Enzymes are molecular proteins that cause, enable, or speed up reactions in living cells. Enzymes have a variety of functions in the body, including digesting food, transmitting nerve impulses, repairing damaged cells, and making muscles work. The human body produces some enzymes but must obtain others from the diet. Most people need a lot more live enzymes than they are getting from the average diet of processed fast-foods. If it comes in a box, it does not contain live enzymes.
Enzymes exist in every living thing and act as catalysts for all cellular activity. Enzyme activity is extremely specialized. Most enzymes act together in a complicated network which includes vitamins and minerals.
The three main categories of enzymes are metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes, and fresh plant enzymes. We can make our own metabolic and digestive enzymes, but we must get fresh plant enzymes from our diets. Raw vegetables and fruits are rich sources of fresh plant enzymes. Good sources are pineapples, berries, bananas, mangos, sprouts, papayas, avocados, fresh vegetables, and beans. Fruit salad with blueberries, peaches, apples, and mint is a delicious mixture of live enzymes. A plate of colorful vegetables like green spinach, orange sweet potato, purple beets, and red cabbage mean live enzymes are in abundance. Gray, beige, or brown foods? Not so much.
All foods in their natural state have the enzymes required for digestion. The enzymes found in whole, unprocessed foods give the body what it needs to work properly. Symptoms of digestive enzymes depletion are bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, heartburn, and food allergies.
Enzymes are very sensitive to high heat. Any heat over 120 degrees destroys a food’s active enzymes. Enzymes are also destroyed by microwaves. Many enzymes are also rendered useless by fluorides, chlorinated water, air pollutants, chemical additives, prescriptions, and over the counter drugs.
Metabolic enzymes stimulate immunity in certain parts of the body (especially the pancreas). Enzymes causes the white blood cells to attack invaders and break them up. Enzyme therapy can be used to treat heart disease, malignancies, skin problems, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, colon problems, poor circulation, stomach pain, eye disease, and even headaches.
Some enzymes act as anti-inflammatory agents. They can help heal sports injuries, respiratory problems, degenerative diseases, and surgical wounds. Other enzymes clean wounds, dissolve blood clots, neutralize toxins, and help control allergic reactions.
Enzyme therapy can be practiced at home. Use ginger and milk thistle to help tone the heart, stimulate the liver, and strengthen the intestines. Ginger also contains enzymes that can help turn cholesterol into bile acids. Enzymes in nettles can drive toxins out of the body by stimulating the kidneys. Licorice contains enzymes that have a balancing effect on estrogen hormones and estrogen metabolism.
Green tea contains enzymes that help the body to excrete toxins. Hawthorn has enzymes and flavonoids that prevent collagen destruction (and gives the skin a firm foundation). Dandelion enzymes enhance the flow of bile and help to break down fat molecules. Cayenne enzymes trigger stomach secretions that help digestion. Catnip provides enzyme therapy for heartburn and indigestion. Fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits contain an abundance of healthy enzymes so add them to meals on a daily basis!
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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