Enzymes are complex proteins that act as catalysts in almost every biochemical process that takes place in our bodies… the enzymes we need to consider when planning our diets belong to the third category; food enzymes. These are present in ample quantities in many raw foods and initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and stomach.
In addition to the food enzymes, the other enzymes our body makes are made in the pancreas. By eating solely cooked foods, we actually use up our bodies own stores of enzymes.
The thing about enzymes is that as we age, they decrease, therefore when we don’t replenish the enzymes this decrease in enzymes is correlated to much of the degeneration (ie. sickness, effects of aging) that takes place in our bodies. Many studies have also shown that enzymes tend to be lower in those who are suffering from serious diseases.
The brilliant thing about traditional diets is that they included a vast amount of enzyme rich food— raw animal proteins and fats (in the form of raw dairy, raw fish, raw meat, and even raw organ meats), in addition to a certain amount of cultured and fermented foods, as foods prepared with these methods are extremely rich in enzymes as well. Enzymes are also found in raw vegetables and fruits, as well as sprouted (or soaked or sourdough) grains, soaked or sprouted raw seeds, etc. although the enzyme content in these foods is not nearly as great as in raw animal foods, or cultured and fermented foods.
In addition to preserving the enzymes made by our bodies, eating foods rich in enzymes also encourages healthy digestion. Having good digestion cannot be praised enough, as this affects toxins in our body, nutrient absorption and assimilation, elimination, and many, many other areas of our health.