The gac is a fruit from heaven, its a super fruit.
Gac’s deep orange spiny appearance makes it easy to spot in lush greenery. The fruit is harvested at the end of the rainy season throughout Southeast Asia: Thailand, China, and Malaysia. Gac is often served at ceremonies and festivals, such as Tết, the Vietnamese new year. It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine as the mubiezi. Western interest has increased in the past years due to scientific findings of high phytonutrients.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Cucurbitales
- Family: Cucurbitaceae
- Genus: Momordica
- Species: M. cochinchinensis
- Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng.
A seasonal delight
”Gac grows on dioecious vines and is usually collected from fence climbers or from wild plants. The vines can be commonly seen growing on lattices at the entrances to rural homes or in gardens. It only fruits once a year, and is found seasonally in local markets. The fruit itself becomes a dark orange color upon ripening, and is typically round or oblong, maturing to a size of about 13 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter. Its exterior skin is covered in small spines while its dark red interior consists of clusters of fleshy pulp and seeds.” (Wiki)
- Vietnam - Seed membrane are used to aid in the relief of dry eyes and to promote healthy vision. Often used as a tonic in the form of gac oil.
- Chinese – Seeds are used as the mubiezi, and have many external and internal uses.
- ”The rich, nutty oil has also proven worthy of treating wounds, skin infections, and burns, and is traditionally given to children to improve their growth.” (Asian net)
- Promotes vascular health.
- Smooth skin and bright eyes.
- Gac contains a protein that may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.
70 times more lycopene than a tomato
Gac has a massive amount of lycopene, a red pigment antioxidant. In fact, gac has 10 times more lycopene than any other fruit in the world. “Modern research has finally caught up with what the indigenous people of South Asia have known for centuries: the Gac is a nutritional wonder that rivals the health benefits of many better-known fruits and vegetables.” (Asian net) Gac also has 10 times the amount of beta-carotene of carrots or sweet potatoes. “Additionally, the carotenoids present in gac are bound to long-chain fatty acids, resulting in wahat is claimed to be a more bioavailable form.” (Wiki) Which surprisingly means a fruit high in fat is good! “Gac is emerging as one of the world's best-known sources of both beta-carotene and lycopene.” (Asian net)
Gac is starting to become part of many nutritional drinks. Gac oil can also be purchased in mass quantities online.