Enzymes and Healthy Aging

by Keri Berardinelli

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are energy-rich proteins that are naturally made in our bodies and control all metabolic processes from digestion to complex immune responses. In support of digestion, enzymes aid in the body’s ability to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, hence the term “digestive enzymes”. Digestive enzymes are found in saliva and the “pancreatic juice” that empties into the duodenum of the small intestine. They are absolutely vital for efficient digestion and cellular nutrition. Metabolic enzymes aid in all biochemical reactions of the body. They are essential for metabolism, immune and endocrine function, and detoxification. Its is important to remember that digestive enzymes are the building blocks of metabolic enzymes, so it is logical to begin supplementing digestive enzymes AND eating foods that are rich in enzymes, such as raw fruits and vegetables; especially because, as we age, enzyme production decreases. Enzyme production additionally decreases due to lifestyle. Stress, poor food quality, medications, toxin exposure, etc. all affect our body’s ability to produce an ample supply of enzymes.

The Basis for Healthy Aging

Healthy aging is dependent on cellular nutrition. Without proper cell nourishment, cells are prone to oxidation and death. Encompassing a healthy diet is the first step to proper cell nourishment. Consuming organic, whole foods that support your body type is the first step. The second step is to support a healthy diet with enzyme supplementation, which ensures efficient break-down of carbohydrates, starches, fats, and proteins. This whole process unlocks many valuable vitamins and minerals to support healthy cells, tissues, organs, and systems. In addition, cellular communication improves to allow for healing and rejuvenation to take place.

Raw Foods and Juicing

Raw foods are known for their abundant supply of enzymes, in addition, their copious amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Raw foods are essential for healthy aging as they protect the body from free radicals and cellular oxidation. Consuming more raw foods can have a beneficial action on digestion as it helps to reserve our own internal enzyme production. Nutrients are broken down without overly taxing our systems.

Juicing also has its share of benefits and fully supports healthy aging, as it provides our bodies with concentrated nutrition and hydration with very little calories. Raw juice is full of enzymes, soluble fibers, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Since raw juice lacks the insoluble fibers, it is preferable for sensitive individuals as the insoluble fibers present in raw foods can be difficult to digest.

Even when consuming raw foods, one can supplement with digestive enzymes. This will further assist with nutrient breakdown but will also support detoxification.

Healthy Aging in Essence

It’s inevitable that we will eventually age, but let’s age gracefully and with logic. I believe that most people want to look and feel amazing no matter what their age is.

Let’s embrace the fact that healthy aging begins with healthy food choices, nutrient density and nutrient acquisition for cellular support and rejuvenation. If we deny this basis, we will not be well-nourished nor will we have the energy to do the activities that we love. Enzyme supplementation, eating organic, whole foods that support your body type, including more raw foods into the diet (fruits, vegetables, raw fermented foods) and juicing are the fundamentals to healthy and graceful aging.

Cheers to Looking and Feeling Amazing!