Wednesday, September 7, 2011
What I learned today
There's a website, www.SCDLifestyle.com, written by Steve and Jordan, "two average guys who rejected conventional medicine by facing our fears and healing our guts using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet". Through their email newsletter and their caring response to my emails, I've just discovered how important enzymes are for proper digestion. Enzymes DIGEST the molecules of the foods you eat. That is, they break them down into absorbable, smaller molecules, the ones needed for your body's cells.
I did a little research on LIPASE, the enzyme that breaks down LIPIDS, that is, fats. The SCD is a high-fat diet, and fats can heal your gut, but without lipase, it ain't gonna happen. A healthy digestive system makes its own enzymes. But disease is a vicious cycle that slows down enzyme production, which worsens digestion, etc. And lipase is scarce in the SAD (Standard American Diet). Like all enzymes, it is destroyed by heat, so you can only find it in raw foods. Like most enzymes, it is present in the foods that contain the molecules it works on. So lipase is present in the raw foods that contain fats. BUT, like all enzymes, lipase is water-soluble, so it is NOT present in oils, even raw, extra-virgin, unrefined oils. So the only food sources I can figure are:
Avocado - my hero!
Coconut - raw, in the shell (I don't know how desiccated coconut is processed, maybe it's ok)
Olives (again, I don't know how they're processed, but if they're canned or jarred, they've been heated and lost the enzymes)
Papaya - an exception to the "rule" about the food having to contain fat. Papaya is famous for papain, the enzyme that helps with proteins, but is also is a good source of lipase, especially the green papaya.
Almonds - but they also contain toxins that inhibit the action of lipase. Fortunately, soaking removes this. Also, soaking allows you to peel the almonds (do it while listening to an audiobook) which removes toxins.
I got all this information from trustworthy web pages, but don't have time to list them.
So, I'm going back to making coconut milk from SCRATCH (this blog's first post) and almond milk from RASAP (Raw Almonds, Soaked And Peeled). There's no way TetraPak coconut milk has any enzymes left. So I'm comforted that I spent $399 on the Welles Press after all.
BTW, freezing does not affect lipase. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800302 states: "... retained its activity for more than 6 months at -20 degrees C, beyond which it lost activity progressively." So, freeze stuff, but don't keep it toooo long.