I HAVE recently taken up a great cause and I am willing to take to the streets so I can yell till I am hoarse: “Down with bad health.”

Presidential candidates should take up this cause also. They should become avocado advocates like me. Maybe in the next election, I will run as president and create the Acocado Party Inc. (API).

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I have been renewing my vow to stay healthy. In that direction, I have changed my diet in my reading materials. Instead of the usual adult stuff, like Marvel comics, and pamphlets on electronics, I have shifted to health subjects.

One good fruit is the avocado. My ancestral house has one tree growing in the east corner of the property. The fruits are creamy and without the pesky fibers that hamper our family’s enjoyment.

The avocado (Persea americana) is aguacate in Spanish. Some confusion has been created because of its smooth texture and rough skin. It is called butter pear and alligator pear, but it has nothing to do with butter or alligators.

It is classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel, according to wikipedia.com. The name “avocado” also refers to the fruit (technically a large berry that contains a large seed) of the tree which may be egg-shaped or spherical.

My niece Joy doesn’t care about all this brainy stuff. “Uncz, I mashed ripe avocado flesh and used it as a moisturizer. It was so cool on my skin so that now whenever we have it, I saved some of the flesh for my own, ahem, flesh,” she said.

I just smiled. I have read up on that one, too. In fact, there are now may products promoting the fruit as skin moisturizer, cleansing cream, makeup base, sunscreen, lipstick, bath oil, and hair conditioner.

“My, my, Ober, I didn’t know you are so much in touch with your feminine side,” my Tita Blitte told me as she and Joy snickered like two crazy teenagers.

I pulled up my entire five-foot-nine-inch frame and said: “Hey, I just read them up. Ask my girlfriend for the details on this makeup thing. By the way, what’s for lunch?” I asked as I tried to change the topic.

“We’re having avocado-crab meat salad, if you must know,” my aunt told me.

Uncle Gustav joined us. “What’s this about avocado advocacy?”

At last, a man on my side! “Well, Uncle Gustav, I read in an online site that avocado has many benefits.”

Here are some of the benefits: It protects you from cholesterol-related heart diseases. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Avocado includes necessary minerals like potassium, calcium, vitamin C and K, folic acid, copper, sodium and dietary fibers.

It’s like a vitamin capsule in a fruit.

Furthermore, the online site I read said that oleic acid in avocado can be used to lower cholesterol level in the blood.

Potassium in avocado regulates pressure of blood. Sodium reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stoke. It is even used to heal people who suffer from digestive and circulatory problems.

Uncle Gustav looked at me as if I were a blue-skinned native from the planet Pandora (Avatar in 3-D). “You mean to say you didn’t know that it’s good for the skin?” he asked in a voice that had exclamation points all over.

I started feeling outnumber until my nephew Pannon sat down beside me. “Uncle Obz, I’ve read on avocado also. It is a good anti-oxidant and used to help people who have sexual problems.”

We all shouted at the same time: “What!?”

My aunt asked him if he understood what he had just said. “Hmm, no, not everything; just the ‘good’ and ‘people’,” he said.

We felt relieved and promised to monitor where Pannon goes in cyberspace. But he really made my day.