You may have never heard about it before, but Gac is definitely a fruit you’ll want to know about. This strange and beautiful red/ orange fruit is harvested in December and January, throughout Southeast Asia and China.
Also known as Chinese Bitter Cucumber, Spiny Bitter Gourd and Cochinchin Gourd, Gac fruit is rich in the antioxidants: beta-carotene, lycopene (seventy times more than in tomatoes), and zeaxanthin.It contains the highest concentration of beta carotene of any fruit and vegetable (ten times as much as carrots) and has a variety of protective properties.
But the most important thing about Gac fruit is that a Japanese study reported in the International Journal of Oncology suggested that Gac fruit may be a cancerfighter. In this lab study, a water extract of the fruit inhibited the growth of certain tumor cells. This does not mean that Gac fruit is a cancer cure, but it almost surely will help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer. No doubt more science on the anti-cancer properties of Gac fruit will be conducted over time.
You can find Gac fruits in Chiang Mai (the Thai name is Fak Kaao), only during December and January, however, not so easily. Try the JJ Organic Market, every Sunday morning at JJ Market, there are also stands selling Gac fruit juices at the Sunday and Saturday walking street, choose the unsweeted juice as it is more natural.