It is a well known fact that with high temperatures when cooking, some vitamins will be destroyed, particularly vitamin C and vitamin B9 (folic acid). It may also render minerals inorganic and denature some proteins, and it certainly destroys the life force in raw plant food.
Cooking kills all enzymes. Their activity increases as the temperature rises, but only up to 42 degrees C, after which enzyme activeness slows down. If the food is heated to 48 degrees C for more than half an hour, all enzymes are completely destroyed. In contrast, dry heat would not be destructive to enzymes until around 150 degrees C,
but this is theoretical, as all foods contain moisture.
Thus cooking and pasteurisation completely destroy the natural, health-giving enzymes that are present in all raw foods.
Like vitamins, enzymes are present in all vegetable and animal tissue in their natural state.
They are the biological catalists that trigger off all the millions of chemical changes that are taking place within the human body, every second of our life. There are tens of thousands of enzymes working away in our body – with something like 50.000 in the liver alone! And each of them has his own specific purpose.
When food intake is above starvation level and all the necessary nutrients are provided, the less food that is consumed on a long-term basis by humans, animals
and insects, the longer they live.
When the air temperature raises, causes insects to be much more active, but they die sooner because their enzymes are used up more rapidly. Enzyme supply may well be the yardstick of vitality.
It is accepted in general, that the enzymes in food cannot work in our bodies, although Dr. Edward Howell has written a book :”Food Enzymes for health and longevity”, in which he states that there is strong evidence to the contrary.
The enzymes in raw food commence the digestion of each morsel the moment the food’s cell walls are ruptured by chewing. The food enzymes assist our own digestive enzymes, easing the load on the organs that produce our enzymes, particularly the pancreas. When humans eat cooked food, the pancreas is enlarged due to overwork.
In fact, oriental people on a high carbohydrate cooked diet, mainly rice, have pancreas approximately half as big as Westerners .
All animals in the wild consume abundant enzymes in their always raw diets. Some have a separate stomach in which the food enzymes pre-digest food before the body’s digestive enzymes are called upon, for example, the rumen in the cow.
The enzyme content of organically-grown food that has ripened at its source (on the tree, vine etc.) is significantly higher than conventionally-grown foods.
When raw food enzymes reach the bowel, they encourage the friendly gut bacteria by binding any oxygen present, thus eliminating the aerobic conditions in which harmful bacteria grow and cause putrefaction, toxaemia and ultimately degenerative diseases, including cancer.
When the harmful bacteria are gone, beneficial bacteria, like acidophilus and bifido bacteria can flourish and carry out their vital functions, including the manufacture of B vitamins, digestion of fiber, and production of natural ‘antibiotics’ against pathogenic bacteria.
In the highly cooked Western diet, a high incidence of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other degenerative conditions is exactly what can be expected as a result of enzyme damage.
In contrast, the remarkable therapeutic value of a short-term diet of raw fresh fruits and vegetables and/or their juices, which have been employed all over the world, is exactly what we would expect.