While many people are concerned about the calories, fats and overall calories they consume, few pay attention to their enzyme consumption. Enzymes are specialized proteins - or chains of amino acids - that trigger particular biochemical reactions within living organisms. While some food enzymes are beneficial for triggering reactions within the body after consumption, others are beneficial for causing reactions in the foods themselves, prior to consumption.
To truly nourish your body effectively, it is important to consider two things: the "life" that is present in the food you eat and the presences those intangible little elements called enzymes. Enzymes are complex substances that enable us to digest food and absorb it into out blood. They also serve as catalysts for many essential life functions; for example, they are responsible for separating the nitrogen from the air we breathe, enabling us to absorb the oxygen.
Without enzymes, all nutrients including vitamins, minerals and trace minerals cannot be utilized properly. Individuals who are enzyme deficient are prone to a myriad of health problems and accelerated aging.
Some interesting facts about enzymes in our body:
- All body processes require enzymes
- Each enzyme has a specific purpose
- Enzyme levels change with age - they are highest when we are early into adulthood, but decrease as we age
- Enzyme levels are always low in chronic disease
- If the body is strong, enzyme levels will rise with acute illnesses. This is interesting because in acute illnesses, we usually get better quickly - unless there's an underlying chronic condition, which has weakened our immune system.
Enzymes are the first of the "workers" in your body.
They are the catalyst that allows the minerals and vitamins in your body to do their job. They are responsible for all metabolic functions. They are responsible for life itself.
The enzymes in our blood also help keep our body functioning well - that is, if there are sufficient levels of enzymes in our body to start with. They can digest particles that may inadvertently get absorbed into our lymph and blood. Some things, like bacteria, yeast cells,proteins and fats can get absorbed into the blood and lymph. But if we don't have a high enough level of enzymes in our body generally, there won't be enough for the blood enzymes to break down these foreign objects. This causes the body's immune system to try and remove these foreign objects. This in turn can cause allergic type responses in people.
Pancreas and Enzymes
The lack of inherent enzymes in the modern diet means that the pancreas, which is designed to secrete only enough enzymes to finish the job that was begun in the mouth and stomach, becomes overworked. Eventually, it may not be able to keep up with the increased demand for enzyme secretion, allowing partially digested food particles to pass into the bloodstream.
When the body receives foods deficient in enzymes, it increases its number of white blood cells as a defense mechanism. Enzymes are then released from these cells as well as from the lymphatic tissue and spleen, where they also are stored into the blood to digest toxins resulting from eating processed foods.
When white blood cells are continually elevated due to a diet high in processed food, the immune system is weakened. This is because enzymes, normally held in reserve to help fight infection, are instead pulled out of storage from white blood cells and other storage sites to digest the processed food.
Enzymes are found in raw foods, but they are even more heat-sensitive than vitamins, and are destroyed when heated above 50.C. All forms of cooking (baking, boiling, steaming, frying, broiling, grilling, microwaving) destroy nutrients to some degree, but they destroy 100% of the enzymes! So, there are no enzymes in cooked food. In fact, every time you eat them, you use up the enzymes reserve in your body to digest them! This also places a burden on the body, when energy can be conserved for repair and rejuvenation, and fighting off diseases.
Each individual is born with an “enzyme bank” or “enzyme potential” and when it runs down, health suffers and when it runs out, life ends!
Each time you eat cooked food you are making a withdrawal from your “enzyme bank” as digestive enzymes are being used to digest these enzyme-devoid foods. Conversely, each time you take an enzyme supplement, you are making a deposit. While eating enzyme-rich raw foods is good, it still doesn’t count as a deposit as the enzymes contained in the raw foods will be “offset” with the ones used to digest them.
We also lose enzymes through sweat and body waste. Caffeine, alcohol, illness, pregnancy, stress, extreme weather and exercise all take their toll on our enzyme reserves as well. If you’d like to improve your health or increase your lifespan you should be making more deposits by taking a good enzyme supplement, and making fewer withdrawals!
