Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids, with 18 amino acids in all, plus 7 fatty acids, including Omega 3 and 6. Avocados contain more protein than cow's milk. A small avocado will provide more usable protein then a steak because cooked protein in meat is denatured and mostly unavailable to our liver, the organ that makes all of our body's protein.
Ripe, raw avocados furnish all the elements we need to build the highest quality protein in our bodies. Avocado is an enzymatically-alive fruit, it ranks as the most easily digested rich source of fats and proteins in whole food form. The ripening action "predigests" complex proteins into simple, easily digested amino acids.
Other than avocados, where can a person get their protein?
Out of the 22 amino aids found in the body, 8 must be derived from food. All 8 are abundantly available in raw plant food, especially greens. As suggested by David Wolfe, "green leafed veggies are the true body builders" (p186, The Sunfood Diet Success System). Examples of animals who build enormous musculature on green leafy vegetation include: gorilla, giraffe, hippo, elephant, horse. People think they need flesh protein to build flesh protein. If that were true then cows would need to eat flesh to get protein. Usable protein is the key. Cooking denatures protein molecular structure and creating free radicals, which destroy enzymes, amino acids & other cellular elements.
Benefits of Eating Raw:
In his book Intuitive Eating, Dr Humbart Santillo MD writes:
"A human being is not maintained by food intake alone, but rather by what is digested. Every food must be broken down by enzymes to simpler building blocks. Enzymes may be divided into 2 groups, exogenous (found in raw food) and endogenous (produced within our bodies). The more one gets of the exogenous enzymes, the less will have to be borrowed from other metabolic processes and supplied by the pancreas. The enzymes contained in raw food actually aid in the digestion of that same food when it is chewed. One can live many years on a cooked food diet, but eventually this will cause cellular enzyme exhaustion which lays the foundation for a weak immune system and ultimately disease."
Put simply, we are born with a finite supply of endogenous enzymes. It should be enough to last us a lifetime based on current life expectancy, but if we don’t supply some exogenous enzymes through our diet, we will use up our original supplies and that’s when we become susceptible to the accepted ‘signs of old age’ including premature death! And the fact is that when we cook our food, we kill all enzymes instead of allowing them to boost our immune system, our brain function and our energy levels.
Another doctor, Edward Howell, has written a book called Enzyme Nutrition. In it, he says:
"Humans eating an enzyme-less diet use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in lavish secretions of the pancreas and other digestive organs. The result is a shortened lifespan (65 years or less as compared with 100 or more), illness, and lower resistance to stress of all types, psychological and environmental. By eating foods with their enzymes in tact and by supplementing cooked foods with enzyme capsules we can stop abnormal and pathological aging processes."
Enzymes & Food: Enzymes are proteins composed of amino-acids, and proteins are present in all living things. All enzymes are proteins, but not all proteins are enzymes.
Above figure: Diagram of a catalytic reaction, showing the energy needed at each stage of the reaction. The substrates (A and B) normally need a large amount of energy to reach the transition state, which then reacts to form the end product (AB). The enzyme forms a microenvironment in which A and B can reach the transition state more easily, reducing the amount of energy required. Since the lower energy state is easier to reach and therefore occurs more frequently, as a result the reaction is more likely to take place, thus improving the reaction speed. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
When you eat, enzymes break down the food into tiny particles which can be converted into energy in the body. The breakdown of food is necessary to convert food into energy. Undigested food is unable to pass on the energy stored within it.
Digestive enzymes carry out the breakdown of the food particles so that they can be easily converted into the essential energy needed by all parts of our body. Enzymes are the only substances capable of digesting food.Without enzymes you would die from starvation.
A very important benefit of eating fresh whole foods is that they contain enzymes. These are substances that help the body digest food and are found only in living food. High temperatures kill enzymes so most processed food require a lot more effort by the liver to digest them.
So, the key element here is that enzymes must come from a living source. If our food is dead from cooking, then the protein is denatured and largely unusable.
Blackberries, Blueberries, & Raspberries:
Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain relatively high quantities of ellagic acid, which has a wide range of functions: anti-carcinogen / anti-mutagen, inhibition of HIV binding to cells, inhibition of blood clotting, and free radical scavenging have been documented in humans. The "American Cancer Society's Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Methods" has documented that Ellagic Acid is a very promising compound, because it causes apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells in the lab tests, with no change to normal healthy cells.
Blueberries: Blueberries are powerful disease fighters for optimum health and are considered a super food. The pigment that makes the blueberries blue is thought to be responsible for antioxidant activity. “We now know that blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, substances that can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer,” according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products of metabolism called "free radicals" that can lead to cancer and other age related diseases. There have be studies in Europe that have documented the benefits of the pigment in blueberries to improved vision and the ease of eye fatigue.
The benefits of antioxidants in blueberries also lower the risk of some cancers and promote urinary tract health, memory function, and healthy aging with their varying amounts of health-promoting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics, currently being studied for their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
In addition, researchers have identified disease prevention high on the benefits of eating blueberries, citing that blueberries may reduce the build up of so called "bad" cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke through antioxidant properties.
