
The importance of digestive enzymes
Proper metabolic function requires at least 13 types of vitamins and 20 types of minerals in addition to fat, carbohydrates, and water.
All these elements combine to ensure that when food is consumed, it is broken down into its basic components for absorption and then transported by the blood system throughout the body.
Nutrients, including enzymes, work together and act as catalysts to promote absorption and assimilation. Without digestive enzymes, the body cannot absorb nutrients in food that are not broken down properly.
Over the years, the body slowly but steadily loses its ability to produce enzymes and significant drops in production occur every ten years.
At first, these drops are not very obvious, but as time goes on, we begin to discover that we cannot tolerate or enjoy certain foods that we liked in the past. We may also notice a reduction in strength and this most likely means we are low on enzyme levels.
In one of his anti-aging papers, natural health author Jon Barron noted the important role digestive enzymes play in anti-aging in his report on digestive enzymes.
How Enzymes Influence Longevity
A person's life expectancy is directly related to the depletion of their enzyme potential. And the use of food enzymes reduces that level of exhaustion and therefore results in a longer, healthier and more vital life.
Enzymes are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in living organisms. In fact, they are necessary for each of the chemical reactions that take place in your body. All your cells, organs, bones, muscles and tissues are activated by enzymes.
Your digestive system, immune system, blood system, kidneys and pancreas in addition to your ability to see, think, feel and breathe, all depend on enzymes.
All the minerals and vitamins you eat and all the hormones produced by your body need enzymes in order to function properly. In fact, every metabolic function in your body is governed by enzymes.
Your stamina, your energy level, your ability to use vitamins, your immune system, all governed by enzymes.
The benefits of digestive enzymes are primarily associated with metabolic activities. Digestive enzymes are broadly classified into three groups. They are mentioned here below.
1. The proteolytic enzymes: Protease enzyme helps protein breakdown into amino acids.
2. The enzymes amylolytic: Amylase enzyme helps degrade carbohydrate molecules and starch into simple sugars.
3. The lipolytic enzymes: lipase enzyme helps in degradation of the fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerol.
Apart from the main groups, there are other categories of natural digestive enzymes, which help in multiple activities. They are registered below.
· Acid proteases
Digestive enzymes are produced both internally (notably by the pancreas and other endocrine glands) and are present in the raw foods we eat. At birth we come with a certain potential to make enzymes in our body, an enzymatic "reserve".
Nature has designed us in such a way that we are constantly renewing that reserve through proper nutrition and eating habits. Unfortunately, that does not happen.
Let's see why digestive enzymes work like this
Most people believe that when you eat a meal it falls into a quantity of stomach acid where it breaks down and then enters the small intestine to extract the nutrients and then enters the colon to be eliminated if you are lucky.
Nature's intention is for you to eat enzyme rich foods and chew your food properly. If you did that, the food would enter the stomach along with digestive enzymes. These enzymes then "pre-digest" your food for an hour or so, breaking down 75% of your food.
After this "pre-digestion" period, hydrochloric acid is introduced. The acid neutralizes all the enzymes, but begins its own function of breaking down what is left of the food.
Eventually this nutrient-rich food moves into the small intestine. Once food enters the small intestine, the pancreas reintroduces digestive enzymes to the process. Upon completion of digestion, the nutrients pass through the intestinal wall and enter the blood system.
This is what nature has designed. Unfortunately, most people do not live as nature designed.
The role of digestive enzymes at the systematic level
Inflammation is the cause of pain associated with many types of ailments such as sports injuries, muscle aches, sciatica, chronic back pain, and even arthritis and fibromyalgia. Systemic digestive enzymes can be a healthy alternative to non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen, ibupofrene, and aspirin.
Digestive enzymes help reduce joint and muscle inflammation, act as a pain reliever, and help reduce C-reactive proteins, markers of inflammation.
Additionally, digestive enzymes can reduce inflammation by removing toxins and waste from the circulatory system and can reduce inflammation related to Sjogren’s syndrome.
Enzymes fight fibrosis
The fibrosis is a type of scar tissue formation containing fibrin (a type of protein) and may form lumps or network type formations in all tissues of the body, muscles and organs.
The excess fibrous tissue is considered by the body as "foreign proteins". When there is an excessive accumulation of fibrin, systemic enzymes can help reduce these "foreign" proteins.
