Digestive and food enzymes are proteins that assist in the breakdown of food. There are several thousand different types of enzymes in the human body and every day we have millions of biochemical reactions taking place all of which require the use of specific enzymes. They can be further broken down into 3 different groups: digestive, food, and metabolic. Digestive and food enzymes will be the focus of this article, as the importance of properly digested food is paramount to sustaining good health. The four classes of digestive enzymes are: amylase, which digests carbohydrates, starches, and sugars found in grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables; protease, which breaks down protein found in meat, nuts, and cheese into amino-acids lipase, which breaks down fats and oils found in dairy and meat products into fatty acids cellulase, which helps digest fiber.
How They Work
Some digestive enzymes are created by the body in certain organs to assist in the catalyzation of the food we eat, and some enzymes are actually a part of the food itself. Food enzymes are already within the food that we consume, however with our modernization of heating foods to temperatures above 118 degrees F, we destroy the highly beneficial enzymes to assist us in breaking down that food, thereby placing great stress on the rest of the digestive system to do more work that it should have to do.
By choosing to take additional plant-based enzymes with every meal one would have better assimilation and digestion of foods and nutrients, enhanced immunity would be experienced in addition to a sustained feeling of well being and increased energy from the vitamins and minerals that are now actually able to be utilized by the body because they have been properly broken down with the assistance from plant based enzymes. Ellen Cutler, the founder of Bioset acupressure allergy elimination technique feels very strongly that enzymes play a large role in reversing and healing food allergies.
One would want to consider modifying their nutritional intake when taking plant enzymes and choose to eat whole foods, and reduce the intake of processed foods and sugar. There have been some reports of sensitivity to some of the components of plant based enzymes such as bromelain (from pineapple), in which case you should discontinue use and consult your doctor.
The addition of using plant based enzymes to your wellness routine will be a wonderful way to enhance your assimilation and digestion of food and utilize the beneficial nutrients that lay within them. After all, we are only as healthy as what we can absorb, and if we cannot digest our foods properly, it can set the stage for an imbalance to occur later in our health.
- Enzymes and Enzyme Therapy: How to Jumpstart Your Way to Lifelong Good Health by Anthony Cichoike
- Diet and Nutrition: A Holistic approach by Rudolf Ballentine
- Micro Miracles: Discover the Healing Power of enzymes
- Enzyme Nutrition by Edward Howell