In biology we can define a living or non-living thing by enzyme activity. Enzymes are made up of proteins and are responsible for thousands of biochemical reactions within the body. They provide a lock and key system in the body but all with very specific jobs. There are digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes that are responsible for digesting foods, energy production, purifying blood, reducing free radical damage, strengthening the immune system, and ridding the body of waste and toxins amongst other jobs. A lack of enzymes means certain digestive and metabolic reactions cannot take place and therefore challenge the body, eventually leading to illness and disease.
Enzymes start to die at approximately 105˚F/ 40 ˚C but all are destroyed by 130˚ F/ 55 ˚C. Killing enzymes extends a foods shelf life but works the body far harder than it should. For this reason, leading health authorities agree that all diets should include far more raw living foods.
Digestive organs such as the pancreas and liver produce some of the body’s digestive enzymes, while the remainder should come from uncooked foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, raw sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, and for animals only, raw meat.
One of America’s pioneering bio-chemists and nutrition researchers Dr. Edward Howell, in his book Enzyme Nutrition, cites numerous animal studies showing that animals fed diets that are deficient in enzymes suffer from enlargement of the pancreas, as huge amounts of pancreatic enzymes are squandered in digesting foods that are devoid of natural enzymes. The result of this wasteful outpouring of pancreatic digestive enzymes is a decrease in the supply of crucial metabolic enzymes and impaired health.
Phytonutrients are found in vegetables, fruits and other plant materials often giving them their colour. They are often destroyed when processed at high levels. Phytonutrients have been shown to be key to sustain life and offer protective and disease-preventative compounds. For example blueberries offer bioflavonoid compounds called proanthocyanidins. These compounds offer antioxidant activity in the body and support collagen formation and capillary strength.
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in food that can prevent or slow down the oxidative damage to the body. When the body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) that can cause damage to tissue. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage caused. Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, and cancer are all contributed by oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.
Superfood is a term used to indicate the high nutritional value of certain foods. All foods offer value in varying degrees but certain foods offer exceptional nutritional compounds such as antioxidants and phytonutrients. Examples of such foods are salmon, broccoli, pre sprouted barley, quinoa, garlic, apples, and flaxseeds.
Chlorophyll is the substance in a plant that makes it green. Adding green leafy vegetables to a diet helps add chlorophyll. This green substance is full of important, healing nutrients that revive the body with oxygen for optimum health. When taking chlorophyll, the hemoglobin count is elevated and as a result, circulation improves and there is an increase in energy. It also enriches the blood with special nutrients that build iron. It is life’s natural detoxifier, helping the liver cleanse of waste, heavy metals and toxins. Ultimately chlorophyll can help with many problems, can be a breath freshener and odour neutraliser.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids are important to both humans and animals and without them we suffer ill health. They are responsible for the ‘phospholipid layer’ of each cell attributing to its integrity and many bodily functions. Therefore they support muscle mass, strong bones and teeth, nourish mucus membranes, skin, coat and digestion, as well as supporting the nervous and cardiovascular system and glands such as the thyroid and adrenals. Fatty acids regulate the healing process in the body, reducing inflammation and therefore crucial for immunity. Essential omega 3 fatty acids important to cats and dogs for example are EPA, DHA and ALA, famously derived from fish and flaxseed oil.