The High Enzyme Diet
We have seen how enzymes control all human life. Everything we do, whether it is moving our hands, or using the brain, depends on enzymes. Also, the body is equipped to maintain homeostasis (balance). A cut healing is just an example of the body returning to homeostasis. In this sense, the body always works to respond sensitively to any abnormality and tries to return to its original health and normal conditions. What helps the body regulate homeostasis? Enzymes. If abnormalities occur once in a while, the body will be able to adjust to them. However, if the abnormalities are repeated or became chronic, source enzymes get exhausted, collapsing the internal balance of the body’s enzymes. This is why leading a well-regulated diet means preventing the excess consumption of source enzymes.
In this blog we will look at the High Enzyme Diet. We will see how many diseases deemed as caused by old age are actually caused by lifestyle choices, specifically by a diet that exhausts our source enzymes. We will also see how the products from the ‘Healthy Heart Club’, rich in enzymes, minerals and amino acids are the perfect addition to a high enzyme diet.
Not only there is a correlation between diet and adult illnesses like Crohn’s disease, connective tissue disease, and cancer, but also heart disease, hypertension and high cholesterol, liver disease, diabetes, and the list goes on. Dr. Hiromi believes we can strengthen our gastrointestinal system, and thereby our overall health, by following a diet high in enzymes that avoids exhausting our source enzymes and thus prevents many of these diseases.
The diet that Dr. Hiromi recommends and the one he practices is a very simple diet of fresh foods. His day starts every morning with 2-3 cups of good water at 70 degrees F, 20 minutes after drinking the water he eats fresh fruit rich in enzymes. Fruits prepare the way for breakfast 30 minutes later and help the functions of the gastrointestinal system, raising the blood sugar level, thus preventing overeating. For breakfast he has brown rice mixed with 5-7 types of grains, with a side dish of steamed vegetables, natto, dried seaweed and a handful of reconstituted wakame seaweed.
After 11:00 a.m. he drinks two more cups of water, followed by some fresh fruit 30 minutes later. For lunch he recommends eating something that has not been cooked like a salad. A main course consists of animal proteins like fish or meat and some vegetables that have been blanched or steamed for no more than two minutes.
Around 4:30 he drinks two more cups of water, then after 30 minutes he eats some more fresh fruit before eating dinner. Supper should not be finished after 6:00 or 6:30 and he recommends going to sleep on an empty stomach.
In general, he recommends a diet consisting of fresh foods. The fresher the foods are, the more enzymes they contain: Fresh vegetables, sea vegetables, fruits and fish, whole grains and beans. Sea vegetables are a great source of fiber. Insoluble dietary fibers that are indigestible absorb water in the intestines, adding bulk to the intestinal walls and accelerating peristaltic movement. In this way, they prevent the accumulation of toxins in the colon.
The enzymes present in this high enzyme diet can later be transformed into the 3,000 enzymes the body needs to function. Processed foods, on the contrary, are mainly dead foods that contain no enzymes and cannot be digested, therefore should be avoided.
The foods we chose have to be as fresh as possible because, apart from containing many enzymes, they are not oxidized. Oxidation occurs when oxygen bonds to matter and rusts, free radicals are then created when these oxidized foods enter the body. While free radicals in small amounts have important roles like killing viruses, bacteria, molds and suppress infections, when the numbers increase above a certain level, the cell membranes and DNA of normal cells start to be destroyed. When the number of free radicals is too high our body is equipped to neutralize them with antioxidant enzymes, like SOD (superoxide dismutase). However, after the age of 40 the levels of this enzyme decreases. When this happens, it is the source enzymes that battle free radicals, if they are available. If they are scarce, they cannot prevent the health damage caused by free radicals. Eating fresh food rich in enzymes, will limit the number of free radicals and will limit the depletion of source enzymes in the body. Foods to avoid in the high enzyme diet will be detailed next.
Processed milk is oxidized fat
Before being processed, milk contains many good elements. Enzymes like lactase which breaks down own lactose, lipase, which breaks down fats and protease which breaks down protein. Milk in its natural state also contains lactoferrin, known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and immune regulatory effects. When milk is homogenized, the fat bonds with oxygen, changing it into hydrogenated fat (oxidized fat). Dr, Hiromi has observed that oxidized fat damages the intestinal environment, increasing the amount of bad bacteria and destroying the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora. As a result, toxins such as free radicals, hydrogen sulfides, and ammonia are produced in the intestine.
Apart from this process of homogenization, milk is pasteurized and this heats the milk at a temperature that destroys the enzymes. Enzymes begin to breakdown at 118.4 degrees F and are completely destroyed at 239 F. This heating also increases the amount of oxidized fat, changes the quality of proteins and destroys lactoferrin.
Dr. Hiromi does not recommend drinking milk even if its raw fresh milk in excess for the following reasons:
- It can deteriorate the intestines, causing constipation and stagnant stools, diverticulitis (pocket-like cavities) on the intestinal walls where toxins and stagnant stools can accumulate causing polyps and cancer.