The best form of enzyme supplementation, would be a complex from a multitude of sources – supplying a broad spectrum of different enzymes, all working in synergy, to enhance well being. Digestive enzyme formulas usually only contain isolated enzymes such as amylase, protease or lipase. It’s better to get enzymes from whole food sources and multiple fruits and vegetables so that you receive a wider spectrum of enzymes. Fresh raw fruits and vegetables are rich in enzymes, but it’s hard to eat enough variety to get a full spectrum of enzymes and nutrients.That is why vegetable juices are one of the most important part of your nutrition plan!
Low levels of enzymes can lead to a toxic colon because undigested food in your intestines can ferment and turn toxic. The toxic byproducts that accumulate in your intestines will be absorbed through your intestine wall and will end up in your blood stream, and when these toxins enter your blood stream they will come into contact with all the cells throughout your entire body. When this occurs, all kinds of nasty things, like cancer for example, can and do develop.
You may not always get enough enzymes from the food that you eat, and because of that you may sometimes have problems with your digestion. To help you with that here are a few suggestions that you may wish to consider.
- Chew your food well. This will help to break down your food so that your enzymes can do their job more effectively.
- Eat your meals slowly. This will allow your food to proceed along your digestive tract in an orderly and continuous fashion.
- Take time to relax after you eat so that your body will have the energy to start the digestive process.
- Eat smaller more frequent meals during the day to help your digestion, and to promote better metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fat.
- Do not eat a heavy meal within three hours of bedtime.
- Drink plenty of water or herbal tea with and between your meals to promote better digestion and system regularity.
- Eat plenty of fresh raw fruits and vegetables to maximize your enzyme intake.
- Do your very best to obtain all the enzymes that you can. The more enzymes you consume, the better your digestion will be, and the more value you will obtain from your food. And you do not have to worry about ever getting too many enzymes, they are not something that you can overdose on. Eat well, and be healthy.
ENZYMES - A MUST – HAVE For Robust Health & Longevity
- Improves absorption of nutrients
- Strengthens the body’s immune defenses
- Enzymes “seek & destroy Cancer Cells” activity
- Trims fat bulges & reduces water retention
- Reduces cholesterol & high blood pressure
- Alleviates digestive discomfort & other health complaints
- Alleviates allergies, including skin allergies
- Alleviates tiredness & increase energy
- Soothes painful joints, stiff neck & body aches
- Reveals clear, great-looking skin – Reduce age spots
Enzymes are Strengthening the Body’s Immune Defense
The function of your immune system is to fight off all foreign invaders in the body such as bacteria, viruses, carcinogens and other chemicals. When your body is forced to work overtime to produce digestive enzymes to digest cooked food, it can have a dire effect on your immune function.
Furthermore, if the food is not properly digested, protectors and repairers in your body will be distracted from doing the job they are supposed to do when they are called upon to help clean up and improperly digested food particles in the bloodstream.
Your immune system demands a constant supply of enzymes, especially amylase and protease.
- Amylase is found in the macrophages, the white blood cells that actively seek out and destroy disease-causing microorganisms and toxins. Protease or proteolytic enzymes break down undigested proteins, cellular debris and toxins in the blood, sparing the body’s immune system this task. They also help reduce blood levels of immune complexes that could otherwise activate the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues, causing autoimmune disorders.
Enzymes “Seek & Destroy Cancer Cells” Activity
Everyone has cancer cells in their body at any given time. Fortunately, we have specialized immune cells such as NK cells (natural killer cells) and macrophages (a kind of white blood cell) that seek and destroy these cancerous cells before they can cause any serious damage.
However, researchers have found that some cancer cells hide under a protein covering to avoid detection. When this happens, NK cells and macrophages are unable to seek them out, allowing cancer cells to attach themselves to an organ and spread.
Enzymes dissolve this protein covering. Once the cover is removed, NK cells and macrophages can effectively seek out and destroy these cancer cells. It has been reported that enzymes also increase the action of macrophages by 700% and NK cells by 1,300% in a short time. Hence, enzymes play an important role in the prevention of cancer.
