Raw Food Detox Diet: The Enzyme Miracle

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Raw Food Diet: The Power of 'Metabolic' Enzymes to Help You Lose Weight!

Plus The Raw Food Detox Diet: Lose up to 10 lbs every week (Meal Plan)

Digestive enzymes, the ones most people think of when they hear the word 'enzyme', are responsible for bringing together digestive agents and food so that the food can be broken down into the tiny particles that are best absorbed by the gut without excess gas or discomfort.

But there's a larger class of enzymes called metabolic enzymes that's critical to alleviating tiredness, burning fat and optimizing health. These are the brokers that minimize our risk of heart disease and diabetes by creating reactions that lead to clear arteries and balanced blood sugar. They help keep our skin glowing, our hair shiny and our joints limber.

It's the interrelationship between digestive and metabolic enzymes that has baffled the medical community for decades. Although the two types of enzymes function to aid very different bodily functions, they are both produced by the same organs- the pancreas and the liver. When our bodies don't have enough digestive enzymes, these organs switch from creating metabolic enzymes- because they can't let food 'just sit there'- to making sure there are enough digestive enzymes to break down food. So things like converting fat into energy have to wait.

And there's another metabolic cost to the manufacture of digestive enzymes. Because the pancreas and liver need energy to produce enzymes, the resulting drain renders these organs temporarily unable to perform their functions of detoxification, blood sugar control and fat burning, says Joseph Brasco, M.D., gastroenterologist at The Center for Colon & Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, Alabama. The short-term impact: We feel tired, pack on fat and may suffer from mood swings. The long term-effect: We're more likely to get heart disease and other major illnesses.

The bottom line: As we age, our enzymes 'wear out' and at the same time our pancreas and liver lose their capacity for manufacturing new enzymes. That double-whammy creates 'enzyme exhaustion', which affects 80 percent of women over the age of 35. Luckily, eating more raw foods or supplementing can restore enzyme levels- and a speedy, efficient metabolism.

4 Ways to Flood your body with Fat Burning Enzymes

When eating enzyme-rich raw foods, there's no need to count calories- the enzymes will do the weight loss for you, says raw food expert Ellen W. Cutler, coauthor of MicroMiracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes.

And the more enzymes you consume, the faster the weight will melt off since your body's fat- burning systems become more efficient.

Easy ways to up your enzyme levels:

1. Chew each bite 20 times.
This strategy gives food longer exposure to salivary enzymes like lingual lipase (which starts breaking down fat), experts at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine report. As a result, less undigested food goes to the gut, says Cutler. This reduces the strain on the pancreas and liver since fewer digestive enzymes need to be recruited to complete the digestion of that food.

2. Fill up on fresh fruit in the morning.

The body's inclination to metabolize fat and convert blood sugar into energy peaks from 6 A.M. to noon, say experts at Stanford University School of Medicine. Eating foods that are difficult to digest can derail the detoxing, but a breakfast of fruit can be ideal. Why? Fruit is easily digested, so the body doesn't require many stored enzymes to process it, Cutler says. Plus, it's rich in dietary enzymes that can be used later in the day.

3. Eat a raw salad before cooked meals.
Enjoying a cup of raw salad as an appetizer daily can kick-start weight loss in as little as a week, preliminary UCLA research suggests. And that holds true no matter which eating plan you follow. Raw salad has enzymes to digest cooked foods, so blood sugar can stabilize and hunger pangs can be prevented, says Joseph Brasco, M.D., coauthor of Restoring Your Digestive Health.

4. Sip veggie juice in the afternoon.

Vegetable juice is rich in helpful plant enzymes. The fiber has been removed, so enzymes can quickly break down undigested food, explains Natalie Rose, author of The Raw Food Detox Diet. Plus, studies suggest the P.M. is the ideal time to sip to prevent cravings.

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The Raw Food Detox Diet: Lose up to 10 lbs every week

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