What Are Enzymes?
Enzymes are complex molecules, vital catalysts that are needed for every chemical reaction in the body. There are two major types of enzymes – metabolic and digestive. Metabolic enzymes help build body structure. Digestive enzymes work to break down large food molecules into smaller, readily absorbable building blocks the body requires. Naturally grown foods contain the enzymes necessary to break the food down to the essential nutrients the body needs. Nature provides enzymes in food to aid in the digestion process so that the body doesn’t have to use its enzyme reserves to do all the work. But when we process, refine, heat, or microwave our food, most if not all enzymes are rendered useless. At a temperature above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, all enzyme activity is destroyed. When we consume cooked or highly processed foods, our digestive system has to produce the enzymes necessary to digest what was eaten.
Our Digestive System
The purpose of our digestive tract is to extract and absorb the essential nutrients contained in our food. Consuming cooked foods can cause our body to take enzymes from the liver, pancreas, and other organs to use in the digestion process. Over time, this can cause these organs to be stressed, which can weaken our immune system and slow down our metabolism.
When we consume enzyme-deficient food, the food sits in the upper portion of the stomach putrefying instead of being predigested (due to a lack of enzymes). The body reacts by increasing the white blood cell count as the immune system begins to treat the undigested food as a foreign substance. The body further stresses itself to produce extra digestive enzymes to digest this putrefying material, reducing its ability to produce metabolic enzymes for cellular activity. If stomach acids are not able to complete their work before the food moves into the small intestine, the food particles can enter the blood system undigested!