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What are Enzymes and Why are They Important to Me?

Enzymes are known to be the "Life-Force" and or "energy" of food. Enzymes in fresh and raw fruits and vegetables are released as we chew and immediately initiate digestion. This greatly reduces the demand placed on the body to produce its own digestive enzymes. Overall, enzymes are important because they assist in the digestion and absorption of food. If you eat food that is enzyme-less, your body will not get maximum utilization of the food. This causes toxicity in the body. Unless our food is digested properly, our body can't absorb the necessary nutrients needed to sustain optimum health. The enzymes present in foods that we eat are destroyed by the cooking and processing of food. That's why taking supplemental enzymes are so beneficial. They facilitate digestion and help alleviate gastrointestinal stress.

Enzymes are used for treating inflammations, infections and boosting the immune system and they improve blood flow. Those suffering from Lymphedema need to maintain their ideal weight with a well-balanced, low sodium, high-fiber diet. Lymphedema is a high protein edema, but eating too little protein will not reduce the protein element in the lymph fluid; rather, this may weaken the connective tissue and worsen the condition. The diet should contain easily digested protein such as chicken, fish or tofu.

Digestive Plant Enzymes:

  • Amylase - aids the digestion of carbohydrates and starches (fruit, vegetables, pasta, breads). Poorly digested carbohydrates ferment in the system, creating gas and discomfort.
  • Protease - digests proteins (red meats, fowl, fish, nuts). Poorly digested protein putrefies in the system, causing indigestion and toxicity.
  • Lipase - breaks down fats and assists in balancing fatty acids. Fats improperly digested turn rancid and create pungent odors and poor cholesterol balance.
  • Cellulase - breaks down the fiber found in vegetables and other plant material. Undigested fiber leaves a waxlike residue in the small intestine and adds to absorption maladies.
  • Lactase - breaks down the milk sugar lactose. If the body does not produce lactase, the lactose in dairy products can cause allergies.

If 75% of your diet does not contain raw or live foods, or if you show symptoms of lack of enzymes, enzyme supplements are recommended.


Papaya, pineapple, mango, sprouts and avocado are rich in enzymes
Pineapple has Bromelain - a proteolytic enzyme which has anti-inflammatory properties and aids in digestion.

Helping to properly balance the system for a healther you: Enzymes deliver nutrients, carry away toxic wastes, digest food, purify the blood, deliver hormones, balance cholesterol, feed the brain, balance the immune system, enhance mental capacity and help shed excess weight.

Your Vibrant Health
Eating live and raw, unprocessed foods - fruits and vegetables - assists in digestion because these foods contain naturally occuring digestive enzymes that take the load off of your digestive organs. Avoiding the foods you know you have difficulty with also helps. There is a difference between "live" foods and raw foods - they both contain enzymes. In living foods, the enzyme content is much higher. Raw, unsprouted nuts contain enzymes in a "dormant" state. To activate the enzymes contained in almonds, for example, soak them in water for as just 24 hours. Once the almonds begin to sprout, the enzymes become "active" and are then considered living. Incorporating exercise and stress reducing techniques into your everyday live will propel you into a long life of vibrant health.

Help your body work the way it was designed to work and be happy and healthy.

Click here to see the Enzymes that HOPE has available

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© 2012 HOPE Lymphedema Center, PLLC
Information on this site is for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.