Enzymes are the catalysts for specified biochemical reactions. They are present in all living things and play an important role in chemical reactions within those entities. Enzymes are the worker bees of your body, and they affect every single one of its functions. They enable your body to break food down into usable nutrients through the integral role they play in the digestion process. Your digestive health (gut health) directly impacts the health of your brain and immune system. If your gut is in disarray, there’s a strong likelihood that your overall health is as well. Consequently, enzymes are key to optimal health.
Your intestines and pancreas create many kinds of enzymes, but many foods also contain enzymes or the bacteria that produces them. However, because the modern diet is primarily made up of cooked and processed foods, we don’t reap much of the potential benefits of dietary enzymes. This is because when you cook food (above 118 degrees), process or pasteurize it, you destroy its natural digestive enzymes. We must therefore rely on our bodies to produce most of the enzymes we need to help us break down and utilize the food we eat. This is why adding raw, non-pasteurized, unprocessed and high-enzyme foods to your diet can be advantageous in the quest for optimal health.
There are many fruits, vegetables and fermented foods that contain relatively high amounts of useful digestive enzymes. One reason for the presence of these enzymes is to help digest that particular food. For example, raw beef contains an enzyme called cathepsin. The activity of this enzyme is how aged beef becomes tenderized. While some food contains enzymes necessary for digestive action upon itself, many other foods contain enzymes that affect entirely other types of food. From the most popular fruits to some less obvious choices, we’ll explore some high enzyme foods.
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