Enzymes in our foods–why they are so important

Eating a diet that is high in enzymes is very important to healing and building optimal health. Enzymes are not only necessary for digestion of our foods, they play an important role in every process of the human body. Dr. Edward Howell’s research on enzymes determined that we have an “enzyme bank, ” and for good health and longevity, it is important to eat foods that will not draw upon these reserves. (See¬† his books Enzyme Nutrition and Enzymes for Health and Longevity.) Eating a diet where the foods themselves are high in enzymes keeps the pancreas from having to secrete them for digestion, thus saving them for the repair and maintenance of cells, organs, tissues, muscles and tendons.

High-quality, naturally raised raw proteins like raw and cultured dairy, raw egg yolks, raw meats and fish are the highest in enzymes. However, eating cooked foods with high-enzyme fermented vegetables like unpasteurized sauerkraut, pickled beets and kimchee as well as cultured beverages like beet kvass, kombucha and lacto-fermented drinks also saves the body’s enzyme reserves.

Some raw foods  have anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors, and require special preparation to digest well. Nuts, seeds, grains and legumes all contain these difficult-to-digest elements in their raw form and need to be soaked in acidulated water to break down these components.

Our book, Performance without Pain, contains a wealth of information on high-enzyme foods, preparing cultured foods and the proper preparation of foods containing enzyme-inhibitors. It can get you started on understanding how to maximize the healing energy of your diet. For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see Performance without Pain and our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

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