The Essentials–Enzymes

Enzymes are the “spark plugs of life”.  They are essential for regulating many functions of the body, including digestion.  Without sufficient digestive enzymes, the nutrients in our food cannot be fully digested and assimilated, contributing to low energy, weight problems, and a myriad of health issues.

When foods are cooked over 120 degrees, their enzymes are destroyed.  Processed packaged foods are devoid of enzymes, due to heating and the addition of enzyme inhibitors to prevent spoilage and prolong shelf life.  Pasteurization kills the enzyme lactase, which digests the milk sugar lactose, which may be one of the reasons so many people are lactose intolerant.  Americans are eating mostly processed and cooked foods!  Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain natural enzymes, and Americans are eating very few of these!

The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes, and it begins to weaken with age in  response to the demand placed upon it.  When it is constantly meeting the needs of digestion, there are fewer enzymes available for work and repair elsewhere in the body, including those needed by the immune system.  Chronic digestion problems can lead to chronic inflammation due to undigested foods perceived by the immune system as foreign invaders.  This could be one cause of so many autoimmune conditions.

Digestion is key to good health!  Eat more raw plant foods.  Consider taking a plant-based digestive enzyme, especially when eating cooked and packaged foods.  I supplement with a plant-based enzyme by Nature’s Sunshine called Proactazyme Plus Capsules, and I carry Papaya Mint Chewable Tablets in my purse.  Papaya contains the enzyme papain that helps to digest proteins, and peppermint stimulates digestion secretions.  My grandchildren love these, too!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist,

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, and it does not take the place of any medical advice or care that you may need.


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  1. Pingback: The Essentials–Enzymes | Learning to be Healthy

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