Empower your Plate with Enzymes

It's time to "Empower" your plate with nature's SECRET! Take charge of what you eat and how it affects your body! Think about how you feel when you eat healthy, delicious food versus when you "splurge" and eat not-so-healthy foods. During the summer months, supercharge your plate with some of the most plentiful foods around, during the time of year when it's at the peak of freshness; living foods are power-packed with endless nutritional benefits. A great way to get started is to add fresh fruit and salad to your meals whenever possible, but the real advantage will be to add greens to your breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Here's the SECRET: enzymes.

You can find loads of enzymes in a variety of greens and one easy way to add them to your diet is to simply juice them. I've literally juiced pounds of greens and had a salad in a glass~the trick is to add a couple of apples to sweeten the deal. My typical juicing recipe includes: cucumber, green pepper, kale, romaine, spinach, celery and apples! According to Rose Lee Calabro in her book, Living in the Raw, (Book Pub Co 2003), "Enzymes (found in uncooked food) are protein catalysts that have to be present for life to exist. They perform a multitude of functions in the body, both metabolic and digestive. For example, if the enzyme was compared to a skilled worker who has been trained very well to perform a specific task, without him, all work stops. Enzymes play a vital role in the digestion, assimilation and elimination of food and its by-products.

Without enzymes, human life as we know it is not possible. And the more enzymes (in fresh living food) there are, the healthier we are." Let's say you're having lunch with one of your friends and you choose a cooked entree from the menu and she chooses a salad.

Within minutes after you start eating, an increasing number of enzymes appear in your friend's digestive system, especially in her stomach and upper small intestine. These enzymes play the very important role of breaking down food. You may be asking yourself, "Where did the enzymes come from?" According to Calabro's research, there are two possible sources: 1.Those in the food 2.

Those provided by the body. "Since the cooked meal has zero enzymes, all of the enzymes for digestion have to be borrowed from the body's cells.This borrowing of enzymes also drains the body of its enzyme reserve.

At birth, we are given a supply of enzymes, and they are not naturally replenished. Many of the maladies we associate with aging are actually symptoms of a diminishing enzyme reserve. Eating enzyme-rich living foods get your body off the hook for that particular meal, letting the foods essentially digest themselves," Calabro says. Remember that some of these borrowed (from the body's existing) enzymes are not "experts" in digestion--they were actually trained for other roles in the body. This, according to Calabro, creates two problems: 1.

Your meal will be incompletely digested, which means you won't get all the nutrition possible 2. The original task of those enzymes won't be completed. (disease prevention/healing, anti-aging). Perhaps the most extensive research on the effect that (living) food enzymes have on our health was conducted by Dr. Edward Howell, and documented in his easy-to-read book, Enzyme Nutrition (Avery Publishing Group 1985). He found that people eating a lifetime of low-enzyme foods eventually drained their enzyme supply and became prone to: digestive problems premature aging mineral and vitamin deficiencies blood sugar imbalances allergies, frequent illnesses problems with their weight osteoporosis heart and circulatory diseases various forms of cancer The good news, he also found that you could rebuild your enzyme supply by eating foods high in enzymes (raw living foods).

You have to hand it to Mother Nature, she's always looking out for us, giving us everything we need for our optimum health and wellness. Go ahead, get empowered, give fresh raw food a try! Copyright (c) 2008 Beth Aldrich.

Beth Aldrich, mother of three, is an Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach, writer and public speaker, . She is the publisher of, , the online magazine for women and is the host of the Seattle and online radio show, A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich. Her favorite treat is chocolate cream pie!

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