Is Your Body Getting the Natural Enzymes it Needs?
Natural Enzymes: An Introduction
Enzymes are naturally occurring substances required by the body for metabolic functioning. Metabolic function control and maintenance is not possible without adequate presence of these naturally occurring enzymes. Metabolic functions involve all the processes of growth and development. Growth and development is necessary for life, and required by all of the biological systems within the body. Deficiencies in natural enzymes have been correlated with the development of various conditions.
Natural Enzymes and Food
Enzymes are naturally occurring substances in the foods we eat. All foods have some amount of naturally occurring enzymes. However, enzymes are subject to degradation. This degradation is caused by processing; cooking, boiling, high temperatures, preservation, and pasteurization. The processing of foods severely decreases the amount of natural enzymes, if not eliminating their presence completely. Raw foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain the highest amounts of delivered natural enzymes. Raw fruits and vegetables have not been processed, maximizing natural enzyme intake. The following is a short list of examples of foods known to be rich in natural enzymes.
Natural Enzymes and Digestion
Natural enzymes are typically correlated with the process of digestion, however, enzymes are required by all biological systems. Enzymes are necessary for the catalysis of reactions. This catalysis (acceleration of reactions) is necessary for regulating the speed at which reactions occur. Regulation of this speed is essential to ensure proper digestion. Enzymes also typically require cofactors or coenzymes in order to function, adding yet another level of control and regulatory factors the body can utilize.
Natural Enzyme Absorption
Natural enzymes are necessary for proper digestion. Digestion is necessary for proper absorption. The absorption of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and essential amino acids is necessary for the body to function properly. Until these requirements are absorbed, the body can not readily use them.
Natural Enzymes: Signs and Symptoms of Adequate Intake
There are several signs and symptoms if you have a less than adequate intake of natural enzymes. The majority are involved with the gastrointestinal system (digestive tract) as that is where the most natural enzymes are required.
- Bowel disorders
- Abdominal cramping
- Food allergies
Natural Enzymes: Tips for Maximizing your Intake Naturally
The following is a list of techniques to maximize your intake of natural enzymes.
- Eat slowly: Eating is not a race. Take time to enjoy what you eat.
- Take time to thoroughly chew your food: Remember when your grandmother told you to chew your food 100 times? Yes, that was excessive, but chewing your food breaks it into smaller pieces more easily chemically digested.
- Eat small portions: Eat until you are full. Don't overeat. Smaller portions are recommended, as they are more easily digested.
- Avoid heavy meals: Meals heavy in carbohydrates, protein, and fats are more difficult to digest, as they require more enzymatic function.
- Drink adequate amounts of water: Water is necessary in every biological system of the body. It is important to meet you daily required water intake.
- Take time to relax: Give your food time to digest before beginning any strenuous activity.
- Eat raw healthy foods: Increase your intake of raw fruits and vegetable, nuts and seeds. The food pyramid suggests 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Are you meeting this requirement?