Today I was thinking about what led me to the path of raw living foods and what immediately came to mind is the role that enzymes play in our bodies. It took me some time to fully understand the benefits that enzymes played in my diet and because of this lack of understanding; I continued to eat a diet void of foods complete in nutritional enzymes. I believe in the back of my mind, I knew the rumblings I would hear very often in my stomach were clear evidence that I had to make a powerful change in how I thought about foods.
Having adopted a majority of raw living foods into my diet in the last few years, I believe enzymes are the “work horse” in our bodies and are very important elements to aid digestion and maintain good health. If we think about the role of enzymes in very simple terms, enzymes are the “life force” that activates vitamins, minerals, proteins and other physical components within our body.
There are two major enzyme systems in the human body. One is digestive and the other is metabolic. The digestive enzymes help break down all of the food that we eat so that it can be absorbed by the body. The metabolic enzymes help to run all of the systems of the body from respiratory system to the nervous system.
The seven categories of food (digestive) enzymes and their activities are:
• Amylase: breaks down starches
• Cellulase: breaks down fibers
• Lactase: breaks down dairy products
• Lipase: breaks down fats
• Maltase: breaks down grains
• Protease: breaks down proteins
• Sucrase: breaks down sugars
I want to talk about the enzyme bromelain, which is very beneficial in skin care treatments. Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples (Ananas comosus), a tropical fruit-bearing plant indigenous to South American countries as well as the Hawaiian Islands. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, which is an enzyme that helps you digest the proteins in foods. Papaya and Pineapple are two of the richest plant sources of proteolytic (protein dissolving) enzymes.
Bromelain used in skin care treatments is an alpha hydroxy acid and is very effective in gently removing the dead skin cells by chemical exfoliation, on the surface of the skin.
Enzymatic activity destroys the keratin of dead cells and the debris, allowing the skin to breathe and feel more alive and vibrant. When you remove dead tissue during exfoliation, you make your pores appear smaller because you remove the keratinized skin around the edges of your pores and make them less visible. Exfoliation also reveals the moisture underneath the tissue.
Once the skin has been exfoliated, you will notice a visual difference in the tone and smoothness of the skin. The follicles are clearer and the skin is softened and hydrated, allowing for a deeper penetration of serums and moisturizers.
People, who experience acne, will notice a visible difference in the way this treatment will unclog the pores and reduce inflammation of accumulated buildup of skin cells on the surface of the skin.
Raw Honey is a natural humectant that attracts and binds water to the upper layers of the skin. Exfoliation of pineapple on sensitive skin can cause skin irritation, so honey’s natural moisturizing ability makes it a perfect fit for this treatment.
Remember the next time you’re thinking about purchasing high priced products to exfoliate your skin, look no further than the produce section of your local supermarket, farmers market or co-op and buy an organic pineapple.
Beauty Note: rub a chunk of the pineapple behind the ear a few hours before the treatment to detect any skin sensitivity.
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons honey
Puree pineapple in blender and apply in a circular motion to a cleansed face. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse well with cool water and pat excess water from the skin. Apply the honey to the skin and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse with cool water, pat the skin dry and apply your favorite moisturizer.
Lots of Love,