“Gac” , the wonder fruit has made its debut in India. Originally grown and used for centuries in Southeast Asia, gac is a popular health food.
Not surprising, considering that gac has..
• 70 times the lycopene than tomatoes
• 10 times the beta carotene in carrots
• 40 times the amount of vitamin C in oranges
• 40 times zeaxanthin in corn
Lycopene and beta carotene belong to a family of compounds called “carotenoids” . These are pigments that impart the particular colour to the fruit or vegetable. Carotenoids are converted to Vitamin A in our body and are crucial for clear vision, skin health and immunity. Carotenoids are also powerful antioxidants that prevent cancer, inflammation (which can lead to heart disease and diabetes).
Gac fruit has been used to boost Vitamin A levels in preschool children in Vietnam. The good news is that this super fruit may shortly be introduced in India. A private farm in Bangalore has started “experimental farming” of gac to make it available here instead of importing from Southeast Asian countries. Researchers are also studying health benefits of the peels of the fruit and other parts of the plant.
Although it will be some time before gac becomes available in our supermarkets, the first step towards this has been taken. A welcome step, given the amazing disease fighting benefits of this fruit.