Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng.) Fruit and its Potentiality and Superiority in -Health Benefits
Keywords:Gac fruit, phytochemicals, nutritional content, carotenoids, medicinal plants, phytomedicine.
The diversity of bioactive compounds underlies the potential use and application of medicinal plants as an excellent source of dietary supplements. Fruits that are found to be rich in multi-phytochemicals are seriously being considered as â€˜superâ€™ fruits due to their unique antioxidants. Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng), is one of those â€˜superâ€™ fruits found to be rich in phytonutrients because all its fractions (i.e. aril, seeds, pulp and peel) have been widely used in folk healing and ancestral medicine. But, the entire potentiality towards the health benefits of Gac fruit is not well known or understood. Importantly, Gac fruit contains significantly higher amounts of lycopene than found in commercial tomatoes and relatively high levels of Î²-carotene. This review aimed to collect and summarise the scientific literature on the nutritional content, biological activities and nutraceutical value of Gac fruit. However, the literature on its biological activity against disease-causing cell damage such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer were found to be limited. The findings from this review indicate that the high bioavailability of phytonutrients found in Gac fruit and its pleasurable flavour, make it an ideal candidate for supplementation.
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