Part 5 - Cell Environment | Part 6 - Cell Protection / The Immune System
Part 3 - Cell Food (cont'd)This month we will finish looking at the cell food section of the Healthy Cell Concept. Last month we looked at macronutrients-proteins, carbohydrates, and fats-and how they affect our cells and our health. This month we look at micronutrients-enzymes, vitamins, and minerals-and additives to our food. Enzymes, vitamins, and minerals (as well as amino acids) are called micronutrients because they are small.
EnzymesMost people don't think about enzymes. According to the Healthy Cell Concept, they are so important that they, and not a more well known nutrient, deserve top billing. Enzymes are the sparks that start the essential chemical reactions our bodies need to live. They are necessary for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells. Humbart Santillo, in his book Food Enzymes, quotes a Scottish medical journal that makes this point well: Each of us, as with all living organisms, could be regarded as an orderly, integrated succession of enzyme reactions. There are three types of enzymes:
Metabolic enzymes spark the reactions within the cells-the body's cells are run by metabolic enzymes.
Digestive enzymes break down food, allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream to be used in body functions. Digestive enzymes ensure that we get the greatest possible nutritional value from food.
Food enzymes are enzymes supplied to us through the foods we eat. Nature has put them there to aid in our digestion of food. This way, we do not use as many of the body's in-house" enzymes in the digestive process. This is important to remember. Dr. Edward Howell, who has written two books on enzymes, theorizes that humans are given a limited supply of enzyme energy at birth, and that we must replenish our supply of enzymes to ensure that the vital jobs they are responsible for get done. If we do not replenish our supply of enzyme energy, we run the risk of ill health. In the Enzyme Nutrition axiom, Howell postulates that "The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential." In other words, the more food enzymes you get, the longer, and healthier, you live.
Food enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 118 °F. This means that cooked and processed foods contain few, if any, enzymes, and that the typical North American diet is enzyme-deficient. When we eat this type of diet, we could well be eating for a shorter and less-than-healthy life. This points to the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables. These foods contain active enzymes, and the more enzymes you get, the healthier you are. And the more raw foods you eat, the more enzymes you get.
Vitamins and MineralsVitamins are noncaloric, organic nutrients that are essential for life. Although we need only small amounts of vitamins, the roles they play both independently and synergistically are life-giving: They help make possible the processes by which other nutrients are digested, absorbed, and built into our body structures. They are integral helpers in all cell functions. Because they do work together, a deficiency of one vitamin can result in a cascade of problems related to other vitamins. Some vitamins are found in foods in a "pre" state, and are known as precursors or provitamins. Once inside the body, these substances are changed into vitamin form. The most well-known example of this is beta carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A by the body.
Vitamins act as coenzymes--that is, they help enzymes do their jobs by activating them. B vitamins in particular play important roles as coenzymes.
Vitamins are categorized as fat-soluble or water-soluble, which defines how they are absorbed and transported within the body, and whether they can be stored or are excreted quickly.
Fat-soluble vitamins must have fat present to be absorbed. They are transported in the bloodstream attached to proteins. Because they need fat, they can be stored in the body's fatty tissue and liver. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.
Water-soluble vitamins are dissolved directly into the bloodstream, where they travel freely. They are not stored in tissue, but are excreted rather quickly. Because of this we should make sure that we get the water-soluble vitamins we need daily. The vitamin B complex and vitamin C are water-soluble.
Minerals are naturally occurring elements that perform structural and catalytic roles in the body. Minerals are not destroyed during cooking, unlike vitamins. Minerals are further classified as macro (generally called "minerals") and micro (generally called trace minerals).
There have been volumes written on vitamins and minerals, their importance, what they do, and how to get them in what amounts. For specific information on vitamins and minerals, consult the Healthy Cell Concept softcover book.
Most ImportantWhat is perhaps most important in discussing micronutrients is how we get them. The Healthy Cell Concept states that the best sources of micronutrients are foods. This is because the proper balance-the proportion-of micronutrients is very important. When we consume micronutrients in the foods we eat, we get natural nutrients, in natural amounts, in natural proportions as they are found in nature.
