Enzymes: The Key To Healthy Digestion

If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? That question I can’t answer, but what I can tell you is that if an apple falls from a tree in those woods, it will most definitely bruise. The remaining question is: Why?

When an apple hits the ground, the impact damages cell walls within the fruit, releasing active enzymes that begin to digest the cellular material, resulting in what we call a bruise. This is a necessary process in nature, as the apple must break down in order for the seeds inside to be released into the earth in hopes of becoming another tree. The actions of enzymes are also necessary within our bodies for us to properly digest our foods and utilize the nutrients inside.

Enzymes are the catalysts for all biochemical processes within our bodies. Our saliva contains enzymes that begin to dissolve foods as soon as they enter our mouths. The act of chewing breaks down cell walls, releasing enzymes within the foods themselves that are a key component of the digestive process that occurs in our stomachs. And as our food passes out of the stomach, enzymes from the pancreas step in to continue the process. Enzymes are necessary for our bodies to break down food and assimilate the nutrients within it.  

The challenge we face today is that the majority of our foods are enzyme-deficient. Foods that have been processed, over-cooked, pasteurized or irradiated are lacking in the enzymes necessary for digestion. Most of the foods we eat fit this description. The result is that many of us struggle with poor digestion and its residual effects, including any number of nutrient deficiencies and the ailments caused by those deficiencies.  

To improve your digestion and increase your nutrient absorption, eat a diet high in raw, organic, locally grown vegetables and fruits and whole and sprouted grains, avoid processed foods, and chew thoroughly. You can also supplement your diet with plant-derived enzymes that can be found at health food stores.

Rachel Anzalone is a Certified Natural Health Professional and Traditional Naturopath at Holistic Lakewood.

Rachel Anzalone

Rachel Anzalone is a Certified Natural Health Professional and Traditional Naturopath at Holistic Lakewood.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:58 PM, 02.05.2013