Enzymes are very delicate proteins that are responsible for carrying out virtually every metabolic function, from the digestion of food to the synthesis of DNA. We have around 3000 unique enzymes in our bodies that are involved in over 7000 enzymatic reactions.
Simply put, your body can’t function optimally without enzymes. Unfortunately, the average diet is almost completely void of enzymes. Processed and cooked foods often completely destroy the enzyme content. If you have any health complications, chances are you could add more enzymes to your diet.
Papaya fruit is rich in proteolytic enzymes such as papain, which can greatly aid the digestive process. Papain has been deemed as one of the most effective at breaking down meat and other proteins into individual amino acids so that they can be used by the body for growth and repair.
Eat it on its own (not with a heavy, animal protein based meal), preferably 30 minutes before a meal.
Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. Among dozens of components known to exist in this crude extract, the best-studied components are protein-digesting enzymes called cysteine proteinases. These enzymes are not limited to just digestive benefits. They also help with excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth.
Like papaya, pineapple should also be eaten on its own, preferable 30 minutes before a meal.
3. Bee pollen
Bee pollen is often considered one of nature’s most complete foods. It contains nearly all the nutrients required by humans and has a broad spectrum of beneficial enzymes including amylase, catalase, cozymase, cytochrome, dehydrogenase, diaphorase, diastase, pectase, and phosphatase.
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Bee pollen can be eaten on its own or put in trail mixes, oatmeal, superfood snacks, and smoothies. Bee pollen can cause allergic type reactions, so be mindful of that when trying it for the first time.
4. Fermented vegetables
The fermentation process used to make sauerkraut and kimchi was developed centuries ago as a means of preserving vegetables for consumption through the winter months. The Roman army was said to have traveled with barrels of sauerkraut, using it to prevent intestinal infections among the troops during long excursions.
Fermented vegetables are an excellent dietary source of many nutrients, including LIVE enzymes (provided they have not been pasteurized in any way). These live enzymes are accompanied by beneficial probiotics, which makes an exceptional combination for an effective digestive process.
Fermented vegetables can be eaten on their own, but they also go great with any meal as a side. In fact, if you want to improve the digestion of any meal, you should strongly consider a side of fermented vegetables.
Other enzyme rich foods you can consider include melons, mango, kiwi, grapes, avocado, raw honey, kefir, wheat grass juice, and coconut water.