In Part 1 yesterday we looked at the key process of digestion and the remarkable life giving properties and purposes of enzymes. Lets now look at good and bad foods…
The “other” foods
Before I tell you about the best foods, I would like to talk about the “other” foods. Those foods that are less than optimal for your delicate digestive system. Most foods have built in enzymes to break down food.
However some have enzyme inhibitors – soy is one of those foods
Several studies reveal that soy, which is an additive in many foods on the grocery and health food store shelves, contains enzyme inhibitors. Therefore, the body must pull from the pancreatic enzymes to fully digest the large amount of enzyme activity needed to metabolize soy.
Nuts and seeds are another food that are created with enzyme inhibitors.
Thus, they will not digest of their own devices within the body. This process is called pre-digestion. The nuts and seeds require the release of enzymes from the bodily organs or glands.
The most readily available to digest nuts and seeds is the pituitary (the master gland) and the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is considered the engine that controls every bodily function.
I am not suggesting to refrain from eating nuts and seeds, but to eat them after they have their enzymes intact. To get the enzymes intact, they must be germinated or sprouted.
Cooking, processing, refining
Once the enzymes are intact, there is another component that must be addressed, and that is the high amount of fat in them. The fat in nuts is the “good” fat, but many nuts are roasted. Roasting nuts requires cooking them.
Roasted nuts or seeds require the body to, once again, pull from the systemic enzymes to digest the food.
When enzymes are pulled from the bodily organs, glands etc. there is a reduction in metabolic functions of the system as a whole.
Cooked food is one other component the body must tackle, thus pulling from the organ’s metabolic functions.
For the body to function optimally, food enzymes must digest the food. Heating or cooking food today is a requirement if you want to remain free from bacteria.
However, cooking is not the best choice if your goal is to maintain the food’s enzymes.
Cooking above 118 degrees, and especially cooking above this temperature over twenty minutes, destroys all of the food enzymes.
Processed and refined foods are also non-enzymatic foods. Within this group of processed and refined foods are: cereals, pastas, boxed foods and oils, including coconut oil.
Most have been ground or highly heated, or exposed to high pressure or light. All enzymes are removed as the result of this process. Therefore, the digestive system must steal from the metabolic enzymes to digest food meaning, as you probably guessed, raw food is the only food that has all its enzymes intact.
The science of digestion
Many might ask, how does one live on raw food? I must say that a diet consisting of raw fruits and vegetables produce an abundance of salivary amylase, which is used to break down these foods.
Amylase breaks down 80% of fruits and vegetables within 15 to 20 minutes before your digestive stomach acid ever begins working.
Now, if you are eating cooked vegetables, the pancreatic amylase must be used to digest the food.
However, if the body has to digest large carbohydrate molecules into smaller molecules, the pancreatic amylase cannot handle such a big job. Thus, this is the beginning of larger digestive complications.
Since pancreatic amylase cannot completely digest carbohydrates, the food must move into the second stomach where sugar is broken down to a finer state for the body to assimilate nutrients.
If digestion is disrupted, many times due to consumption of high amounts of sugar in the system or the removal of food enzymes, your body will experience bowel issues such as bloating, constipation etc.
This is where RAW comes in
If digestion is disrupted, due to pasteurization of milk, which removes the amylase and lipase to break it down, digestive inhibitors in grains and nuts, and processed foods such as sugar and flour, the digestive system is unable to do the work of transporting nutrients to the body.
When the body fails to digest the nutrients from food, many symptoms appear, such as muscle weakness, anxiety, irritable bowel, inability to concentrate, swallowing issues, dry mouth and nose, brain fog etc.
Many think that if they eat a healthy diet all will be well.
However, if the body is not digesting food to completion this can lead to further complications such as cancer, liver damage, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, neurological damage, autoimmune diseases, alzheimers, etc.
All of these diseases begin by a lack of digestion, and many times a lack of digestion is initiated from simple sugars, which show up in the form of foods that have the enzymes stripped from them, such as any processed food.
Eating a raw diet may appear difficult. I suggest eating 75% raw food, and 25% cooked. Therefore, cook your meat and eat your vegetables organic and raw.
One last tip: Just in case you love bread, there is a way to digest it before you consume it. Spread a small amount of raw, unfiltered, non-heated honey on a slice of bread and let it stand in room temperature for 15 minutes. The bread will be fully digested and you can keep your bodily digestive enzymes intact for a longer life.
There are ways to live on raw food, and there are ways to digest food before it enters the body. I discuss this and provide much more information on foods that have enzyme inhibitors in my e-book that will be available later in 2016.
Connect with Expert Esther Harrier.
1. Howell, Edward, Dr. N.p.: Avery, 1985. Goodreads. Avery. Web. 20 Dec. 2015.
2. Last, Walter. “Fat Absorption.” LIPASE – The Universal Remedy. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.
3. Loomis, Howard F., D.C. N.p.: 21st Century Nutrition, 2015. The Enzyme Advantage For Health Care Providers And People Who Care About Their Health, ISBN: 9780976912415, 0976912414. Web. 10 Jan. 2016
4. McArdle, William D., Frank I. Katch, and Victor L. Katch. “Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance / Edition 6.”Barnes & Noble. Lipincott Williams & Wilkins, n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2010.