By David Klein firstname.lastname@example.org | From Living Nutrition Magazine vol. 11 http://www.livingnutrition.com © Living Nutrition Publications.
Avocado is more than just a tasty treat to be enjoyed in guacamole–it makes a hearty satisfying meal when eaten alone, in salads, and in other dishes. Most people who transition from a standard American diet to a vegan diet with avocado, nuts and seeds don’t miss the animal foods because raw vegan plant fat is so satisfying as well as more nutritious than cooked fatty animal foods! In hundreds of thousands of cases, people who’ve adopted a vegan diet of predominantly raw foods with minimal or no cooked starches as part of a healthful lifestyle (including regular exercise and adequate sleep), have lost excess weight, overcome illness, gained new vitality, and avoided the killer diseases which now plague our meat, bread, dairy, and junk-food eating society. The fresh vitamins, active enzymes, organic minerals, soluble fiber, high water content, and easily digested fats and proteins in avocados and other fruit and plant foods can help transform any sluggish, overweight meat eater into a slimmer and more dynamic person. Some of the leanest people I know eat the most avocados! Cooked foods such as bread, pasta, meat, dairy and junk foods are the villains that can keep an avocado eater from losing excess fat.
If your goal is to reduce your consumption or transition completely off of meat and dairy, avocado may be the perfect way to satisfy your natural cravings for creamy nourishment. Dr. William Esser writes in his Dictionary of Natural Foods:
“The avocado is one of the most valuable foods which nature has given man. For those concerned about eliminating meat from their diet, this offers not merely a “substitute,” but a food which is much superior in value for human maintenance. It is rich in protein and fat and comparatively higher than any other fruits in these elements. The fat is more digestible than animal fats.”
Avocado is also known as the “alligator pear” because of the rough skin on some varieties. In the 17th and 18th centuries the fruit was also commonly known as “butter pear.” In tropical Central America, avocado trees have been growing wild for thousands of years, providing natives with a rich food. The Aztecs called the tree Ahuacatl. Marauding Spanish armies changed this to abocado or avocado, the now common English name.
According to the Little Green Avocado Book, there is strong evidence that avocado trees flourished 50 million years ago in what is now California, and avocados might have provided food for dinosaurs.
Today’s avocados are derived from three natural races. The Mexican type (semi-tropical) produces small fruits, 6 to 10 ounces having glossy purple, paper-thin skin when ripe. The Guatemalan type (subtropical) yields medium pear-shaped fruits which are first green, turning purple-black or coppery-purple when ripe, with a typically tough shell. The West Indian type (tropical) produces enormous, smooth, round, glossy green fruits as up to 2 pounds in weight. In the United States, 95 percent of the commercially grown avocados come from California, with small percentages coming from Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Hawaii. The California Rare Fruit Growers Fruit Facts, Volume One, reports that avocados grow well in valley and coastal California, as far north as Cape Mendocino and Red Bluff. Hybrid forms of all types are grown.
Avocado growing is relatively new in the United States. They are available year round. The harvest time depends on the variety. The Hass, the best known commercial variety, is a hybrid of the Mexican and the Guatemalan types and is picked from January into fall depending on where it is grown.
The Little Green Avocado Book also reports that avocado trees are large evergreens of the laurel family, and there are about 400 commercial varieties of avocado. Some are: Bacon, Ettinger, Fuerte, Gwen, Hass, Nabal, Pinkerton, Reed and Zutano. Mexican types ripen in 6 to 8 months from bloom, Guatemalan types 12 to 18 months.
There are wide differences in the flavors of individual avocados, ranging from salty, to nutty, to sweet, with shades in between. If a fruit has been picked too early it may be watery and unpalatable. If picked too late, some varieties develop a rancid flavor. If a Bacon avocado tastes like bacon, it is rancid. If an avocado has dark flesh (rot), compost it and/or salvage the good parts.
Avocados are bursting with nutrients–vitamins, A, B-complex, C, E, H, K, and folic acid, plus the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and many other trace elements. Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids (those that must be provided by our diet), with 18 amino acids in all, plus 7 fatty acids, including Omega 3 and 6. Avocados contain more protein than cow’s milk, about 2% per edible portion. Since rapidly growing nursing infants obtain no more than 2% protein from mother’s milk, we can safely assume that children and adults do not regularly require foods richer in protein than avocado. Our bodies recycle approximately 80% of our protein; cooked protein is denatured and largely unusable, thus our protein need is far lower than what is taught by conventional dietetics. A small avocado will provide more usable protein then a huge steak because cooked protein in meat is deranged and mostly unavailable to our liver, the organ which makes all of our body’s protein. There is clear evidence from many sources that cooked fatty and high-protein foods are the prime culprit in our country’s high rate of cancer, as well as in colitis, Crohn’s disease and many other diseases. (I instantly healed up from a long illness, ulcerative colitis, seventeen years ago after I stopped eating meat and adopted a properly combined low-fat vegan diet of mostly raw fruits and vegetables, and I have since helped over 1,000 people recover from similar illnesses.) Ripe, raw organically grown avocados are naturally pure and furnish all of the elements we need to build the highest quality protein in our bodies.
The water content of avocado by weight averages 74%. Because avocado is a ripe, watery, enzymatically-alive fruit, it ranks as the most easily digested rich source of fats and proteins in whole food form. The ripening action of the sun “predigests” complex proteins into simple, easily digested amino acids. The fat content (by weight) varies from 7 to 26 % according to the variety, averaging 15%. Approximately 63% of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, 20% is polyunsaturated and 17% is saturated. Avocados are the perfect source of dietary fat–appetizing in their raw state, digestible, and pure. Another plus is that avocados have no cholesterol.
Avocado is an alkalinizing food, i.e., the mineral end products of metabolism have an alkalinizing effect in the blood and other bodily fluids. Because the human body works to maintain a slightly alkaline pH, an alkalinizing diet is the most healthful way of eating. Meat, dairy and most raw nuts create acidity in the body–excess eating of these causes the leaching of alkalinizing calcium from our bones to buffer the acidity, leading to osteoporosis. Dr. Douglas Graham states:
“Current bone density testing has verified loss of calcium from the bones after the consumption of just one meat meal. A similar meal containing the same amount of protein from plants results in no calcium loss. Fruit and vegetable proteins, which supply the complete spectrum of human nutrients, must be considered superior to animal protein which are deficient or missing many of our essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C and a host of phytonutrients and antioxidants.”
$nbsp; Avocado eaters who eat a healthful vegan diet typically experience more lustrous hair, softer, smoother skin, more pliable nails, fewer joint problems, slimmer belly, less body odor, improved mental function and enhanced libido. Upon giving up animal meat and dairy, switching to a diet of 75% to 100% raw vegan foods with enzymatically-alive “plant meat,” and adopting a healthful lifestyle, a multitude of people have reaped amazing health benefits and joyous vitality.