Natural NutrientsNatural nutrients are superior to synthetic nutrients because they provide the total package. Although synthetic nutrients-as many vitamin and mineral supplements are-do mirror the structure of natural nutrients, they do not provide everything a natural source does. Beta carotene, for example, can be easily isolated, manufactured, and sold in large amounts. However, when you take a beta carotene supplement, you don't get everything that a food source has to offer. Carrots, a good natural source of beta carotene, also contain water, protein, carbohydrates, iron, calcium, and bioflavonoids (substances proving to have health benefits). This provides good all-around nutrition.
Natural proportions are also important. When we take nutrients as they are created in nature, we do not risk upsetting the delicate balance between them: after all, too much of a specific nutrient can be as harmful as too little. High intakes of isolated B vitamins have been shown to cause depletion of other B vitamins. Too much calcium can impair your ability to absorb iron. Too much zinc can hinder copper and calcium absorption. In other words, when we take natural proportions, we don't have to worry about getting too much or too little.
If people ask why the best cell foods are natural foods, not manufactured or processed foods or synthetic supplements, remind them that individual components of foods do not exist isolated in nature-they are always combined. To quote Dr.Abram Hoffer, a leader in orthomolecular medicine, (as cited in Prescription for Nutritional Healing): "Components [of food] do not exist free in nature; nature does not lay down pure protein, pure fat, or pure carbohydrates. Their molecules are interlaced in a very complex three-dimensional structure that even now has not been fully described. Intermingled are the essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, again not free, but combined in complex molecules."
AdditivesWe add substances to foods to lengthen their shelf life, to make them look better, and to make them more marketable to consumers. These substances are known as additives. Some of these, such as sugar, are derived from natural sources; others are synthetic. Unfortunately, we are paying a high price for the convenience of long-lasting foods and the appeal of good-looking foods.
Some additives affect health directly. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been linked to severe face swelling and skin disfiguration. Sulfites can result in headaches, severe gastrointestinal distress, and breathing problems. Although additives are found in small amounts in the foods we eat, some estimates put the amount of additives that U.S. consumers ingest in a year at about five pounds (2.2 k). If we consider sugar-the most used additive-this figure jumps to 135 pounds (61 k) a year. The solution is to stay away from manufactured and processed foods. This means microwaveable meals, canned foods (of all types, including soups), potato chips-actually, just about everything but natural foods.
Cell Food and Your LifestyleWe have now finished looking at the cell food section of the Healthy Cell Concept. What overall conclusions can we draw?
What Have You Learned?
What Can You Do?
The AIM ProductsA number of the AIM products are exemplary cell food. AIM whole food concentrates are an easy way to add the power of fresh raw vegetables to your diet. When you take AIM BarleyLife®, AIM JustCarrots, or AIM RediBeets®, you give yourself the equivalent of these foods-barley, carrots and beets. That means you get nutrients as found in nature, with live enzymes. Other AIM products that provide your cells with important nutrients are AIM SuperZymes/WheatZymes, which provide enzymes that help battle free radicals; the AIM coenzyme Q10 products, which provide energy-creating coenzymes; AIM CranVerry, which contains important flavonoids and is especially good for the cells that make up the urinary tract; and AIM Corbicula;, which is a cell food for the liver.
Use Your KnowledgeThis basic introduction to cell food can help you in your business. If you can explain why fresh, natural, raw foods are good for us, you can make a stronger case for using the Garden Trio, or other AIM products. Think about it-how many people know the importance of enzymes? You might want to take the initiative to further educate yourself on these powerful substances.
You can share this information with your family very casually at dinner, or in other situations. If you are finding new health and energy thanks to cell food and the AIM products, and people comment on it, tell them why. Don't shrug your shoulders and be vague about it. Tell people about the products, but also tell them why they may be helping you-because they provide cells with a high-quality food that is better and easier for your body to use.
The more ambitious can look into healthy cell cooking-cooking that uses more fresh raw foods, and fewer cooked foods. Health and nutrition are "popular" these days, and a community cooking class could be a good way to introduce others to the benefits of changing a diet to healthier cell foods.
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