Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” So it makes total sense that keeping your gut, or digestive system happy and able to do its job effectively will make a big difference in your health. We read and hear about different vitamins and minerals quite often and lately we are reading a lot about probiotics and those are all very important for health. However, we don’t often hear about the importance of enzymes. Yet they are absolutely vital to life.
Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts for the chemical reactions that break down food particles into nutrients your body uses to function. There are different types of enzymes that are responsible for initiating, speeding up, slowing down, or otherwise altering about 4,000 different biochemical reactions. So they are not just for digesting food, although that is one of the most important functions.
More than 3,000 different enzymes have been identified, and some experts believe there may be another 50,000 we have yet to discover. Each enzyme has a different function, like 3,000 specialized keys cut to fit 3,000 different locks, which in this case are biochemical reactions.
They are found naturally in raw foods, however cooking and processing food destroys them. Enzymes begin to be destroyed at temperatures above 110-115 degrees. So unless you eat all your food raw, which most of us do not do, you will not get enzymes directly from your foods.
I have found, personally, that increasing the amount and types of enzymes I take with meals, and between meals for certain purposes, has improved my digestion and health. Even if you eat all organic, grass-fed, highest quality foods, but are not able to properly digest them, you are not getting full benefit of the nutrients they possess. So essentially you’re flushing much of that nutrition down the toilet!
There are numerous reasons why your digestion might be compromised, so there is not one answer for everything. However, if you are generally healthy otherwise and eat a good, whole food diet and find yourself experiencing gas, bloating, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, why not try using a digestive enzyme and see if it improves your symptoms? It certainly can’t hurt you. This is especially true if you are over 40. The longer you live the more you need to supplement with enzymes. At least that is the case for me and many people I’ve worked with.
On another note, in researching enzymes I was thinking about how they work in the body, and I saw a correlation in the spirit. I believe meditating, particularly on scripture, is like taking spiritual enzymes to help you “digest” those truths more fully. You don’t get the full benefit of what you take in, whether through your mouth or your eyes, unless you can fully break it down so you can assimilate it thoroughly.
So this week I want to encourage you to consider enzymes – digestive and spiritual! Something this simple and basic could make a huge difference in your health, physically and spiritually.
Do you take enzymes? Do you meditate? What has your experience been?
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