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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raw Foods and Food Enzymes

Mainstream medicine pretty much ignores the role of food enzymes in health and disease management and prevention. It’s unfortunate, since there are more than 3,000 types of enzymes which serve to speed up, slow down, alter, initiate, halt and catalyze over 4,000 biochemical reactions in the body. Enzymes are responsible for food digestion, respiration, detoxification of some organs, blood purification, transportation and assimilation of nutrients, cell renewal and repair and many, many other tasks. There are three types of enzymes: metabolic and digestive enzymes (produced by the body) and food enzymes.

If you talk to a raw foodist about nutrition, you’re likely to hear about enzymes right away. That’s because food enzymes are only found in fresh, raw and living foods. These foods are packed with their own enzymes for easy digestion, but are destroyed when heated above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you steam vegetables, some of the enzymes are preserved, but if you fry, microwave or bake your food, the enzymes are lost.

You may wonder why you need food enzymes if our body produces digestive and metabolic enzymes. While it is true that your body produces enzymes, it is helpful to consume food enzymes to allow your digestive system to rest and to allow your immune system to successfully carry out its functions. If you are not taking in any food enzymes your body can become overburdened and all your energy can be taken up by organ detox, blood purification and providing immune system back-up. If you are taking in food enzymes through raw, living foods or enzyme supplements, your body can concentrate on clearing the body of unneeded toxins in the bloodstream such as viruses, bacteria and disease causing cells. This is why many doctors prescribe a raw food diet to help people combating diseases, especially cancer, restore balance to their body.

Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Superoxide Dismutase

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