When talking about rare fruit in the world with benefits and then gac fruit is supposed to be the ones in the top of the list. Gac fruit may have strange name but you must be surprised when you find out about the health benefits of gac fruit.
What Is Gac Fruit?
As mentioned above, gac fruit is very rare but yet very healthy. Gac fruit has unique appearance and packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals, so this fruit is also well known as fruit from heaven. The flesh is very juicy with bright red color while the skin is bright orange with spiky texture similar to jackfruit. That’s why gac fruit is also best known as baby jackfruit in English. This fruit is originated from Southeast Asia region and the name of gac is derived from Vietnamese while the scientific name of this fruit is Momordica cochinchinensis. It means this fruit has close relation with bitter melon since they come from the same genus Momordica. Not only in Southeast Asia, the seeds of gac fruit has been used as part of Chinese herbs health medication known as ‘wooden turtle seed’.
Nutritional Value of Gac Fruit
Though gac fruit comes from the same genus as bitter melon but the flavor is very nutty and a bit similar to cucumber. From the bright color of gac fruit, you must have guessed that this fruit is packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene. Just like the health benefits of jackfruits, gac fruit is also packed with vitamin C benefits for you to enjoy. Furthermore, gac fruit also contains some lycopene and fatty acids that rarely found in fruit. The list about health benefits of gac fruit below may tell you more about this rare fruit.
- Improve Vision
One of the health benefits of beta-carotene is acting as pro-vitamin A to promote healthy vision. Furthermore, vitamin A and vitamin C are also great to fight conditions caused by macular degeneration such as blindness in the old ages.
- Fights Depression
Depression is not something you could deal with lightly. However, some studies found that gac fruit is one of the possible treatments to fight the symptoms of depression because it is rich of selenium and packed with several vitamins and minerals to help optimizing the function of nerve system.
- Protects Cardiovascular Health
The reason why gac fruit is great for heart is because it is packed with antioxidants that could help maintaining the cardiovascular health. When cardiovascular health could be maintained conditions like symptoms of high blood pressure and cholesterol could be prevented.
- Helps Managing Cholesterol Level
The amount of fiber found in gac fruit is excellent solution in managing the cholesterol level. The soluble fiber will bind the bad cholesterol and wash it out from the system and reduce the risk of the accumulation of plaque caused by bad cholesterol in the blood vessel. It means conditions like stroke and heart attack could be prevented as well.
- Natural Solution to Insomnia
Surely you have known about the horrible effect of sleep deprivation. Not only your health but also your mood will be affected. If you have problem sleeping, adding gac fruit to your daily diet may help reducing the worst effect of the symptoms.
- Fights Anemia
Anemia is considered to be one of the common conditions that could be suffered by everyone. However, in long term even this harmless condition could be fatal. Consuming gac fruit regularly could help fighting anemia because this fruit is packed with iron which is essential to the production of red blood cells while vitamin C will make sure the optimal absorption of iron.
- Prevents Cancer
Gac fruit earns the name of heaven fruit is not without reason. Some studies have stated the amazing benefit of gac fruit which is able to prevent cancer. Gac fruit contains some active anti-cancer properties. Aside from antioxidant, gac fruit also contains specific protein compound that could inhibit the development of cancerous cells.
- Treats Diarrhea
The locals have been using gac fruit to help treating diarrhea traditionally because gac fruit contains some active anti-bacteria properties to help dealing with bacteria that may become the root problem of the diarrhea.
- Maintain Youth
Among the locals in Vietnam, gac fruit is well known to be fruit to help maintaining their youth. That’s why this fruit is also well known as fruit for vitality and longevity. It is because gac fruit contains antioxidants as well as some vitamins and minerals that could help slowing down the aging process and preventing premature aging.
Cautions of Gac Fruit
For some people gac fruit may look really strange but yet fascinating at the same time. However, still for you who find this fruit for the first time and eager to taste it there are some cautions you should aware.
- Not all parts of the gac fruit are edible. Eating the skin part is not going to be fatal but definitely could make you sick for several days because it contains toxins.
- If you are allergic to fruits or vegetables from genus Momordica or allergic to fruits similar to jackfruit, avoiding gac fruit is a wise move.
- For those who are currently taking vitamin A supplement for the sake of medication, consuming gac fruit in moderate amount only because gac fruit contains quite high vitamin A and beta-carotene. Too much vitamin A in your body could be toxic.
Actually, though only the seeds and the thin layer of the pulp that are edible but there are some parts of gac fruit that are also used such as the roots and seeds oil. The roots of gac fruit is rich of saponins and have been used traditionally and commercially as laundry soap. Moreover, the young leaves of gac fruit is also commonly consumed as vegetables by some people in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.