Our Lhasa Apso and Cocker Spaniel are different dogs in nearly every way! One’s laid back the other is hyper. One’s happy-go-lucky, the other is Eyore. We’ve discovered they are especially different in their eating habits. Our Cocker will casually dine on his chow for fifteen minutes while our Lhasa nearly inhales her food in fifteen seconds! Talk about “woofing” it down!
But who am I to make fun of her? She’s a dog, I’m a human – I should know better. You see at one time I did the same. When I worked in the Corporate World I felt I was too important to spend time eating lunch – had to get back to my desk, ya know. Then I switched careers, took additional college credits and learned about physiology.
Isn’t it true that “when we learn better, we do better?” The first aspect of change is awareness. I learned I had to take care of my health, it’s the only body I have! I knew I had to practice the “fork down, spoon down” routine in-between bites, slow down and change my destructive habits.
But why should we take time to chew our foods? Because chewing releases enzymes.
What the heck are enzymes, you’re probably asking, and why should I care? Glad you asked!
Visualize your body as a house that’s ready to be moved into. A moving van is parked at the curb. Imagine all your household boxes are stacked within the truck. Employees are waiting to place those boxed items inside the house; plates, small appliances, furniture, boxes of clothes, etc. Food is like the boxes sitting in the truck and enzymes are the workers who transport those items into the house.
In other words enzymes are like a “chemical moving company” taking those proteins, fats and carbohydrates in “food boxes” and placing them into the room of your body in which they belong. Even the most beautiful crystal glasses won’t be useful if they just sit there on the lawn. Something has to move them. Enzymes are those movers!
Digestion can’t happen without enzymes. No vitamin, mineral or hormone can work without enzymes. Nor can we breathe, eat or walk without enzymes, so when digestion is poor, even the best eating plan won’t work!
Each nutrient has a specific purpose. Chewing your food releases the enzymes found in saliva which digest food so they can be transported into the correct area of your body. Enzymes are also found in the stomach, intestines and mitochondria.
- Protease breaks up proteins
- Amalyse breaks up carbohydrates
- Lipase breaks up fats
- Cellulose digest soluble fiber
- Disaccharidase digest sugars
Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva – the more we chew, the more enzymes we release. Digestion then stimulates the hypothalamus gland, the control center in the brain which regulates daily activities such as appetite, nervous system, moods and the senses. Powerful, complicated stuff!
And some believe all this “complicated stuff” evolved from mud clumps or on crystals! It takes more faith to believe that than if God created us.
Psalm 139:13-15 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Praise God that we are fearfully and wonderfully made!