Plants contain essential digestive enzymes that play an integral role in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Optimal health depends on the proper assimilation of these nutrients.
Examples of digestive enzymes:
- Proteases and peptidases – which help digest protein;
- Lipases – which help digest fat;
- Cellulases and saccharidases – which help digest starches and sugars.
Digestive enzymes provide:
- Inflammatory and Oxidative Protection
- Support for the Immune System
- General Metabolic efficiency
Cooking foods at virtually all standard cooking temperatures denatures enzymes, destroying their functioning.
The majority of processing techniques used by food manufacturers destroys the natural enzymes found in foods.
The effects of storage on enzyme integrity varies greatly, depending upon temperature and duration. The higher the temperature and the longer the food is stored, the greater likelihood that any enzymes it contains will be denatured.
Where to get your additional digestive enzymes?
Virtually all fresh, organically grown, uncooked plant foods are sources of enzymes.
Some delicious sources:
Papaya and pineapple are great sources of enzymes.
Papaya contains papain, which aids in breaking down proteins. The ideal papaya to eat is the green and raw one, since it contains the highest amount of papain and chymopapain.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that breaks down proteins and helps in fighting cancer cells.