Digestive enzymes are energized protein molecules. They are extremely vital for digesting food and maintaining a healthy body. Enzymes play a catalytic role in the action pathways of the human body. They are essential for normal hormone production, action and metabolism. Mineral and vitamin absorption and retention are also affected by some enzymes. People who are deficient in enzymes are prone to diseases, problems and degeneration. The deficiency in enzyme levels may increase the chances of diseases like diabetes, arthritis, skin diseases, cancer, etc. Enzymes are instrumental in deciding the efficiency of your body functions.
95% of your food is composed of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Digestive enzymes are composed of various amounts of amylase, protease and lipase. Amylase helps in digesting carbohydrates, protease helps in digesting proteins and the lipase helps in digesting fats. These three enzymes play a crucial role. There are also a number of other enzymes that are required for the proper functioning of the digestive system. For example, there are digestive enzymes like lactase, cellulase and sucrose. Lactase helps in the digestion of dairy products and lactose. Cellulase helps in fiber digestion, while sucrase helps in the digestion of starches and sugars. Without digestive enzymes, your body wouldn't be able to digest and breakdown the food it ingests.
Cooking food tends to destroy and remove the natural enzymes that are available in raw foods which aid your body in digestion. Non-organic vegetables and fruits are generally irradiated, and may not be as rich in nutrients as organically grown fruits and vegetables. The pesticides and synthetic fertilizers also used to help grow these natural foods decrease the benefits of fruits and vegetables and increase the harmful effects they may have on your body. The destruction or removal of natural enzymes from food can cause various types of digestive ailments like indigestion, gas and GERD.
Early humans only consumed raw foods with live enzymes before the discovery of fire and cooking. The digestive system of humans relies on the enzymes from raw foods to assist in normal digestion. There are arguments that we tend to age faster and start getting health problems because of consuming cooked food. Lower levels of enzymes lead to heart diseases, diabetes and various kinds of degenerative diseases. A possible cause for these lower levels of enzymes is the lack of digestive enzymes in our diet from cooked and processed foods.
Our human body is capable of making 22 different types of digestive enzymes. Digestion of food is carried out in various stages. First your food is broken down by chewing, then your salivary glands produce the enzyme called amylase that acts on the food being chewed and the digestion of food starts from here. After this, the food reaches the stomach where HCl and other types of gastric acids are secreted to digest the food. When the food travels to the small intestines, bile (from the liver and gallbladder), the pancreatic enzyme and other digestive enzymes further breakdown the food. At each and every stage there are specific enzymes which help in breaking down different kinds of food. The final stage of digestion occurs in the small intestine before whatever is left is pushed into the large intestine. Throughout all the stages, the enzymes our body produces and uses are extremely critical for the proper digestion of food.
With cooked and processed foods, that lack natural enzymes, in our regular diet, our digestive system starts getting affected, and with time, it begins to show ill effects in the form of various types of diseases. Also when we eat very fast, too much burden is placed on our digestive system. As we age, our digestive system becomes inefficient. Bloating and indigestion are the results of these conditions. In the absence of natural enzymes present in raw food, a greater part of the digestion happens in the small intestine. The small intestine is not able to digest foods properly or as quickly if the portions of food that were expected to be broken down earlier enter the small intestine intact. Some of the nutrients from undigested foods will never be absorbed by your body and will move on to your large intestines and colon. Indigestion encourages the colon bacteria to produce gas and toxins. By eating more natural, un-cooked, raw food and taking digestive enzyme supplements, the whole process of digestion allows our body to properly break down and absorb all the nutrients from food, keeping us healthy with less risk for future ailments and diseases.Last Updated: Saturday, November 5, 2011