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Digestive enzymes are secreted by the pancreas and break down foods, allowing their nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream and used in body functions. They ensure that we get the greatest possible nutritional value from foods. Digestive enzymes include protease, which digests protein; amylase, which digests carbohydrates; lipase, which digests fats and oils; and maltase, which digests malt sugars and grains.
Food enzymes are enzymes supplied to us through the foods we eat. They include digestive enzymes, but also enzymes unique to the particular foods. Food enzymes help us "predigest" foods; that is, start breaking down foods before our bodies’ enzymes begin to do so. According to Santillo, the enzymes found in raw foods digest 5 to 75 percent of the foods themselves without the help of other enzymes. This way, our bodies’ digestive enzymes have help in the digestive process, and we do not use as many of the body’s "in-house" enzymes.
The importance of enzymes
In the enzyme nutrition axiom, Howell postulates that "The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential."
In other words, the more enzymes you get, the longer and healthier you live.
The key is to remember that food enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 118 °F. This means that cooked and processed foods contain few, if any, enzymes, and that the typical diet found in industrialized countries is enzyme-deficient. When we eat cooked and processed foods, we could well be eating for a shorter and less-than-healthy life.
This points back to the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables because they are "live foods"; that is, foods in which the enzymes are active. The more enzymes you get, the healthier you are. And the more raw foods you eat, the more enzymes you get.
The benefits of enzymes
Digestive enzymes help us digest foods more completely. This means more nutrients (and maybe eating less!) and the good health that goes with them.
There is another advantage to being sure that foods are well-digested. When foods are not well-digested, they remain in the stomach and can rot and putrefy. This results in a buildup of waste in the colon. This fecal matter begins to decay, producing bacteria and toxins. The toxins eventually seep through the bowel wall, where blood capillaries pick them up and distribute them throughout the body. This can result in health problems. These problems include constipation, stomach bloat, poor digestion, gas, fatigue, weight gain and weight loss, headaches, and more. Using digestive enzymes ensures that your foods are more completely digested, helping to eliminate potential problems due to toxins.
Other great product for the digestive systemFloraFood
Santillo, Humbart, B.S., M.H. Food Enzymes: The
Missing Link to Radiant Health. Prescott Valley, AZ: Hohm Press,
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