- One of the biggest misconceptions about milk is that it helps prevent osteoporosis. It is believed that the calcium in milk is better absorbed than the calcium in other foods like small fish. However, he explains that when we drink milk the calcium concentration in our blood suddenly rises (it is normally fixed at 9-10 mg). The body then tries to return this abnormal level back to normal by excreting calcium from the kidneys through urine, ironically decreasing the overall level of calcium in the body. Dr. Hiromi has observed that the countries with the highest milk consumption, have the highest rates of hip fractures and osteoporosis. For these reasons, he recommends small fish, shrimp and seaweed instead because in these foods the calcium is not so quickly absorbed that causes a rapid increase in blood calcium.
What kind of meats?
Dr. Hiromi recommends eating only meats of animals with a body temperature lower than our own. Meats like beef and chicken whose body temperature is higher than ours will cause their fat to solidify in the human bloodstream. Fish, on the contrary, is better because fish oil liquefies in our body and even flushes out the arteries instead of clogging them. He also recommends plants oils like olive, animal fats like butter, lard, fat from meat and fish oil. Fish oil in particular he recommends because it is good for the brain. High blood levels of DHA found in fish oil has been linked to mathematical and other mental abilities. It also has been postulated that DHA lessens the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lowers triglycerides and the incidence of blood clots.
Create an enzyme surplus in the body
Apart from eating the right kind of foods, Dr. Hiromi explains there are many things we can do to conserve our body’s enzymes. Some of these things are:
- Chewing food properly. Chewing is one of the simplest things one can do for health. The human body is built in such a way that the salivary glands secrete more saliva the more one chews. Saliva has digestive enzymes that when mixed with food, improve digestion and absorption, and as the contents of the mouth get mixed with stomach acid and bile the digestive process proceeds smoothly. Hiromi recommends chewing each mouthful at least 30-50 times. Food that is so soft that doesn’t require much chewing can encourage overeating and maldigestion, because it does not stay in the mouth long enough to allow enzymes to be mixed in. This is the case of cooked oatmeal or soft breads that almost melt in your mouth. By chewing well you get the feeling of fullness more quickly, your appetite is naturally suppressed, which will also helps conserve enzymes. Another benefit of chewing well is that it kills parasites. Fish can be a source of parasites especially bonito, squid and freshwater fish. These parasites can be killed inside our mouth if we chew properly. In addition, the intestinal wall of a person can absorb up to 15 microns in size, anything larger than that will be excreted without being absorbed. Decomposition and abnormal fermentation occur inside the intestine when foods are not digested and absorbed, just as in the case of excess consumption. Decomposition gives rise to various toxins, which exhaust large amounts of enzymes.
- Creating an intestinal environment conducive for good bacteria. About 300 different types of microorganisms and a total of about 1,000 trillion intestinal bacteria live inside each human intestine. One very important function these bacteria fulfill is to create source enzymes. Intestinal bacteria are believed to create approximately 3,000 types of enzymes. These additional enzymes supplement the ones we are born with. For this to be possible, we need to eat foods rich in enzymes that allow good bacteria to propagate. A bad diet will impact our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, damaging our intestinal tract, which will make our intestinal bacteria disappear over time. Dr. Hiromi believes that when the right kind of bacteria are missing , it causes the free radicals to not be able to be neutralized causing inflammation of the extremely delicate villi, destroying them and causing ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Also, the undigested food will start to rot in our intestines, becoming food for the bad bacteria which will begin to produce a lot of toxic gases. Intestinal walls that have been destroyed by free radicals give rise to polyps and cancer.
- Minimize stress, air pollution, bacterial and viral infections, drinking, smoking, food additives, oxidized foods, etc.
- David Jockers, in this article ‘Your body’s battle for enzymes’ asserts: ‘To create an enzyme surplus in your body you will want to incorporate a diet high in raw and living foods…at least 75-80% raw and living foods with 20-25% high quality cooked foods. Healthy cooked foods would include brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous veggies are great to steam as boiling will steal valuable water-soluble nutrients. Steaming these veggies breaks down the outer cellulose wall that is challenging for the digestive system to metabolize. This actually makes the food more bioavailable. Organic and grass fed animal products are to be cooked in a medium-rare fashion. This will break down the thicker proteins but keep much of the powerful nutrition still intact. Fresh squeezed lemon and apple cider vinegar should be added to any cooked food and especially to meat in either a pre/post cooked marinate or just before serving. Lemon and apple cider vinegar provide organic acids, enzymes, probiotics and anti-oxidants that help to pre-digest the cooked meal and neutralize any free radical formation.’ In addition, he explains ‘To boost enzymatic potential it is essential to soak and sprout all grains, seeds, nuts & legumes. The practice of soaking, fermenting and sprouting breaks down challenging proteins and activates key enzymes that improve the bioavailability of the nutrients. Sprouted legumes, seeds, cruciferous veggies and nuts are basically a pre-digested food that has unlocked its full potential of enzymes and nutrients. Broccoli sprouts may be the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. The fermentation process unlocks huge nutrient potential within the seed. Sprouted foods have five to ten times higher B vitamins, double the vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and iron content of its pre-soaked and sprouted counterpart . The enzymes will also make the protein much more bioavailable for consumption.’ (1)
Because enzymes need vitamins and minerals to work properly, Dr. Hiromi recommends we make sure they are part of our high enzyme diet both from foods and as supplements (enzymes supplements, multivitamin and mineral supplements).