Eating raw vegetables (better juicing them!) reduces the incidence of cancers of the digestive system. Enzymes make seeds sprout, and bean sprouts are among the best sources of enzymes. About 75 percent of a typical raw food diet replete with enzymes is comprised fresh and dried vegetables and fruits , especially papaya, pineapple and the aspergillus plant. Also included are freshly-made fruit and vegetable juices, whole grains, beans, sprouts and sprouted seeds, nuts, legumes, young coconut milk, seaweed, and other organic and natural foods.
The last stage of digestion, is probably the most significant for cancer patients. In this stage pancreatic and other enzymes are functioning in the intestine and the blood. Taking supplements takes the load off of the body’s need to expend energy to produce the enzymes itself.
Enzymes help expose antigens on the surface of cancer cells, so they can be recognized as foreign and destroyed by the immune system.
Pancreatic enzymes can stimulate natural killer cells, T-cells, and tumor necrosis factor, all toxic to cancer cells.
By removing the "sticky" coating found on tumor cells, enzymes reduce the risk of tumors adhering to other areas of the body and allow the enzyme to enter the cancer cell during it’s reproductive phase. Vitamin A increases this effect.
Soothes Painful Joints & Body Aches
Enzymes have been successfully used to treat arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and backaches. Many Olympic athletes are given daily enzymes to accelerate recovery from surgery, injuries, and intense exercise. Enzymes dissolve fibrin which prevents the scar tissue build up that can cause restriction in an injured area. Proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain reduce the body’s production of “bad” prostaglandins PGE2 that cause inflammation. They also enhance the absorption of amino acids necessary to repair afflicted joints.
If you suffer from chronic physical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, sciatica, strained tendon, or old accident injuries such as whiplash, stiff neck, or disc problems, enzymes can offer relief. So, before reaching for painkillers when you suffer from aches and pain, try enzymes!
Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Level Blood Pressure
Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Level Blood Pressure
One common cause of hardening and clogging of blood vessels is the accumulation of protein and cholesterol plaque. This plaque can become dislodged and travel to smaller vessels where it can cause heart attack or stroke.
Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fat and removes fat from storage. When you don’t have enough lipase, fat stagnates and accumulates in your arteries – clogging them, and increasing your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Lipase has been shown to help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Proteolytic enzymes, on the other hand, are great natural blood thinners. All of these support good circulation and cardiovascular health.
Improves Nutrient Absorption & Alleviates Digestive Discomforts
It has been said, “you are what you eat” but that is only partially true. You are actually what you eat, digest, absorb and assimilate into your body. You will not benefit from even the best diet unless the nutrients from your food are “unlocked” and absorbed. This “unlocking” activity is totally dependent on enzymes. So, taking enzymes with your meals or supplements helps to ensure that you are actually absorbing and reaping the nutritional benefits.
A shortage of enzymes causes imperfect digestion, and improper breakdown of foods. When this happens, proteins soon putrefy, fats turn rancid, and carbohydrates ferment. This creates a fertile breeding ground for bad bacteria, which produce noxious and poisonous gases that can seep into your blood, poisoning your entire body. Common digestive discomfort including indigestion, belching, flatulence and constipation can be traced to insufficient enzymes.
People with gastric pain or ulcers can take enzymes to ease the burden of the digestive system, and allow the body to heal itself, but they should start with a low dosage, diluted in water, and gradually increase the dosage over time.
Alleviates Allergies (Food & Skin)
Supplementing with enzymes can help prevent and alleviate food or skin allergies because poor digestion is one of the culprits behind allergies. When digestion is incomplete due to lack of enzymes, protein is not broken down efficiently. Food protein particles are left behind and escape through your gut into the bloodstream. Your immune system is there to protect your body.
Unfortunately, it can’t distinguish between an undigested food protein and a harmful virus protein. Hence, undigested food protein can trigger an unnecessary immune response in its attempt to destroy the “unwelcome” protein. This response manifests as an allergic reaction
Note of caution : Although enzymes can help alleviate many allergies, it’s not an immediate cure. Individuals suffering from severe food allergies should avoid the foods to which they are allergic to, as some severe allergies may be life threatening.
