Enzymes are special proteins that act as the life force in living beings. In both plants and animals, enzymes carry out all the activities of metabolism. Some enzymes from the plant or animal’s life are retained in uncooked food. When you eat this food, the enzymes can continue their activity.
One activity is to help digest the food itself!
- The raw avocado contains the enzyme lipase that breaks down the fat (lipids), in the avocado
- Unpasteurised milk contains lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the milk protein lactose. People with lactose intolerance lack the ability to produce enough lactase in their digestive system. They often cannot comfortably drink pasteurised milk, but can often drink unpasteruised milk which includes its own lactase. However, dairy from cows is not permitted on DBM Programs – we sometimes permit the use dairy from goats or sheep. Please check with your DBM Physician if this is permitted on your program.
- Raw beef contains the enzyme cathepsin. Beef that is aged is tenderised by the action of this enzyme – it ‘pre-digests’ the meat. Note, meat is not permitted on any DBM Programs – this list if provided for information purposes only.
Other foods contain enzymes that affect other foods.
- Raw pineapple contains protease enzymes that digest protein – make sure that when you eat the pineapple that you include the core, where the highest source of this enzyme is to be found.
- Raw papaya also contains protease enzymes. These enzymes are often used as tenderisers or marinades.
As we age, or under toxic conditions, our body’s ability to produce enzymes is compromised. Enzymes in food, or enzyme supplements, help take the pressure off our need to produce digestive enzymes. In particular, an overworked pancreas can be relieved.
As enzyme researcher Edward Howell put it, food enzymes add to our “enzyme potential.”
Consumed enzymes do indeed help our bodies in ways not thoroughly understood, but the case for their promoting health and alleviating disease has been well made.
High-enzyme foods are high-calorie, special superfoods such as those listed above that are also raw or never re-heated. The heating of food destroys its enzymes. Cooking, canning, pasteurization – all permanently deactivate any enzymes in food.
All foods that have ANY enzymes are raw. They are:
- Raw foods – these either totally raw or just slightly warmed and NOT heated beyond 118° C / 47.77° C
- Raw cultured or fermented foods
- Foods culture after cooking and NEVER re-heated. These foods contain enzymes from the fermentation process, not from the original food.
The foods in this list have especially high levels of enzymes.
See also: Sprouts and Enzymes: Food For Life