Enzymes, Water and The Digestive System
To digest means "to change something so it can be absorbed". The word has a Latin derivation which means "to dissolve, or separate apart".
The gastrointestinal tract is a long muscular tube that processes food for the human body by contracting in a controlled rhythm to move food through the body to the stomach. The prefix gastro is Greek and means stomach. Intestinal is of Latin derivation and means "inside" or "within" and "tract" means "system of related parts". The gastrointestinal tract is part of a system of related parts which also includes the following organs:
Mouth - Food is broken down by chewing, and by enzymes. Enzymes come both from the food you eat and from saliva in the mouth. More about enzymes later.
Stomach - The stomach makes acids as well as enzymes which help to break down and convert the food into something the body can use.
Gall Bladder - The gall bladder makes "bile" which helps to break down oils and fats.
Pancreas - The pancreas releases enzymes and other substances which help control the acids in the stomach.
Small Intestine - The small intestine breaks down protein by use of good bacteria and enzymes. Enzymes from the stomach and pancreas have already broken down some of the protein and nutrients and at this point it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the wall of the small intestine.
Large Intestine - The large intestine takes everything the body cannot use and prepares it as waste to leave the body. The colon is part of the large intestine. This is where inferior quality vitamins end up, unused as waste.
Enzymes are what the body uses to break down food items so we can benefit from them. Without enzymes, no food would get broken down or absorbed into the bloodstream. It is the bloodstream that carries nutrients to every single cell in the body and the nutrients are the only thing that keeps the cells alive. By observing the food cycle, one can see the importance of enzymes. The food cycle starts with nature which collects a select group of minerals and nutrients from the earth and forms or grows a food (apple, nut, etc). The food is then eaten in its new form and goes into the body. To be of use to the body, the food needs to then be completely broken back down to the way it was before nature turned it into a food item. This includes animal products, which ate the fruit or vegetable, which you then eat. Everything needs to be brought back to its original state of singular nutrients after entering the body and enzymes and good bacteria do this. You can observe from this concept why a "man made" food chemical is a completely foreign substance to the body and can cause harm to it. For one, it is not a select group of nutrients from the earth. It was not "grown or produced" naturally. It is therefore not a "nutrient" and is not only useless but toxic to the body which is only confused by its foreignness. Enzymes are sort of the "key" to getting all our nutrients back out of the food we eat. Without this "key" our bodies would not be able to live. All food would be useless without the enzymes needed to break it down and absorb its nutrients.
Enzymes come from fruit, vegetables, fish and meat in their raw state. They work with the digestive system by breaking down the food. There are 7 different types of enzymes with different names and jobs. They are as follows:
Protease - breaks down proteins
Lipase - breaks down fats and oils
Amylase - breaks down starch and sugar
Lactase - breaks down dairy products
Cellulase - breaks down vegetables and cellulose material
Bromelain and Papain are general and both break down many foods.
Please notice there is no enzyme here which breaks down substances created in a laboratory, preservatives, etc. These substances are foreign matter and a liability to the body.
Enzymes are also produced in the stomach and pancreas; however, ill health and aging decrease a person's ability to make enzymes. The presence of enzymes in young adults is 30 times greater than that of older individuals. Enzymes are essential to the body's absorption and full use of food. Many scientists believe that humans could, and indeed would, live longer if they maintained adequate enzyme supply. Longevity and health are determined by the enzyme quantity in your body.
Enzymes are responsible for every activity of life. Even thinking requires enzyme activity.
Without proper enzyme production, the body has a difficult time digesting food, often resulting in a variety of chronic disorders such as the following:
Symptoms of Digestive System Trouble
There are five basic symptoms indicating digestive trouble. These symptoms are generally associated with having eaten a food without any enzymes which is indigestible, or having eaten a food which is unnatural and toxic to your body. It is critical that anyone suffering from serious digestive system trouble works closely with a physician to test for the more developed digestive system diseases. Choose a physician who is well versed in nutrition and will not prescribe a drug in place of finding the real solution.
Nausea and vomiting
can vary between a squeamish feeling in the stomach to the violent action of immediate vomiting. Patients with nausea and vomiting symptoms should assume the ingestion of a reactive food (i.e., food containing toxins) or poisoning from harmful bacteria. Vomiting immediately after eating starts with excessive watery salivation.
Bloating can result from excessive gas in the digestive system, failure of the digestive tract to contract and thus move food through the system, a lack of sufficient quantities of digestive enzymes or acids to break down the food, and/or a shortage of good bacteria in the system. Intestinal gas results from food fermentation and from swallowing air while eating. Food fermentation occurs when food is neither broken down by enzymes and bacteria, nor moved through the tract and therefore sits there in your system slowly fermenting at 98.6 degrees. The bloating from intestinal gas is different from that which occurs in the colon. Supplementing good bacteria, taking enzymes, and drinking pure water can help both.
Constipation is the decreased frequency or slowing of digestive contractions resulting in harder stools. When the digestive tract is slowed down, feces can accumulate in the colon resulting in pain and toxic reactions. A "spastic colon" results when the colon contracts out of frequency in painful spasms blocking movement of the stool. Some patients experience painful days of constipation followed by forceful diarrhea and watery stool often accompanied with abdominal cramps. Constipation also occurs when there is not sufficient water in the body and the stool becomes dry and hard. Good bacteria and pure water are needed long term to correct this situation. Magnesium will help to relieve constipation while you are correcting your diet.
Diarrhea is the increased frequency of bowel movement resulting in stool that is loose or watery. It is usually also a symptom of digestive trouble.
Abdominal pain -
Cramping occurs because of muscle spasms in the abdominal organs. Severe cramping pain, often called colic, usually occurs from eating a food to which the person is allergic. Abdominal cramping near the navel is from the small intestine and the pain is associated with the colon.
The answer to all of the above is substitution of raw food for cooked as much as possible. By eating foods with their enzymes intact and by supplementing cooked foods with enzyme capsules, we can stop the abnormal, disease-causing aging processes. Foods such as raw milk, raw butter, all raw fruits and vegetables, and other natural foods are very rich in enzymes. Enzyme supplements should be taken with cooked food because the heat from cooking kills them. Eating a salad with the cooked food also helps add digestive enzymes to the meal.
Water helps clean the stomach and helps digestion. Other fluids do not replace water as a digestive aid. Anything added to the water at all changes the function it has in the stomach.
Drinking water between your meals cleans the stomach of the small trapped food pieces and gives it a rest so it can stop producing acids. Water also helps to clean the digestive tract of small pieces of food. Enzymes, water, and good bacteria all work together to maintain optimum digestion, nutrient absorption and health.
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The information in this site is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
In the event the reader uses the information for his own health, he is in fact prescribing for himself, which is his own constitutional right, for which the author assumes no responsibility.
If you suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor.
If you have questions as to the application of this information to your own health,
you are advised to consult a qualified health professional.
© 2000 by
Peter Gillham All rights reserved
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