Alleviates Tiredness & Increases Energy
It is normal to feel a little tired after meals because blood flow must be channeled to your stomach (reducing the flow to your head) to aid digestion. However, it is not normal to feel extremely sleepy after a meal. If you often feel like you’ve been hit by a truck after each heavy meal, you are probably running low on enzymes.
When we eat cooked foods, we place tremendous stress and pressure on the digestive system, forcing more energy to be expended in the digestive process, and therefore less available for other mental and physical activities. Taking enzymes with meals can help with more than just reducing your body’s energy needs for digestion (and avoiding after – meal energy slumps), it can also raise your energy levels throughout the day!
Enzymes are important for the production of glucose, an instant and indispensable fuel for muscles and brains. They also regulate your metabolism. The lower the enzymes in your body, the lower your energy level. People suffering from chronic tiredness can really benefit with enzymes.
Trims Fat Bulges & Reduces Water Retention
One of the reasons for weight gain is poor digestion. When you cannot properly digest your foods, your body lacks key nutrients, causing you to crave more food in hopes of getting more nutrients. However, poor digestion, coupled with low nutrient, high calorie foods can’t provide the nutrients you need, so the craving and weight gain continue.
A natural way to lose weight is to eat more enzyme-rich foods. Lipase, the enzymes with lipolytic function, break down fat so that they can be utilised as energy so that you can lose measurable inches while keeping your energy level at all time high. Studies done at Tufts University show that those who are overweight suffer from low lipase levels, and increasing this enzyme can induce weight loss. Other proteolytic enzymes such as proteases and bromelain, enhance the excretion of fat while acting as an appetite suppressant. Enzymes with anti - edema properties reduce the appearance of cellulite and weight gain caused by water retention.
Retards Premature Ageing & Reveals Clear, Great- Looking Skin
Enzymes are crucial for healthy and youthful skin. Lipolytic enzymes such as lipase are essential for the proper breakdown of fats, and assimilation of fatty acids, and other fat-soluble nutrients that nourish the skin. Enzymes effectively fight the ravages of aging by increasing the supply of nutrients needed for cell repair and rejuvenation. Enzymes also preserve cell permeability, enabling an inflow of nutrients into the cells while eliminating waste products that can make your skin look lacklusterd and wrinkled.
HEALTH CONDITIONS DUE TO
DEFICIENCY OF ENZYMES
Conditions that can relate to enzyme deficiency are immune system disorders and chronic degenerative diseases such as:
- Hardening of the arteries
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Dyspepsia (indigestion),
- Including heartburn,
- Appearance of undigested food in stool
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal cramps
- Crohn's disease
- Skin rashes
- Thrombotic disease
- Acute sinusitis
- Post-operative recovery
- Sports injuries
- Adverse food reactions
- And many other conditions that can cause you a lot of problems, may suggest enzyme deficiency since these symptoms could be caused by the improper digestion of food, which would occur with a deficiency of digestive enzymes.
- Older people are generally more deficient in enzymes than younger people because the enzyme stores are gradually used up over time. When people eat enzyme-deficient diets, the pancreas must make up the difference by producing digestive enzymes.
Who should supplement with Enzymes?
Enzyme are suitable for everyone, including growing children above 12 years of age and the elderly whose enzyme levels are dropping as they age.
- Those whose diet consists mainly of cooked food.
- Those who are under tremendous stress
- Those recovering from surgery or illness.
- Those who wish to prevent illness and lengthen their lives.
- Those who wish to protect themselves from cancer.
- Those who want to increase the effectiveness of their existing supplements.
- Those who wish to get the best out of their diet – by maximizing their digestion and releasing the nutrients trapped in their food for maximum absorption.
- Those who experience frequent headaches, stiff neck, frozen shoulders, joint pain, muscles aches, gout, unexplained body aches and pains.
- Those who tire easily or feel sleepy after meals.
