Enzymes are catalysts. Catalysts speed up chemical reactions without being altered or changed. Without getting too scientific here, enzymes are a key component to life. No enzymes, no life.
In skin care, enzymes are used on the skin topically (typically in an exfoliant) to “dissolve” dead cells, prevent or treat skin damage by fighting free radicals, as well as maintaining normal cellular activity and repair.
In terms of healing, metabolism, and maintaining health, enzymes are the body’s “labor force”.
Two Major Enzyme Systems in the Body:
- Metabolic enzymes are responsible for running the “systems” of the body.
- Digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down our food in order for it to be absorbed and utilized by the body.
A body deficient in enzymes is vulnerable and highly at risk for developing cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and numerous other degenerative diseases, leading to a tragically shortened life.
Our “bank” of digestive enzymes is stored in our pancreas which helps our body break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. That’s a lot of responsibility and work for such a small organ. Luckily its efficient. Unfortunately, its WAY over worked by today’s standard diet.
Enzyme nutrition suggests that each of us is given a limited supply of enzymes at birth. This supply has to last us a lifetime. The faster we deplete it, the shorter our lifespan. Simple everyday habits contribute to the exhaustion of our enzyme supply. Things like cooking our food, eating processed and junk foods, alcohol, and drugs all draw out vast quantities of enzymes from our limited supply, particularly because the activity of enzymes is strongly affected by changes in temperature and PH.
Its obvious to me that cancer, in particular, seems to be an epidemic among us, and obesity, doesn’t fall short. Today, in my family alone, there’s a history of heart disease, hypertension, MS, asthma, and God knows what else!! That’s just in my immediate “living” family. Yet, my great grandfather (who died simply from old age) lived to be 96 years old in repressed Cuba where medication and health care are scarce, and often nonexistent, and the food they have to eat is mostly grown in their backyard. Banana trees galore! I have often wondered if vitality laid in the absence of processed foods, or simply knowing EXACTLY what you were putting into your body and where it came from.
Back to the Basics:
Did you know that in 1970, Americans spent about $6 Billion on fast food? That’s not even that alarming, considering that in 2001 we spent more than $110 Billion!! According to Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, we now “spend more on fast food than higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars”. Major problem!
As our body is nourished and “made” from the foods we eat, paying attention to what we consume and making better choices is crucial. Only raw foods contain “live” enzymes. Cooking food (above 118 degrees) kills active enzymes. So why is this such a big deal? Well, if all we eat is a diet of processed and cooked foods, our body HAS TO manufacture the enzymes necessary to break that food down. Remember, the more that is used up, the less you end up with in the “bank”. In addition, cooked food passes slower through the digestive “process” allowing for fermentation to occur and leak poisons into the body. While the body is a “perfect machine”, just like any other machine when over worked, it will start to seize, break down, and crash.
Let’s be honest… For most, altering their diet, even a little bit, seems like a catastrophe- let alone cutting things out completely. I’m a cold turkey kind of girl, but most people aren’t, so here is what I suggest.
Start simple. Add more raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into your existing diet, then slowly omit those foods you know are not good for you. Ideally, 100% raw is the goal, BUT 50-75% is a really good place to be. 😉
Altering our diet alone, could ultimately save our lives and add quality-of-life back into the equation. I don’t know about you, but to me, longevity is wasted if you don’t feel alive and well, while you’re around. You can have your “raw cake” and eat it too!