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Raw Foods and the Enzyme Factor

This is a great bit from an article on Raw/Living Foods. If there is more interest I will send more on this topic. Have a wonderful week!

Raw Foods and the Enzyme Factor

One theory behind the health benefits of a raw-food diet is the role that readily available enzymes in living foods play, as they are crucial to healthy digestion. Eating an enzyme-rich diet is thought to increase vitality and slow the aging process. According to current raw wisdom, foods that are heated to no more than 116 degrees Fahrenheit maintain their most complete nutritional value. When fruits and vegetables are heated beyond this temperature, important digestion-supporting enzymes are destroyed. Author, wellness-center founder, and raw-food proponent Gabriel Cousens, MD, maintains that “enzymes can even help repair our DNA and RNA.”

Nobel prize-winning chemist Artturi Virtanen devoted much of his research to the processes of fermentation, and was able to demonstrate how food proteins catalyze the chemical reactions necessary for digestion and assimilation. What he discovered is that consuming food without enzymes makes the digestion process more taxing on the body, which can lead to internal toxicity. Proper digestion, nutrient assimilation, and waste elimination create a foundation for health. When food isn’t fully digested, it becomes stuck in the digestive track, slowing down the process of assimilation and leading to toxic build-up in both the bowel and the bloodstream. Living fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, enzyme-and fiber-rich–all of which enhance efficient digestion and elimination.

According to the World Health Report, major risk factors for chronic disease include an unhealthy diet, being overweight, and having high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels. While there are raw foodists who are not vegan or vegetarian, adopting a raw-food diet immediately eliminates most dairy products and all baked goods from the diet. These two food groups are notoriously hard on the digestive system and can contribute to weight gain. Dairy is mucus-forming for many people and is loaded with both saturated fats and cholesterol, while meat, eggs, alcohol, preservatives, complex carbohydrates, and barbecued foods are acid-forming, and people suffering from chronic health ailments are often overly acidic. Baked goods and bread products require fermentation to digest and contribute to yeast-overgrowth, whereas eating a living-food diet alkalizes the system and balance the body’s internal pH.

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