- Those who fall sick or catch a cold easily.
- Those suffering from poor appetite, indigestion and digestive discomfort – belching, passing of wind, bloating, constipation, piles.
- Those suffering from high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Those with food or skin allergy, sinus problems or asthma.
- Those who wish to get rid of unsightly bulges and lose weight.
- Those who would like to improve their complexion – get rid of dull, swallow complexion or age spots.
- Mothers who want to recover faster after childbirth.
Enzymes – best food sources
- Fresh fruit and vegetables (organic if possible to be pesticide free)
- Soaking of seeds, nuts, grains and beans produces abundant energizing enzymes.
- Juicing raw fruit and vegetables – they have a high concentration of enzymes and nutrients which are easily absorbed by the body because they’re already broken down into a more digestible form
- Fermented foods are generally higher in enzyme content : eg. miso, tempeh, homemade sauerkraut, organic kefir (note: dairy based so might not work for dairy-sensitive people)
The more food that you can eat raw, the better. Raw foods are rich in enzymes.
While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich food is sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods enormously.
Factors that affect the function of Enzymes
Different enzymes have optimal pH ranges at which the reaction that they catalyze will occur most rapidly.
Temperature can affect enzyme activity level. Increased temperatures increase the rate at which an enzyme will catalyze a reaction, yet only up to a point, since too high a temperature will cause the enzyme to denature, destroying its activity.
Certain heavy metals inhibit the activity of enzymes by interrupting the reactions in which they are involved. These heavy metals include barium, lead and mercury.
- Heating foods above 50 degrees C
- Milling/refining/canning/drying/freezing, irradiation
- Additives/preservatives, colouring agents, synthetic and flavour enhancers
- Cigarette smoke
- Ultra - violet radiation
- Fluoridated water
- Pharmaceutical and recreational drugs
- Chemicals (eg. paints, household cleaners)
- Some foods contain enzyme inhibitors which need to be deactivated before eating by soaking, cooking or sprouting.(eg. nuts, grains, beans, seeds)
Other interesting points
Enzymes do not attach to living cells, but will digest the proteins in dead cells. The reason for this is the fact that enzymes cannot pass through the cell membrane of a living cell, but when the cell dies, the membrane loses this ability and the enzyme can act upon it.
What Are Enzymes?
Enzymes are specialized protein molecules that are involved with basically every chemical reaction that occurs in the body. They act as a catalyst, which in chemistry is defined as a substance that accelerates or enables reactions but does not structurally affect or change the outcome. Enzymes can be compared to a spark that starts a fire, or like the workers who build a house. The construction materials are the components of the house, but without the workers, it would never come to exist.
As research continues to unfold, it is becoming clear that the role of enzymes is critical to all life functions, and is a major determining factor in our overall health and longevity.
There are 2 basic types of enzymes involved in the digestive process:
- Digestive enzymes help the body to break down and assimilate nutrients from food: fats, carbohydrates, proteins, sugars and fibers.
They are produced by the body, predominantly the pancreas, but also the stomach and salivary glands, to act on food in the small intestine, stomach or mouth.
Digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down the food that you eat so that your food can be more easily absorbed and digested by your small intestine.
- Food enzymes are found in raw foods, which come equipped with some of the enzymes needed for their own digestion. This is why foods decompose or rot if not eaten while fresh – they essentially digest themselves.
Enzymes are needed for the digestion of the food we eat. Ideally our digestion is assisted by a combination of digestive enzymes and food enzymes. It works something like this. You put some food into your mouth and by chewing it you break this food up into smaller segments and mix it with saliva. The enzymes in your saliva start the pre - digestive process in your mouth, and this continues while your food is on its way to your stomach.
The mouth plays a critical role in mechanical digestion as chewing breaks apart food, which lessens the burden on the rest of the digestive system. But the mouth also secretes salivary amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starches - long chains of sugar molecules also known as polysaccharides - into smaller molecules containing only two sugar molecules, known as maltose. This is the first step in the production of glucose - the simple sugar that cells require for energy.
