Enzymes hold the key to efficient metabolic processes and the body's expenditure of energy. Without enzymes, we would not be able to absorb nutrients. There are 45 known essential nutrients (which the body cannot synthesize internally) that are needed in certain amounts in order for the body to function properly. In addition to carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and water, there are at least 13 vitamins and 20 minerals needed for proper metabolic function. (1)
Once consumed, foods must be broken down via digestion into a state in which their nutrients can be easily absorbed and transported by the blood through the body. Our cells are programmed to direct certain nutrients to combine with each other, creating chemical reactions and by-products that are used to repair the body's cells, bones, tissues and organs. (1)
And without enzymes, these essential metabolic processes cannot occur and the human body cannot maintain an optimal health. Each of this metabolic actions–from start to finish–are controlled by enzymes. (2)
While certain digestive enzymes are created internally by the body, food enzymes exist naturally in raw foods but are destroyed during the cooking process. Both types are enzymes serve the same purpose: to break down nutrients to the point that they can be absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. (2)
Because many foods like proteins do not contain live food enzymes, they must rely on the body's own enzymes to be digested, which puts additional stress on our bodily systems and organs, which as a result, less time is spent replacing damaged cells and keeping our bodies strong. In fact, 80% of our body's energy is expended by the digestive process. (3) If you are under stress, sick, pregnant or living in extreme climates for example, you body would require an enormous amount of enzymes. And because all of our metabolic systems run by enzyme action, supplementing our bodies with additional enzymes can be highly beneficial to over all health. (4)
Enzyme Rich Food Sources (5)
Bee Pollen: Bee Pollen is considered one of the most "complete" foods found in nature, containing nearly all nutrients required by humans along with a broad range of enzymes including amylase, catalase, cozymase, cytochrome, dehydrogenase, diaphorase, diastase, pectase, and phosphatase.
Papaya: Papaya contains proteolytic enzymes which are most effective at breaking down meats and proteins. Since papaya is rich in natural sugars, it is best to eat it on its own about 15-30 minutes prior to protein-rich meal.
Pineapple: Pineapple contains a complex mixture of enzymes, the most noteworthy of which is called cysteine proteinases, which aids in the digestion of proteins. But these enzymes are not just limited to food, they help reduce inflammation and excessive blood coagulation and certain tumor growths.
Fermented Vegetables: the fermentation process creates an excellent source of live enzymes.