Minerals include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, copper, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine. Minerals play as important a role as that of vitamins in preventing diseases, hypertension, osteoporosis and cancer. They work synergistically with vitamins and enzymes as well as antioxidants in eliminating free radicals. Minerals strengthen immunity and healing and support your own body’s enzyme factor.
Minerals come from the soil where plants are grown, while vitamins come from these plants and animals. The mineral content of foods depends on where the foods are grown as well as the quality of the soil. Minerals are usually lost with the use of pesticides, fertilizers and food processing. This makes our diet deficient in these vital nutrients and translates into loss of vitality, attention deficit, irritability, overweight, and other unhealthy states.
The importance of calcium
Animal protein and sugar demand increased calcium and magnesium leading to calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency irritates the nervous system, contributing to nervousness and irritability. Calcium prevents cancers, resists stress, reduces fatigue, lowers cholesterol and prevents osteoporosis. Dr. Hiromi recommends to take calcium with vitamin D, as this helps calcium absorption from the small intestine and stimulates bone formation. It should be taken with food, because on an empty stomach calcium thins gastric acid promoting an imbalance of intestinal bacteria and poor absorption of iron, zinc and magnesium. He recommends to take from 800-1500 mg taken in divided doses with meals. Calcium has to be balanced with other minerals and vitamins.
Please check the ‘Calcium Extract’ from the ‘Healthy Hearts Club’ store.
Magnesium activates hundred of different enzymes and it is a treatment for migraines and diabetes. Magnesium is an important mineral and it is needed in high amounts. Its deficiency is manifested in irritability, anxiety, depression, dizziness, weakened muscles, muscle spasm, heart disease and hypertension. A recent study indicated that patients who had a heart attack had low magnesium levels. Low magnesium impairs glucose tolerance, hence diabetics are recommended to keep their magnesium levels up.
Sodium and potassium
A balance of sodium and potassium is a prerequisite of life. Sodium is known as salt, and despise the bad press it receives, unprocessed salt keeps the correct alkaline/acid pH in the blood and is indispensable for the correct functioning of gastric acid, muscles and nerves. Deficiencies can occur from excessive use of laxatives, diarrhea and profuse sweating. The right balance between sodium and potassium is necessary to keep the balance between the inside and the outside the cells. In this sense, sodium is normally found outside the cell and potassium outside. When potassium inside the cell’s fluid is low, sodium with fluid rushes inside the cell, causing it to swell. This increase in cell size places pressure on the veins, narrowing the vessel’s diameter and causing hypertension.
The ratio between sodium and potassium is one to one. High intake of processed foods can affect this balance and affect our health. For this reason Dr. Hiromi recommends plenty of fresh homemade raw vegetables juices to balance the amount of sodium present in the body.
Small quantities of trace minerals work synergistically with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Trace minerals are essential for the balance and harmony of our body functions. After they have been absorbed through the intestines, these minerals are ferried through the circulatory system to cells entering through the cell membrane.
This is the case of:
- Boron, which is important for the absorption of calcium and maintenance of teeth and bones
- Copper, which generates bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells, elastin and collagen, and lowers cholesterol.
- Zinc, which helps in the production of insulin, metabolizes carbohydrates, creates protein and absorbs vitamins, especially B from the digestive tract. Zinc also maintains prostate function and male reproductive health.
- Iron, which is a key component of hemoglobin, plays a key role in the function of enzymes, the B complex vitamins and resistance to disease.
- Selenium, which prevents free radical formation when combined with vitamin E. Studies show that low levels of selenium increase the incidence of prostate, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, skin, lung, rectal colon and bladder cancers as well as leukemia.
- Chromium, which facilitates the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein, and glucose metabolism, helping maintain the levels of blood glucose without the need of excess insulin.
- Iodine, which is critical for the functioning of the thyroid and the prevention of goiter.
Enzymes are present in herbs
The ingredients in our herbal formulations contain enzymes that can support our ‘source enzymes’. For example, ginger contains enzymes that can help turn cholesterol into bile acids, help tone the heart, stimulate the liver and strengthen the intestines. Cayenne enzymes trigger stomach secretions that help digestion. (2) Cayenne also contains a high amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, sulphur, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. (3)
To sum up, eating a diet that is high in fresh raw foods and supplementing with enzymes, vitamins and minerals can help us live a long and healthy life.
- Quinn, Dick. ‘Left for dead’. Minneapolis: R.F. Quinn Publishing Co. , 1992