View Full Version : Adding additional enzymes to diet
09-29-2005, 12:56 PM
I have been told that adding additional enzymes to the diet really helps in the digesting of food, even raw food. Does anyone have any info or additional websites on enzyme therapy in addition to a raw diet?
09-29-2005, 01:36 PM
Raw food has the exact perfect enzymes to digest itself. ONLY cooked food needs added enzymes to help digest it.
At least this is what I've read, and learned from the Raw food experts.
However, if you "feel" that you needed added enzymes, then by all means, follow your inner guidance.
Unfortunately, the enzymes contained within a plant are not necessarily the same as those contained within the human digestive tract, and therefore do not necessarily assist digestion of said foods - that is apparently a myth perpetuated (perhaps well-meaningly...) by many raw-food gurus.
Having said that, the molecular structure of raw food is often less condensed than that of cooked food, so it can still, sometimes, be easier to digest than cooked food. Then again, other foods, with tough cell walls, are arguably easier to digest once the bonds between their cells have been 'weakened' by heat (heat makes molecules vibrate). Either way, however, good fluid intake is essential for digestion (not necessarily while actually eating, since this can potentially dilute digestive juices etc.), so raw foods (not having had their water content driven out by heat) do score points in this regard.
One of the best ways to improve your digestive capabilities, other than food combining, is to regularly consume probiotic foods such as kefir and/or kombucha. They are often more potent than commercial products, and certainly more fresh. They also cost very little to produce at home.
Info on Kefir:
Info on Kombucha:
Info on both:
You can acquire starter cultures for either of these drinks simply by paying the postage for someone to send you some, via the world-wide database for each of them (just follow the links on the above pages to find the relevant databases). You can also acquire the necessary starter cultures by buying them, for a nominal sum, from eBay. Note that both Kefir (provided it is used with milk so that it has contact with lactose), and kombucha are self-perpetuating, if treated correctly, so your initial outlay (which will be very small, anyway) should never have to be repeated. Incredible value for incredible health benefits! :)
Commercial enzymes and probiotics are often poor value (although that is not to say that they are not valid).
10-01-2005, 05:22 PM
Many raw food fans elect to take supplemental enzymes to assist in the breakdown of certain plant starches and fibers that humans lack the necessary enzymes to digest. The starches in beans and grains for instance require alphagalactosidase and other such amylases to break them down, and the dense cellulose of plant fiber requires cellulase and hemicellulase. Lack of such enzymes in our body can lead to significant amounts of gas, especially if one already has poor digestive function due to low stomach acid, gall bladder removal, IBS, etc. Excess gas can lead to pain, discomfort, IBS and even bowel disease long term.
Humans over the years have learned to ferment foods (as well as mash, hammer, boil, cook, etc) in order to break down or predigest vegetable matter such that our bodies can better absorb the nutrients within them. COws, on the other hand, have a multi chambered stomach, wherein live a massive quanity of healthy bacteria that themselves digest the cellulose for the cow. THis is also why consuming fermented foods is so beneficial for humans. Healthy flora in our own gut serves us by fermenting fibers in the intestine, thereby helping us get the most from what we eat.
Getting a quality enzyme is of key importance, as is looking for one that has the particular enzymes you require. Be aware that there are many on the market that contain animal ingredients, so watch your labels.
10-03-2005, 03:31 AM
I was at a talk by Paul Nison today (author of the Raw Life) and he addressed the topic. He said that in a perfect world we would be able to get our produce directly from the tree in it's natural and ripe state. He said that after a piece of produce is picked it begins to lose it's enzymes, and the longer that we wait to eat the produce...such as produce in the supermarket...the more and more enzymes that die. He suggest that if we are not eating the freshest fruit and veggis possible, like within a day or a few of picking, then we should supplement with enzymes. He also suggest supplementation of probiotics as well.
Hope I helped :)
yeah it's my understanding that the 'enzyme theory' of rawfoods is actually a well meant myth...which is good because now we can move on, and get closer to the science behind why raw really DOES work so well!! (yay!)
one of the things i like about keifer is that you can make it with nut mylks, or coconut water... you don't need a goat or cow for it!!! yay vegans!!!
what Paul Nison said is pretty much on the money... how long has the food been outta the ground, off the tree? especially in the begining enzyme supplementation can be very benefical, the same with juicing... it's not something that needs to be done indeffinitly though... i do a round of it every few years or so...
10-03-2005, 11:57 AM
My children were sick when we began this journey over 6 weeks ago. So sick, in fact, that my oldest couldn't hold any solid food down for many days ( solid meant cooked/uncooked ).
I began having her take a probiotic and some enzymes. If she vomitted them, we had her take another round until they stayed down. After a few days, she could keep bits of RAW only food down....nothing cooked ( which, frankly, I found astounding ! ).
To this day, 6 weeks+ later, she can eat a totally raw meal and hold it down beautifully, but she's still having trouble with anything heavier. I just smile at her and say, "See, your body is trying to tell you something!!"
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