What are enzymes?
Enzymes are the driving force behind all the processes of life. They perform all the biochemical reactions in your body. There are many different kinds of enzymes depending on which part of the body they are located and each enzyme’s specific function.
Enzymes fall into one of 3 categories:
- Food Enzymes – found in all raw foods
- Digestive Enzymes – made by the body for the purpose of digesting food
- Metabolic Enzymes – required for all biochemical reactions in the body
How do enzymes work?
Plant enzymes contain the exact combination and ratio of enzymes needed to digest the plant. Enzymes in raw foods are used to ripen and digest the food. The enzymes are activated by cutting or chewing the plant. Raw foods inherently come with enzymes so your body doesn’t have to do so much work making the enzymes it needs to digest the food.
There are 4 main types of food enzymes
Protease breaks down proteins (meat, eggs, fish, cheese, etc)
Lipase breaks down fats (avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds)
Amylase breaks down starchy foods (grains, fruits, potatoes, winter squash, pasta, bread, etc)
Cellulase breaks down fiber (grains, some fruits, vegetables) (cellulase is not found in humans and has to be obtained from food)
I eat a healthy diet, do I still need enzymes?
Unless you eat a mostly raw, plant-based diet, you could benefit from supplemental digestive enzymes. Unlike enzymes from animal sources, plant-based enzymes do not supplant your body’s ability to make enzymes. Supplemental plant-based enzymes reduce the workload and stress on your digestive system.
How do I know if I need enzymes?
How do I know which enzymes I need to take?
How long will I have to take enzyme supplements?
In addition, diet modifications may need to be made and closely following those recommendations will also affect the time needed to correct an imbalance.
Not all enzymes are created equal.
Some enzymes are animal-based, some are plant-based; the functions performed by various food enzymes; and the quality of the supplement all need to be considered when making a decision about which product to take.
Plant-based food enzymes support the body’s natural process of making enzymes without supplanting the body’s ability to make its own enzymes. Animal enzymes are much stronger, alleviating the body of its need to make enzymes.
Food enzymes with the pHBS (pH balancing system) symbol allow the enzymes to work within a pH range that is able to deliver nutrients to your body whether or not you can digest them, making nutrients more bioavailable.