So, back to digestive enzymes. Protease breaks down proteins into something called amino acids, so we can absorb them. Once they’re absorbed, they get “reassembled” into different things, and enzymes play a key role in that process as well.
While some enzymes break down food, others act kind of like matchmakers. The matchmaker enzymes say, “Hey you, you molecule over there, you come meet this molecule over here. You guys go make some eye tissue; you guys over there, go make a toenail.” Some of the molecules become liver; some become skin. Our digestive system has to break down proteins and reassemble them so they can rebuild organs.
Amylase is the stuff in your saliva that helps break down the sugars in carbohydrates into small components that can be utilized everywhere else in the body. Lipase breaks down fats. Enzymes will also attack invaders. Do you have an infection? Enzymes can help deal with that infection.
Every single function of your body happens because of enzymes. When you’re young, you have lots of enzymes in your body, but you don’t produce as many enzymes when you get older, and cooked and processed foods require more enzymes to break them down. That’s why it’s so important to eat raw foods: they help replace the enzymes that you’re using up.
Remember being a teenager? You could drink a six-pack, eat a large pepperoni pizza, sleep for two hours, wake up the next day and do it all over again? Remember those days?
Can’t do that anymore, can you? One reason you can’t is that you’re not able to digest your food like you used to. Do you know what little kids eat? French fries and sugary cereal, and, BAM, they grow! There are almost no nutrients in French fries, yet the kids keep getting taller, stronger, and smarter (well, we hope) every day. Where’s the nutrition coming from?
Part of the explanation is that a child or young adult’s digestive enzymes are so strong, they can extract whatever nutrients are in the foods they’re eating. As you get older, you can’t do it anymore.