Return to enzyme (thing)
|Enzymes are quite literally, the colossal difference between raw and cooked foods. They are delicate yet powerful biochemical catalysts. They are destroyed by temperatures over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that they do not even survive light steaming, sadly. I say sadly because they speed burning or building reactions in the body, according to need. They are basically specialized proteins, usually with complex names ending in the suffix -ase. Protease digests protein, lipase digests fats (lipids), and amylase digests carbohydrates. Amylase comes from the salivary glands; carbs begin their digestion right in your mouth. In fact it is rather imperative that you chew thoroughly, as they say in Tao, “Drink your foods and chew your liquids”. The enzymes in your digestive tract are not sufficient enough for optimal digestion. This is why you may feel sluggish after consuming starches. |
Lipase is produced mainly in the liver and protease, from the pancreas. Although these organs continue to function over the entire course of a healthy life, the gradually wear down, most especially with typical American diets. A study at the University of Minnesota has shown that rats fed for 135 days on an 80 percent cooked food diet resulted in an increase pancreatic weight of 20 to 30 percent. Which means that the pancreas is forced to work harder with a cooked food diet. The director of this study says that although the body can manufacture enzymes, the more you use your enzyme potential, the faster it will ‘run out’. An eighteen year old may produce amylase levels 30 times greater than those of an 85 year old person, for example.
Enzymes are what make seeds sprout. Sprouts are, in fact, one of the richest sources of enzymes. Some equally excellent sources are papaya, pineapple and the aspergillus plant. Only raw food has functional "live" enzymes. Therefore the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines must come to the rescue and supply the necessary digestive enzymes to an individual nourished solely on a cooked food diet. As you could imagine, this extra activity can be very detrimental to health and longevity because it continually taxes the reserve energy of our vital organs. Moreover, cooked food passes through the digestive tract far more slowly than raw, and it tends to ferment. This throws poisons back in the body.
Virtually all degenerative diseases are caused or aggravated by digestive problems. This statement is backed up by the most extensive study ever undertaken by the US government, in its 1978 report “Diet and Killer Diseases”. Enzymes, I tell you! Enzymes are essential for a prolonged (and wholesome) existence! Eat more raw foods. Or, a good habit to get into: if you must eat something heavily cooked, e.g. a steak, eat a fresh salad beforehand, to place some enzymes in your stomach to hlep digestion along.