Avocados. You either love ’em, or you avoid ’em. And if you belong to the latter group, you’re missing out on a nutritional superstar. Avocados are bursting with nutrients vitamins, A, C, E, H, K and B complex (including folic acid), plus the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and many other trace elements. They’re full of enzymes and are 74 percent water by weight. Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids (those that must be provided by our diet), with 18 amino acids in all, plus seven fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6. Avocado lovers who eat a healthful diet typically experience more lustrous hair, softer skin, more pliable nails, fewer joint problems, slimmer bellies, less body odour, improved mental function and enhanced libido.
Rich in Protein and Fats
Ripe avocado is one of the richest sources of easily digestable, non-toxic fats. This fruit also contains more protein than cow’s milk about two percent per edible portion. The ripening action of the sun spurs its enzymes to “predigest” complex proteins into simple, easily digested amino acids. Ripe, raw, organically grown avocados are naturally pure and provide all we need to build the highest quality protein in our bodies.
Avocados are the perfect source of dietary fat. Most people who transition from the standard North American diet (SAD) white bread and pasta, red meat, pasteurized milk, processed cheese and junk foods to plant-based fat sources including avocado, nuts and seeds don’t miss animal foods because raw plant fat is completely satisfying and more nutritious. Approximately 63 percent of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, 20 percent is polyunsaturated and 17 percent is saturated. The American Diabetes Association recently called avocados “nutrition superstars,” and recommended them as part of a healthy eating plan for diabetics because they contain good monounsaturated fat that does not raise blood cholesterol.
With all these fresh vitamins, organic minerals, active enzymes, soluble fibre, high water content and easily digestable fats and proteins, avocados can help transform any sluggish, overweight meat-eater into a slimmer person. Some of the leanest people I know eat the most avocados!
Cooked foods such as refined grain, meat or dairy products in the SAD diet are the real villains that can keep an avocado-eater from losing excess fat. Why? Because cooking progressively destroys fibre and nutrients. Cooked foods therefore are clogging, taking days to move through our system, and they are nutrient-poor and toxic, sending the body into a fat-storage crisis mode. Evidence from many sources clearly shows that cooked fatty and high-protein foods are the prime culprit in North America’s high rate of cancer, as well as in colitis and Crohn’s disease, among many other diseases. This is because heated fats contain free radicals that can cause cancer. Cooked proteins coagulate so that they cannot be absorbed, then they putrefy in the bowel. Cooked starches clog us up with sticky matter that becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
One avocado per day typically gives us all the fat we need, and is about all we can digest per meal. A small avocado provides more usable protein than a huge steak because the body cannot readily utilize cooked meat protein. And, unlike animal meat, avocados are fibre-rich and non-constipating, as well as free of antibiotics and hormones. Digestion time is also dramatically lower avocado won’t putrefy in your stomach like meat does. As for the environment, it takes about 220 gallons of water to produce a pound of avocado compared with 2,400 gallons of water per pound of beef.
Why not start a new eating plan with avocados in mind? Whether your goal is to eat more healthy foods or transition completely off meat and dairy, avocado can be the perfect way to satisfy both your taste buds and your body’s needs.
How to Buy and Store
When buying, choose a firm avocado with rough skin and a greenish tint. It is ripe when the fruit yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Only buy a ripe avocado if you plan to use it right away.
Keep your weekly supply of avocados on your kitchen table or somewhere else in plain sight. When they are ripe, refrigerate the ones you are not ready to eat. Wrap ripe avocado in plastic or keep it in a plastic bag or container. If it is refrigerated for too long, some spoiling may result.
Party time? These quick avocado dishes make tasty and healthy additions to the buffet table.
The classic: Mix mashed or chopped avocado with chopped bell pepper, tomato, celery and lemon juice for guacamole or salsa.
Perfect finger food: Spread avo-butter (mashed avocado) on Essene (sprouted grain) bread, whole grain crackers and soft corn tortillas.
The dip: Serve pieces of celery, carrot, broccoli, bell pepper or baked corn chips with avocado halves or a bowl of avo-butter.
Very elegant: Slice avocado into spears or chunks, then insert onto toothpicks.
All rolled up: Place chopped veggies, sprouts, tomatoes and avocado chunks on lettuce, kale or cabbage leaves, then roll them up and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
Avocado Facts and Fallacies
|1. It’s a vegetable||It’s actually an oily berry-a fruit.|
|2. It’s high in cholesterol|| |
It has no cholesterol. Only animal foods have cholesterol.
3. It’s high in fat and it’s fattening.
It is the cooked starches, meat, dairy and processed sugar in people’s diets that feed fat cells. Most active people who consume avocados as part of a high raw-food, vegetarian diet have no problem losing excess fat and staying lean.
|4. Its saturated fat content is dangerous.|| |
Only about 17 per cent of the edible portion of avocado is saturated fat, and unheated saturated fat from live plant foods is non-toxic.
|5. It is a tree-ripened fruit|| |
The avocado doesn’t soften on the tree. After picking, it must be allowed to soften for four to 17 days depending on the variety, temperature and humidity.