(Most of us do not adequately chew our food, which means that the salivary enzymes have no chance to act before the food moves into the stomach. Even raw food must be well chewed because fibre is tough to break down and the pancreas does not secrete cellulase, an enzyme that targets these fibres As the pancreas becomes weary from years of being overworked, aging adults often find that certain healthy food choices (perhaps vegetables or dairy) cause digestive distress.)
As you swallow, the food travels through the stretchy tube known as the esophagus into the stomach. The cells lining the stomach produce stomach acid, known as hydrochloric acid, and pepsinogen - a precursor to the enzyme known as pepsin. Pepsin breaks the bonds between the amino acids of proteins. The body then absorbs the individual amino acids and uses them to build the thousands of proteins needed throughout the body. Cells in the stomach also produce gastric amylase to breaks down starch into maltose.
In the stomach your food is mixed with hydrochloric acid that helps to digest starches. More enzymes are added at this point which helps to break down your food even further and turn it into a paste-like substance called chyme.
After several hours this chyme moves from the stomach to your small intestine where pancreatic enzymes are added to help with further digestion. The more enzymes you have available the better your digestion will be. Any food that you are not able to digest will be passed along to your large intestine where it will await elimination from your body.
Although the pancreas is not part of the digestive tract - food particles do not travel through it - it produces enzymes essential to digestion. Pancreatic juice empties into the small intestine. The stomach slowly releases the partially digested food into the small intestine where the pancreatic enzymes can go to work. One enzyme, known as lipase, breaks down fat molecules into smaller fatty acids the body will use to build cell membranes and produce hormones. Pancreatic amylase works similar to salivary amylase, breaking starch down into maltose. Trypsin and chymotrypsin break the bonds between specific amino acids in proteins.
Once the stomach has completed its digestive duties, your food is dumped into the small intestine. By this point, only the carbohydrates and proteins have been partially broken down, leaving the fats. This is where the pancreatic enzyme lipase comes into play. Lipase breaks down the fats in your food into fatty acids and glycerol, which can then be absorbed into the body and used for functions such as creating energy. The pancreatic enzymes also further break down the proteins and carbohydrates, using the enzymes trypsin for the proteins and pancreatic amylase for the carbohydrates. The remaining substance from your digested food then enters the large intestine. Here much of the water and remaining sodium is removed, leaving waste behind that can be expelled from the body in the form of feces.
Enzymes Found in Food
The average diet of Western people is a host of chronic degenerative diseases - including heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes and stroke. Many are caused or aggravated in the gastro - intestinal tract, where food digested to run and repair the body. Vital to this process are enzymes that accelerate reactions in the body according to its needs. Science cannot duplicate enzymes, only raw food has functional 'live' enzymes."
Enzymes are what make seeds sprout. Sprouts are, in fact, one of the richest sources of enzymes. Other excellent sources are papaya, pineapple and the aspergillus’s plant. Science cannot duplicate enzymes, because they are the stuff of life itself. Only raw food has functional "live" enzymes. Therefore the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines must come to the rescue and furnish the requisite digestive enzymes to the individual nourished solely on a cooked food diet.
Raw Food Enzymes
Proponents of raw-food diets claim that the enzymes in raw vegetable and fruit juices provide essential health benefits. Some plant enzymes convert nutrients in raw food to more easily utilized forms. Since heat (also light steaming) destroys enzymes, the raw food seems healthier than cooked food. Many plant enzymes are not essential to human digestion, however. Amylase in raw sprouted seeds converts starch to sugar you use as fuel. Your saliva contains the same important enzyme, triggering the conversion as you chew.
Modern masticating juicing machines convert fruits and vegetables to nutrient-rich juice in seconds. Fresh pineapple yields juice rich in an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks long protein strands into smaller protein molecules that digest more easily. Canned pineapple contains none of this beneficial enzyme because bromelain deactivates when heated. Fresh papaya juice also contains powerful enzymes strong enough to tenderize meat. Because juicers chop and crush vegetables and fruits thoroughly, the juice it produces contains more available nutrients and enzymes than chewed raw food.
