Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gac Fruit Vietnam

The Western world has been taken by surprise with the super antioxidant powers of the highly celebrated gac fruit. Vietnam is the primary source for this spectacular “super fruit” that has grown in rural areas of the country for thousands of years. The fruit is harvested from vines trailing through trellises around people’s homes when they go from green to a vibrant orange-red hue.

Gac Fruit Promotes Health

The health-promoting powers of the fruit is no longer a secret in North America and it is now consumed by people interested in natural alternatives to preventing disease, boosting the immune system and a long-lasting youthful appearance and vitality. This Asian treasure has such an extraordinary concentration of vitamins and minerals it is used to treat mild to common disorders rather than turning to prescription drugs.

Gac fruit is especially rich in:

  • lycopene, zeaxanthin and beta carotene (antoxidants)
  • vitamins A, C, and E
  • essential fatty acids
  • iron and zinc

The ripe fruit is available seasonally from September to December and is the cause for great celebration. For local Vietnamese people the ripening fruit hanging on the vines around the entrance way to their homes has always invoked feelings of anticipation for the imminent celebrations heralding the New Year.

The exterior of the fruit is hard and spiny once it ripens. The orange fruit inside forms thick and spongy cushions for 15 – 20 brilliant red seed pods. Traditional Vietnamese herbalists make a special tonic from the oil extracted from the seed membrane of the gac fruit. Vietnam depended on the oil for hundreds of years as an agent to assist with pregnancy, lactation and issues with vision. The oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor that children like and take to help promote healthy development and growth.

Celebration Offering

It is traditional to prepare celebration dishes made with gac fruit. Vietnam is famous for delicate rice dishes and the red pulp of the fruit is added to the rice, denoting life and vitality. The dish is served at wedding and important events, garnished with the whole seeds so everyone partaking of the offering knows the gac is fresh.

Since the gac fruit is so high in beneficial oils it is not shelf-stable and cannot be easily shipped. Gac products with the same high concentration of nutrients can be obtained through many health food stores in North America. Gac can be purchased as powder, frozen pulp, juice or oil


Gac Fruit Oil For Youthfulness and Vitality

Gac fruit oil is from the fruit revered as “the gift from above” for its key role in maintaining great health and longevity. It has been used traditionally in Southeast Asia for thousands of years to support cellular rejuvenation in the body. Extracts from the fruit are used to help promote healthy, youthful looking skin.

High in Vitamin A

Also known as baby jackfruit and sweet gourd, the bright red spiny fruit about the size of a cantaloupe is bursting with powerful antioxidants such as beta carotene and lycopene to boost the immune system and slow down the symptoms of aging. Gac fruit oil is especially rich in vitamin A and is used in Vietnam to overcome diseases spurred on by a deficiency in the diet of the vitamin.

Vitamin A deficiency can have a serious impact on our health:

  • Night blindness and blindness
  • Inability for the body to fight infections
  • Unhealthy pregnancy and lactation
  • Deceased rate of growth
  • Retarded bone development
  • Lower survival rate after serious illnesses
  • Dry skin, dry hair and broken fingernails

Our bodies do not naturally produce vitamin A so the only way we can get it is though our diet. Gac fruit oil is a major source of the vitamin.

High in Vitamin E

Gac fruit oil is rich in other free radical scavengers that put a stop to the damage to the skin that makes it look old and wrinkled. Xeoxanthins and alpha-tocopherol are free radicals and forms of vitamin E contained in the oil. Anti-aging creams are typically saturated with vitamins A and E to prevent the destruction of skin cells that makes it age. The oil from the gac fruit is highly prized for its ability to promote youthful, glowing skin. It is the reason Southeast Asian women have beautiful, vibrant skin.

Use Natural Products for Younger Looking Skin

Using natural products for rejuvenating the skin and maintaining a healthy, youthful appearance is a growing trend among celebrities and super models. Natural health is reflected by the skin and is fast becoming preferable over harsh chemical treatments and costly cosmetic surgery. Hollywood celebs are trying to avoid the “frozen” face look that comes with repeated cosmetic surgeries. Gac fruit oil offers a concentrated, nutrient-rich solution to support glowing, youthful looking skin.


