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