Raw Food Enzyme Benefits
Digestive enzymes break down larger molecules into simpler molecules, generating nutrients that can be readily absorbed and used by body cells. Benefits include improved digestion and skin quality, reduced risk of heart disease, enhanced immunities and increased energy levels. Fruits and vegetables so abundant in raw food diets boost antioxidants that may protect against cancer, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.
Sprouted foods naturally contain high amounts of nutrients to support growth from seedling to plant. This also includes enzymes. The enzymes found in sprouts aid in digestion..
Broccoli – Sulforaphane
Broccoli Sprouts Can Help Prevent Cancer.
Though broccoli is considered a healthy food, the broccoli sprout is considered even healthier than the full-grown vegetable. Broccoli sprouts contain large amounts of the enzyme sulfirophane. This enzyme protects cells and their genes from cancer.
If you're going to eat just one vegetable to help prevent cancer, I suggest you choose broccoli sprouts. The sprouts are MUCH tastier than the mature broccoli plants. Broccoli and all its kissing cousins - cabbage, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts - contain a number of phytochemicals that our immune systems use to fight off carcinogens. Many of you know that.
What you may not know is that broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times MORE of the immune-enhancers than the average adult broccoli plant.
Again, broccoli sprouts have 20 to 50 times the amount of this critically needed compound.
Broccoli also contains Indole - 3 - Carbinol, which causes estrogen to break down into a harmless metabolite, rather than the form linked to Breast Cancer . This is wonderful news for women, because many cancers that appear in female reproductive organs, are related to too much estrogen. "In 3 days, you can raise a crop of sprouts that contains as much sulforaphane, as an acre of broccoli would yield in a year."
Sulforaphane is found in broccoli and young seed sprouts.
When ingested, it circulates in the bloodstream and triggers an immune reaction to cancer-causing agents, or carcinogens. Therefore, although sulforaphane does not act on carcinogens directly, it is an important indirect trigger for phase - 2 detoxification enzymes, which are already present in the body. Mature broccoli heads contain significant amounts of sulforaphane, although recent studies have found that sprouts contain the most concentrated levels.
Pineapple - Bromelain
Bromelain is found in the stem and juice of the pineapple fruit. Bromelain is actually a combination of several enzymes that help digest protein, also known as proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain provides a variety of health benefits. Its most notable and effective use is the reduction of inflammation cause by injury or infection. It may also help relieve symptoms of sinusitis, indigestion, arthritis and infections. The enzymatic activity of bromelain has also been used to debride burn wounds. Bromelain may have anti-cancer properties. Bromelain also prevents blood clotting and can interfere with anticoagulant therapy.
Papaya - Papain and Chymopapain
Papain and chymopapain are both found in the papaya fruit, as well as the latex produced by the plant. Although the plant contains more chymopapain, papain is the most concentrated and potent enzyme found in papaya. Papaya's papain content makes it an effective meat tenderizer. The enzyme is also used in beer brewing, wool and silk treatments, and rubber production. Papain may also be beneficial for the treatment of ulcers, diptheria, and surgery-related fever and inflammation. Chymopapain is sometimes used to treat slipped disks and pinched nerves.
Papaya contains the protein digestive enzymes papain and chymopapain, according to the World's Healthiest Foods website. These enzymes also prevent inflammation and promote wound healing from burns. Papain can be found in meat tenderizers, is used in remedies to help with indigestion and is part of the solution used to cleanse contact lenses.