Have you ever wondered what that powdery blue coating was on a blueberry? Many people think is spray/pesticide residue, well it isn't. Fresh Blueberries carry a powdery "bloom" similar to that found on grapes. The powdery blue coating is natural wax or protective skin for the fruit and is a sign of a healthy berry.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum), showing persistent calyx at the top of fruit. The calyx is cut away on right fruit to show the numerous stamens. The fruit is technically a leathery-skinned berry containing many seeds, each surrounded by a juicy, fleshy aril. The pomegranate tree is native to Africa and the Near East. Hebrews decorated their buildings with pomegranate motifs, and the beautiful, many-seeded fruits became associated with a symbol of fertility and abundance. In Asia, pomegranates were offered to wedding guests who threw them on the floor of the honeymoon suite, shattering the fruits and scattering the bright red seeds. This practice was believed to insure fertility and a large number of offspring for the newlyweds. The French word for a pomegranate is "grenade," which also refers to a hand-thrown bomb that scatters deadly metal fragments (shrapnel) instead of seeds.
Apples (Malus communis, M. pumila, & M. sylvestris), pears (Pyrus communis) and quince (Cydonia oblonga) belong to the rose family (Rosaceae), and include literally hundreds of cultivated varieties. In the apple, the original ancestral species is obscured by so many cultivated variations throughout the centuries that some authors lump them all into one species, Malus domestica. They all originated in western Asia (or Eurasia) and are characterized by fleshy fruits called pomes. In the pome, a thick, fleshy hypanthium layer (also called the floral cup or calyx tube) surrounds (and is fused with) the seed-bearing ovary or core. The sepals, petals and stamens arise from the rim of the hypanthium. Since the ovary is situated below the attachment of the sepals, petals and stamens, it is termed "inferior" in technical plant taxonomy books. The fleshy hypanthium of a rose (Rosa) surrounds a cluster of small one-seeded achenes. Since the achenes represent separate ripened ovaries all derived from a single flower, the entire structure (called a rose hip) can be considered an aggregate fruit or etaerio. Rose hips are eaten raw and are ground up as a supplemental source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Most of the apples grown commercially are diploid (2n), although there are many triploid varieties. For example, 'Gravenstein' apples are triploid with a chromosome number of 51 (3n=51). They are produced by the union of a diploid egg (2n=34) and a haploid sperm (n=17). This is accomplished by crossing a tetraploid plant (4n=68) with an ordinary diploid plant (2n=34). Because the triploid (3n) varieties are sterile, they must be propagated by grafting, where the scions of choice cultivars are grafted to hardy, pest-resistant root stalks.
Apples are mentioned throughout most of recorded human history. The generic name Malus is derived from the Latin word malus or bad, referring to Eve picking an apple in the Garden of Eden; however, some biblical scholars think the fig, and not the apple, was the forbidden fruit picked by Eve. One of the earliest records of any fruit eaten by people of the Middle East is the common fig (Ficus carica). Remnants of figs have been found in archeological excavations dating back to the Neolithic era, about 1000 years before Moses. The fig is also the first tree mentioned in the Bible in the story of Adam and Eve. There are some scholars who think the apricot is a more likely candidate because it was an abundant fruit (along with figs) in the ancient Palestine area. Other interesting tales about apples include Johnny Appleseed, William Tell, Sir Isaac Newton, and Apple Computers.
Although the pineapple (Ananas comosus) is grown throughout tropical regions of the world, it is actually native to the New World. Pineapples belong to the diverse bromelia family (Bromeliaceae), along with the many tropical epiphytes called bromeliads (Bromelia), the xerophytic yucca-like plants (Puya), and the lichen-like "Spanish moss" (Tillandsia usneoides) that hangs in trees of the southeastern United States. The sweet, juicy cone-like structure is technically a multiple fruit composed of many individual fruits (berries) embedded in a fleshy, edible stem. In fact, it was originally named for its superficial resemblance to a pine cone. Columbus made this comparison during his second voyage to the New World in 1493, a similarity that led to the English name. The individual fruits arise from separate floral ovaries embedded in the stem axis. Each berry is subtended by a conspicuous bract where the original flower was located. The remnants of the bracts and floral parts produce the prickles on the knobby stem surface. [In aggregate fruits, such as the strawberry and blackberry, the individual fruits (achenes and drupelets) come from a single flower.]
These seedless fruits embedded in the stem axis develop without pollination and without subsequent fertilization; however, seeds can be obtained by carefully pollinating the flowers. Since most cultivated pineapples are seedless, they are propagated vegetatively by planting the leafy portion above the fruiting axis (or severed axillary branches) in rich soil. Pineapples were introduced into Hawaii in the early nineteenth century, and the young entrepreneur J.D. Dole encouraged the natives to grow the plants as a cash crop. Since pineapples contain the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, they cannot be used in desserts containing gelatin or milk. [Try adding some pineapple juice to milk.] Because of this protein-digesting enzyme, pineapples have been used as a meat tenderizer.