Removing fibrin build-up through digestive enzymes can help fight the aging process and can help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia, endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Digestive enzymes can also reduce the thickening of the blood due to fibrin deposits and unclog the circulatory system thus increasing circulation, reducing veins and wrinkles, increasing the functionality of the penis, and increasing healing capabilities by reducing post-operative scar tissue.
Modulation of the Immune System
When the immune system is depleted or injured, digestive enzymes can help increase the immune response, producing more natural killer cells and improving the efficiency of white cells, all of which can lead to enhanced immunity.
These enzymes can also lighten healing, increase the body's defense mechanisms by modulating the immune system, prevent rejection of transplanted organs and tissues, modulate the cellular signaling pathway that activates immunity, and balance the synergy of the whole body.
Fight against blood contamination
The blood is often contaminated with toxins when the liver is overloaded and its ability to cleanse the blood is reduced. Blood can also become contaminated when excess fibrin builds up and causes blood to thicken.
The result of such contamination and thickening can end up being a perfect environment for the formation of blood clots. When systemic enzymes are taken, their presence in the blood can aid normal liver function by helping to remove excess fibrin and reduce the stickiness of blood cells, which in turn can help minimize one of the leading causes of stroke., heart attacks and blood clots.
The systemic digestive enzymes in the blood can also break down dead matter to sizes small enough that it can pass immediately into the excretory system and maintain a prevention of blood clots and platelet aggregation within the blood veins.
Other benefits of digestive enzymes for the blood include assisting in the liver's detoxification process to help maintain cleaner blood, improve the functionality of white blood cell receptors, and their ability to fight infection and improve homeostasis.
The role of enzymes against viruses
Viruses have an outer coating of protein that is used to bind viruses to the DNA of our cells so that viruses can replicate which often results in damage.
Systemic enzymes can alter this outer protein wall and render viruses inert by inhibiting their replication. Additionally, digestive enzymes, including Serrapeptase, can help improve the abilities of antivirals to kill viruses, can serve as internal filters to clean the circulatory system, and can reduce viral load.
Digestive enzymes and particularly pancreatic enzymes, which contain chimotrypsin, are so effective as a tool in fighting many cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, they help break down the protective lining in which cancer cells are encapsulated.
Foods with natural digestive enzymes
Vegetables and fruits that contain digestive enzymes should be part of the regular diet. When consumed with other foods, they catalyze the digestion process. Natural enzymes are just as powerful as chemical tables or syrups that contain digestive enzymes.
Therefore, a higher intake of these substances is able to maintain the normal metabolic activity of the body. People suffering from health disorders can increase their intake of these enzyme-laden foods.
The papaya is a natural source of the protease enzyme. The enzyme present in papaya fruit pulp is papain. Papain is also known as a cleansing enzyme, as it improves the texture of the skin.
This enzyme is found abundantly in the latex of the tree. Latex is toxic to health. Therefore, the enzyme is extracted by an industrial process and sold commercially in the form of tablets.
It is also used to tenderize meat. It is a digestive aid tablet that helps break down a protein-rich meal. However, eating too much papaya raises the level of papain in the body which can be more harmful to the body.
Side effects can be indigestion, nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.
The proteolytic enzyme present in kiwi is known as actinidin. Kiwi is popularly known as the Chinese gooseberry which helps in the digestion of protein rich foods.
Actinidin activity is similar to that of the enzyme bromelain and papain. It acts as a catalyst for the digestion of proteins. The goodness of the kiwi fruit is not little explored as people can have an allergic reaction associated with actinidin.
It can also cause diarrhea and nausea. Consume only if you are not sensitive to actinidin.
Pineapple is a great source of the enzyme bromelain. It is a protease enzyme that helps in the breakdown of protein molecules. Fresh pineapple pulp is a natural source of bromelain.
However, the herbal companies that sell this product extract the enzyme from pineapple and the pieces are sold in tablet or lozenge form. Many organic food stores supply pineapple products that contain bromelain to cure arthritis. It also acts as an antioxidant for the body.
Although enzymes like catalase and pectinase are present in potatoes, tomatoes, and apples, they are not of much digestive aid. The natural digestive enzymes present in the aforementioned food list, are often used for digestive enzyme therapy.
The intake of these foods in moderation is very useful for people suffering from indigestion disorders, constipation and gastritis. Digestive enzymes side effects are observed only when consumed daily in excess.
Sprouts, nuts, and legumes also contain beneficial digestive enzymes. For maximum benefits, consume raw or boiled fruits and vegetables.
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