Raw Nuts and Seeds
Nature wisely endowed all raw, natural foods with the proper enzymes for digestion. Nuts and seeds contain lipase, the enzyme that breaks down lipids or fats. Triglyceride fats are hydrolyzed to break the ester bonds, creating fatty acids and glycerol. Most fat is digested in the small intestine after bile from the gall bladder breaks large triglycerides into smaller units. The pancreas makes lipase; however, when dietary sources are deficient it puts added strain on this important organ. Roasting nuts and seeds destroys the live enzymes. Eat them raw for a healthy dose of essential enzymes.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Myrosinase
Myrosinase is an enzyme acquired through eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Myrosinase may aid in detoxification and reduce the occurrence of cancer-causing agents in the body. As a result, consuming a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may help reduce a person's risk for certain forms of cancer, such as breast, prostate and lung cancer. Since cruciferous vegetables vary in specific nutrient and enzyme content, a variety is recommended on a routine basis for best results. As a general guideline, adults should aim for at least 5 servings, or 2 1/2 cups of cruciferous vegetables weekly.
Cruciferous vegetables are not only the most powerful anti-cancer foods in existence, they are also the most nutrient-dense of all vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables are the “warriors” of the anticancer foods and an essential the diet.
The following are the eight major digestive enzymes that you should have in your body to make sure that you maximize your digestion.
The first four are absolutely essential for optimum health. The last four enzymes are generally manufactured by your body on an as- required basis. However, all eight of these enzymes perform a very specific function that cannot be performed by a different enzyme, and so they are all very important.
PROTEASE - for digesting protein
Responsible for digesting proteins in your food, which is probably one of the most difficult substances to metabolize. Because of this, protease is considered to be one of the most important enzymes that we have. If the digestive process is incomplete, undigested protein can wind up in your circulatory system, as well as in other parts of your body.
When you take protease in higher quantities, it can help to clean up your body by removing the unwanted protein from your circulatory system. This will help to clean up your blood stream, and restore your energy and balance.
One of the tricks of an invading organism is to wrap itself in a large protein shell that the body would view as being "normal". Large amounts of protease can help to remove this protein shell, and allow the body's defense mechanisms can go into action. With the protective barrier down, your immune system can step in and destroy the invading organism.
Additional amounts of protease are also helpful in fighting such things as colds, flu's, and cancerous tumor growths. Protease helps in the healing and recovery from cancer by dissolving the fibrin coating on cancer cells, and thereby giving your immune system a chance to do its job. It can effectively shrink these tumors by helping to remove the dead and abnormal tissues, and by stimulating healthy tissue growth.
AMYLASE- for digesting carbohydrates
The second most important enzyme that we have, amylase is responsible for digesting carbohydrates in food. Because of this, it could be considered a natural antihistamine. Incomplete digestion of carbohydrates has been linked to blood sugar imbalances, allergies, and asthma.
Amylase is also very effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions to such things as insect bites, pollen irritation, or contact with poison oak, poison ivy, or sumac. A possible reason why some people appear to be more immune to these poisons is because of a higher amount of amylase within their bodies.
LIPASE - for digesting fats
Responsible for digesting fats in food. When taken in higher quantities it will also find its way into the blood stream and help to remove excess fatty deposits from the inside of your veins and arteries. When this occurs, the arteries and veins are more open and allow the blood to flow more smoothly throughout your body.
It is well understood that clogged arteries cause a rise in blood pressure, and that this in turn leads to heart problems. Using extra lipase during the pre-digestive phase can help with overall fat control both in the stomach and in the arteries of your body.
Additional lipase can also be helpful in a weight management program, because it converts fat to energy instead of allowing it to be stored in your body.
CELLULASE- for breaking down fiber.
Responsible for breaking down fiber. It is also an excellent antioxidant because it binds to heavy metals and other toxins and carries them out of your body.
We generally consume a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is effective in binding to excess cholesterol and toxic material and removing them from the body. Cellulase helps with this process because it breaks down the soluble fiber and allows it to be more efficient.
Insoluble fiber provides the necessary bulk to keep the intestinal tract properly inflated, and acts as a "push broom" to keep the walls of both the small and large intestines clean.
MALTASE will convert complex sugars from grains into glucose
Responsible for taking the complex sugar found in malt and grain products and changing it into glucose.
Responsible for digesting the milk sugar found in dairy products.
Helps with digestion in general, and is especially effective in producing vital nutrients of the B-Complex.
Responsible for digesting the sugars that are found in most foods.