September 26, 2009 8:02 PMHealthy Living ExaminerNorma Erickson
Every tissue, organ, and system in your body depends on healthy cells operating at peak efficiency. Until recently, nutritional research has concentrated on how to avoid disease. Finally, some attention is being paid to discovering what it takes for your body to perform properly. In that regard, it only makes sense to look closely at the nutritional needs of cells. After all, healthy bodies demand healthy cells. The nutritional needs of individual cells must be met in order for your body to survive.
According to Douglas A. Laffenberger, Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering at MIT, “There are three essential aspects of a cell.” Each human cell has more than 100,000 genes. Only about 10% of them are ‘turned on’ at any given moment. The genes determine the individual cell’s future purpose (whether it will become blood, liver, heart, nerve, and so on). Receptors sit on the surface of each cell. They communicate with both the genes and enzymes. Receptors tell genes whether to turn off or on, and enzymes to increase or decrease their activity. Enzymes are responsible for converting food to useable energy (metabolism), building proteins for cell construction and activating cell function. The genes and receptors are already present in every cell. The only real nutritional influence you can provide is in the area of enzymes and hydration.
Enzymes are active proteins existing in all living things. Metabolic enzymes control tissues and organs, heal disease, and repair cellular damage and decay. Digestive enzymes convert the food you eat into usable nutrients with which to build and maintain cells. Food enzymes come from the foods you eat. Although they are present in all living material, food enzymes are destroyed by heat. Anytime you cook food, you destroy any food enzymes that were there. All cooked foods rely on digestive enzymes for adequate conversion to usable nutrients.
Digestive enzymes begin their work as soon as you start to chew. Your saliva contains enzymes that begin to break down food. Additional digestive enzymes are added throughout your digestive system, ideally breaking down all the food you eat into usable nutrients for your cells. If, for any reason, your digestive tract does not have, or cannot manufacture, adequate enzymes for digestion your pancrease kicks in to draw enzymes from healthy cells. This process depletes the supply of metabolic enzymes critical to individual cell health. At this point, individual cells start to malfunction or die. When enough cells are damaged, organs and systems within your body begin to malfunction or die.
With these things in mind, here are some tips on providing cellular nutrition:
- Stay adequately hydrated. 65-70% of each cell is water. Cells must have enought water to function properly. The recommended intake is half your weight multiplied by ounces. If you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 ounces of water daily.
- Preserve as many natural food enzymes as possible. Eat any food you can raw. Obviously you must cook meat and several other types of food for other health reasons. However, your diet should include at least five servings of raw fruits, vegetables and herbs daily.
- Give the digestive process a head start. Start your meals with something raw to encourage the start of digestive enzyme production. Chew your food well to increase the enzymes provided by your saliva.
- Limit your consumption of caffeine and/or alcohol. These dehydrate you. If you do consume alcohol or caffeine, increase the amount of water you drink (ounce for ounce) to compensate for the dehydration.
- Limit your exposure to toxins. Toxins interfere with normal cell function. Although enzymes produce cells to fight toxins, limiting your exposure gives your healthy cells a head start.
- Consider taking enzyme supplements if your diet does not contain a large amount of raw foods.