Gac Fruit Diet for Health

Vietnamese people have been on the gac fruit diet for thousands of years because of the super nutritional content contained in the oil and seeds to prevent certain types of cancer, improve growth and boost the immune system. Finding the fresh fruit in Western countries is unusual, but when it can be obtained there is a method to eating it.

If the gac fruit is not a bright red is it not ripe enough to eat. It starts out green, about the size of a cantaloupe and as it ripens goes through the yellow and orange spectrum until it reaches a brilliant orange-red hue. They are at their peak when they turn a brighter red just before spoiling.

How to Eat Gac Fruit

Warning! Do not eat the sides, which is similar to the inner texture of a cantaloupe. This part of the fruit, as well as the exterior rind are toxic and will make you feel ill for a couple days if you attempt to eat it. The only parts that can be eaten are the inner soft, oily pulp surrounding the seeds and the seeds themselves.

The gac fruit diet in Southeast Asian countries really only consists of those part of the fruit. The oil is used to make the famous Vietnamese dish, xoi gac – a dish representing life and vitality served at weddings and special celebrations. The oil and seeds have mild nutty flavor, that is unobtrusive in rice dishes or smoothies, but pack a powerful nutritional punch.

Carotenoids for Disease Prevention

The fruit is very high in carotenoid antioxidants that help to fight off the ravages of toxins in the environment that lead to disease and symptoms of aging. Gac fruit contains about 40 times more zeaxanthin than corn. This is the antioxidant that promotes eye health and lowers the chances of getting cataracts and macular degeneration due to aging. There has really been nothing else discovered medically that offers this type of protection to the eyes.

Inadequate intake of carotenoids through the foods we eat does not produce any noticeable short-term effects. Over time lack of these particular antioxidants is linked to chronic health situations such as heart disease and cancers. A gac fruit diet dramatically boosts the levels of carotenoids in the body, thereby helping to lower the susceptibility to these maladies


Gac Fruit for Healthy Living

Gac fruit is the Vietnamese super food that delivers powerful antioxidant health benefits and is quickly growing in one of the favorites in Western diets for people that want to eat foods that fuel their bodies with the most abundant nutrients. The fruit only ripens for a few months out of the year – September to January is so highly revered it is the cause for many festivals and celebrations. It is considered an Asian treasure with 10 times more lycopene (an important antioxidant) than any other fruit.

Fruit from Heaven

In rural Northern Vietnam many homes are decorated with trellises laden with vines that spiral up toward the sky. The fruit begins as a green cantaloupe-like fruit that eventually ripens into a brilliant dark red-orange. The vines are very easy to grow but the ripe fruit is only available seasonally. It is known affectionately as “Fruit from Heaven” because of the way it grows and its impressive health benefits. It is said to promote health, vitality and longevity.

Super Antioxidant Properties

Lycopene is the red pigment that gives the gac fruit and others such as watermelon, pink grapefruit and tomatoes their color. It has been shown to have excellent antioxidants effects and helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. Studies show that men with high amounts of lycopene in their body fat were 50% less likely to suffer from heart attacks. (Lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient.) A completely ripe gac fruit at its deepest color intensity provides about 70 times more lycopene in a commercial tomato.

Lycopene is not naturally produced by the body so it must be included in the diet. Since it is fat soluble, it must be eaten along with some form of dietary fat to be absorbed by the body. Studies showed that eating foods high in lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 34%. It also helps to lower blood pressure and balance low blood sugar and hyperglycemia.

As an antioxidant, lycopene scavenges for “free radicals” in the body caused by stress, body metabolism and environmental toxins that attack healthy cells and instigate aging-related diseases, heart disease and cancer. It also helps to disarm the free radicals responsible for instigating osteoporosis and UV skin damage. It has been suggested that lycopene helps to improve fertility in men. It is recommended that foods containing lycopene such as gac fruit are consumed daily for the antioxidant health benefits.