we continued our discussion of enzymes, digestion, and eight of the more frequently occurring medical problems related to digestive dysfunction. Interestingly, number nine is
If you review our two previous newsletters on our web site
, you will notice we consider digestion as the cornerstone of optimal health. Think about it this way. Your digestive tract is your body's primary way of interacting with the world around you. It's the only connection you have to take in nutrients and eliminate wastes.
Human cells have been shown to be virtually immortal when kept under laboratory conditions with adequate nutrients available and waste products being totally removed. This one fact, in and of itself, supplies the most important clue for a long, healthy life with maximal physical and mental functionality. Get the proper nutrients in and get the wastes out.
When problems with digestion begin, your body uses its powerful immune system's enzyme potential to help. This works temporarily, but if the problem continues for too long, even your immune system will begin to falter. When this occurs you will begin to develop symptoms somewhere depending upon your weakest link or links.
The multitude of problems directly related to a weak or dysfunctional immune system are too numerous to list, but include everything that is at the top of the list of the major health problems in this country. These include cardiovascular problems, cancers, chronic degenerative conditions as well as most everything else.
Improperly digested foods also create an overload to your organs and systems that are used to detoxify and eliminate wastes. Besides getting the proper fuel to the engine (your cells), you have to get the waste products from those cellular engines out of there.
Your liver, kidneys, large intestines, lungs, sinuses, and skin serve as the major components of your exhaust system. When any part of that system becomes overloaded another part has to try to make up the difference. This explains one of the major causes for bowel, sinus, and skin problems.
This brings us to the tenth most commonly occurring problem for which standard medical science has no cure.
Airborne allergies and, also, asthma respond very well to minimizing simple sugars in your diet and improving sugar digestion and metabolism. Sugars, especially simple sugars, are inflammatory. The effects of airborne allergies, such as stuffiness, congestion, and runny nose, etc., are all results of your body's response to inflammation.
It is most difficult to watch TV without seeing at least one commercial for a prescription or over-the-counter medication for allergies. All of them, however, have a list of side effects.
By eliminating refined simple sugars and processed carbohydrates from your diet, you will discover a significant reduction in your allergies. With children we have never failed to see improvements after eliminating milk, and anything made with it, as well as white sugar and white flour and anything made with them.
Food allergies are a little more difficult to identify. Consider, if you will, food(s) being incompletely broken down in your stomach and small intestines. When these partially digested food particles are absorbed into your blood stream from your digestive tract, your immune system checks them over just as it does everything that enters its domain.
Because what it finds is more complex than what is supposed to be there, your immune system does not recognize and accept it. That can mean only one thing to your primary protective system. It tags it as a foreign invader so that it can be attacked and eliminated. The result is an inflammatory condition called a food allergy. Improve digestion and you eliminate food allergies.
We recommend a one-week cleansing fast. This was described in our Jan./Feb., 2001 Newsletter
After completing this one-week cleanse, one food at a time is re-introduced into your diet. You can monitor yourself for any symptoms but we prefer to use your pulse as an indication of whether you are responding negatively to particular foods or not. This technique will be discussed in greater detail later.
contain the highest amount of naturally occurring enzymes. As you know so clearly by now, the more enzymes in your foods, the less your body has to work to digest those foods completely.
Cooked foods can require more than 50% of your energy to digest. Uncooked, living, organic foods take about 10% of your energy to digest.
This is one of the primary reasons why people feel tired and want to sleep after a cooked meal. It is normal to feel light and full of energy after a meal of raw foods. In addition, you cannot gain or retain excess weight on a raw food diet.
The more thoroughly you digest your food the less stress on your immune system. The higher your enzyme potential, the healthier you will be and the better and longer your body will optimally function.
With today's modern farming system, food handling network, and supermarkets, you can be very sure that the food you buy in the grocery store has considerably more chemical contamination, radiation and genetic alteration, less nutritional value, and almost no enzymes compared to what you could grow organically yourself. In our fast-paced society few of us have the space or time to grow our own food. There are other options.
When foods are cooked, even the freshest, most organically grown foods, at least half of the nutritional value is lost. Oxygen and enzymes are destroyed first. Vitamin C, B vitamins, some proteins, and even some minerals also fall victim to the excessive heat usually used in food preparation.
If you currently have severe health problems, you will want to concentrate most on the first several suggestions that follow. As your health improves you will find that you have more leeway in your dietary selections. As a general guideline, the closer you stay to 60 to 80 percent of your daily choices from the first couple of recommendations, the