Weight Loss Enzymes Improve Metabolism

Recent studies are showing that enzymes, such as protease, lipase and bromelain, may play an important role in weight loss. This has brought about an interesting holistic approach to weight loss that combines the use of enzyme supplements, vitamins and minerals, herbs and other homeopathies for helping people shed stubborn weight. Although I am not convinced that being overweight or obese can be completely explained by a lack of enzymes, focusing on ways to increase enzymes with improvements in diet can be very beneficial for someone who is trying to lose weight.

Eating raw foods provides your body with natural food enzymes that improve digestion.

Eating raw foods provides your body with natural food enzymes that improve digestion.

To begin to understand how enzymes may improve weight loss we need to go back to high school biology class for a moment (half of us just fell asleep…lol). Enzymes are, essentially, catalysts. What this means is that they help make chemical reactions go faster (kind of like adding dish soap (the catalyst) to your backyard slip ‘n slide). In the digestive system you can then imagine how important enzymes are for increasing the rate at which our bodies break down fats, proteins and other components of the foods we eat, otherwise known as metabolism. In fact, every metabolic reaction is started, maintained and ended by enzymes. Without enzymes we would have no metabolism at all.

There are three types of enzymes: digestive enzymes, food enzymes and metabolic enzymes. The two groups that are considered “weight loss enzymes” are digestive enzymes and food enzymes and their sole role is to breakdown the food we eat. Digestive enzymes are produced by our bodies, whereas food enzymes are present in the raw foods that we eat. Did you catch that? Yes, raw foods, and raw foods only. When you heat food, vegetables or meat, the natural food enzymes are broken down and rendered useless. So unless your diet includes consuming a large amount of raw foods then your body has to work overtime to produce digestive enzymes to pick up the slack. What this ultimately means is that the more your digestion relies on digestive enzymes to break down food, the more stress you put on your body’s systems and organs and the less time they have for rebuilding and replacing worn out and damaged cells and tissue and keeping the immune system strong.

OK, so now that we understand enzymes a bit and see how they can make us healthier or unhealthier as the case may be, let’s look at how they can affect weight loss. In terms of weight loss, the right enzyme supplements may make a large difference when combined with your other efforts. If you’re already eating a healthy diet that includes at least a couple servings of raw fruits and vegetables at each meal, and if you’ve incorporated daily exercise into your routine as well, then the enzymes can make all the difference to getting the extra weight off your body. For one thing, you’ll be a great deal healthier, meaning that your body’s systems will be running at their best and your immune system will be strong, but also it will mean that your metabolism will run at a higher level so that you’ll burn more and store fewer of the calories that you ingest.

There are three primary types of digestive enzymes responsible for breaking down the foods we eat: protease, lipase and amylase. Protease, as the name suggests, is the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down protein. Protease also helps the body to rid itself of toxins. Both of these functions are critical to ensuring that the body runs properly and can lose weight as effectively as possible and that you get the maximum nutritional benefit from the proteins that you eat. Lipase is an enzyme that can be found in many raw foods and is responsible for helping the body burn fat and process it into useable energy. This enzyme is lacking in the diets of many people who do not eat enough fresh raw vegetables. Thus, eating a better balanced diet can help to increase levels of lipase so that you can digest fats better and have an easier time losing weight. Finally, amylase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down carbohydrates.

When I first read about food and digestive enzymes I was confused how they can help one to lose weight because I figured if my body broke down fats and carbohydrates more efficiently then I would gain weight instead of losing. However, after doing more reading on the subject I see how backwards this thinking may be. What food and digestive enzymes do is help your body reap the most nutritional benefit from the foods you eat. Thus, your body will receive all the energy, vitamins, minerals, fats and sugars it needs from a minimal amount of food. However, if your diet lacks foods that naturally contain these enzymes your meals will have less nutritional value for your body. In this situation, your body becomes nutritionally depleted and your brain signals you to eat more food in an attempt to correct this problem. And around and around the cycle goes with you having to eat more and more to meet your body’s basic nutritional requirements.

Exploring how food and digestive enzymes may improve weight loss was a very interesting experience. Although I don’t think they are the be all, end all answer for losing weight I am sure they do play a role and much more research should be conducted in this field. If you are interested in exploring how these weight loss enzymes may improve your efforts to lose weight then my first suggestion would be to spend more time in the fruit and vegetable section of your grocery store. Try to eat at least two servings of raw fruits and vegetables a day and see if you notice an improvement in your weight loss. You can also take supplements if you don’t feel that your diet is providing you with a sufficient amount of these enzymes however don’t just go out and buy some to take without first consulting with your doctor, nutritionist or homeopath to find out the correct path for you.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Losing Weight on a Raw Food Diet“, “Foods that Boost Metabolism“, “Digestive Benefits of Papaya” and “Eating Ginger Promotes Weight Loss“.

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