Friday, May 22, 2009

For the Love of Enzymes

Today was one of those days when I just really wanted to make a soup out of what was in the house. So I sauted onions, garlic, and ramps in a huge dollop of home-made butter and some olive oil, then added carrots and celery and cooked a bit more. I then added the various bits of stock I had in my fridge (beef and chicken) and some fresh thyme and oregano and salt and cooked till the veggies were softened. Then I pureed it up in the pot and added some arrowroot powder dissolved in warm stock and a large cup of fresh raw cream. I heated it a little more and served. It was very tasty and nourishing.

I've been reading a lot about enzymes lately and have been reminded of their importance to our health. Since reading Nourishing Tradtions I've made it a habit to start each meal with an enzyme-rich food. For breakfast it's yogurt, for lunch it's home-made raw sauerkraut or pickles or a mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard condiment. For dinner I always have salad with raw vinegar, beet kvass and olive oil and often I add avocado.

All of those foods/condiments are rich in enzymes when prepared properly (raw yogurt, cold-pressed olive oil and avocado are full of enzymes naturally, the other foods I ferment with whey so they are enzyme super-foods).

Because the Western diet is pretty much all cooked-foods, it is basically devoid of enzymes. Our body produces enzymes but apparently we have a limited potential for the amount that can be produced. But everytime we eat these completely cooked meals we are relying on our body's enzymes to digest the food. This puts an undue burden on our pancreas (where enzymes are assembled). However, if we eat foods rich in enzymes then digestion can be initiated even before we put the food in our mouth. And after the food enters our bellies it sits there for awhile before it is passed to the lower part of our stomach. During this time the food could be getting broken down by food enzymes or it could just be sitting there, putrefying (ew). It has been said that life span is inversely proportionate to the amount of enzymes the body needs to produce. So, use those food enzymes, make them do the work and let your body rest a bit.

By the way, this I think was one of the wonderfully beneficial aspects of the raw milk diet. Raw milk is chock-full of enzymes so it is digested wonderfully efficiently by the body, allowing healing to occur.

No comments:

Post a Comment