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Veggie Love: Why I’m Deeply Enamoured With Avocados

November 12, 2012

It is officially AVOCADO WEEK! If I had to profess my undying love to any particular fruit or veggie, it would be a hard call between avocados and coconuts. What is not to love about this amazing creamy fruit that can be combined with both sweet and more bitter meals. Plus I can make yogurt or pudding with it, smoothies, and add it to salads. Since I have long been rescued from the hell that is processed food addiction, I would say avocados do for me what ice cream or yogurt does for die hard dairy lovers. The creamy texture, literally makes my heart sing, and ears perk up when I hear someone say the lovely name avocado.  Oh, and the joy of cutting one open and it being completely perfect! I could go on and on. I know I’m tripping, but I really love them that much. They are also on my list of aphrodisiacs, so perhaps (***clears throat and bats eyelashes***), avocados are exciting for me in more ways than one. For grown folks only: the name avocado comes from the Aztec word ‘ahuacatl’ which, um, literally, um, means testicle (I don’t like that word, hence the hesitation). I assume you can guess that avocados got the name from the way they look. So beyond just eating avocados, you also have the option to make some dirty jokes about them.

You know that saying: “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it?” Well, for a year or so I’ve had this amazing dream that I have mentioned to friends about owning a farm somewhere tropical that produced avocados, bananas, and coconuts. The reason for this is because I feel my life would elevated to a new level of bliss if I could have all of those things in unlimited amounts year round. Especially since avocados and coconuts are getting pricy these days. Well, the wish partly came true in a roundabout way. A family friend happens to have avocado trees amongst other trees growing in their backyard in Florida! And guess what? They have way too many avocados to eat. The surplus is so bad they have to give them away. So right now I have a a giant moving box FULL TO THE BRIM with huge Florida avocados. Seriously, Raw Vegan Santa must’ve answered my wish before Christmas! These aren’t the dark green small ones (Haas) we get in the grocery store. They are the mammoth avocados that are a lighter green color. Amazing right? So now, I got to figure out what to do with all these avocados! I’ve been having one a day and luckily a ton of them are still not ripe yet. I say all this to warn you, because avocados have consumed my kitchen, there are a few more avocado posts coming to the blog, but I’ll mix it up and also do a recipe or two.

So what groovy benefits do you get from eating avocado, which is also known as ‘alligator pear’? Well, they happen to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Avocados contain 25 essential nutrients including vitamin A, B, C, E, K, copper, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, protein, phytochemicals, and fiber. You would actually need to eat at least two bananas to get the amount of potassium in one avocado. Avocados have a large fat content, almost twenty times the amount of fat in other fruits but they are extremely good-for-you monounsaturated fats. People often worry that because of this avocados will make you gain weight. Not the case, I’ll get to that in another post soon. If you eat avocados from Florida which are huge, note that they have 50% LESS fat than the Haas kind, so they are sort of the “low-fat” brand of avocados.

Onto the long list of fabulous things the wonderful fruit named avocado can do for you. Some key benefits include: maintains a healthy heart and reduce risk of heart disease, efficiently lowers bad cholesterol and can boost good cholesterol, helps to regulate blood pressure levels, has anti-inflammatory properties that help ward off inflammation related diseases, promotes eye health and prevents macular degeneration, regulates blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of stroke because of high levels of folate, protects against breast cancer and has been shown to inhibit prostate cancer, contains glutathione which fights free radicals in the body, boosts immune system, slows aging, and encourages a healthy nervous system. If all of those benefits alone were not a mouthful add to that the fact that avocados are known the world over for boosting the health and natural glow of your skin.

So my challenge this week is: How many ways can you eat an avocado? While I go off to work on that, I hope you have now been convinced that avocados are an awesome food to add to your diet. As much as I would love to keep my love for them all to myself, I know there’s more than enough love to go around so you can count on me to continue spreading the gospel. -XoXo Raw Girl

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