Enzymes are proteins that serve as catalysts for certain chemical reactions. They help the human body properly digest food and break down molecules into smaller units so that the intestines can absorb all its nutrients. Enzymes occur naturally in several foods and eating them raw gives the body an ample supply to help properly digest food, maintain optimum condition of the internal organs, as well as fight cancer cells.
Sprouts are germinated forms of seeds and come in several types. The most common sprouts include mung bean sprouts, barley sprouts, chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts. Sprouts contain a high amount of enzymes and when compared to raw fruits and vegetables, they can give the body 100 times more enzymes. The best time to eat sprouts is when they have been freshly germinated, since that is the time when the enzymes are most concentrated. Sprouts contain lipase, amylase and protease. Lipase breaks down fats into smaller units, protease breaks down proteins, while amylase breaks down carbohydrates. They are essential enzymes in helping proper digestion and they also help in the overall wellness of the body.
Nuts and Seeds
Like bean sprouts, nuts and seeds contain lipase, amylase and protease. Common nuts and seeds include almonds, cashew nuts, chestnuts, barley, buckwheat, oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Most nuts and seeds contain a high amount if lipase. Eating nuts and seeds also help in maintaining the optimum performance of internal organs, as well as clearing arteries. Nuts and seeds should be eaten raw, since heat destroys the natural enzymes contained in them.
Fruits and Vegetables
The main enzyme that most fruits and vegetables contain is amylase. Cooking or heating vegetables and fruits destroys its enzymes, so it is advisable that people eat them raw. Some studies have also shown that eating raw fruits and vegetables add to the overall improvement of the digestive system. Aside from this, eating raw fruits and vegetables ensures that the body is getting all the nutrients contained in them.
Papaya and Pineapple
Papaya and pineapple are great sources of enzymes. Papaya is a tropical fruit that contains papain, which aids in breaking down proteins. The ideal papaya to eat is the green and raw one, since it contains the highest amount of papain and chymopapain. Pineapple is also a tropical fruit, and it contains an enzyme called bromelain that breaks down proteins and helps in fighting cancer cells.
While, most of these foods are better to eat raw for optimal enzyme absorption, here's a list of foods that have higher nutritional benefits when cooked.