How well do you know your obscure superfoods? The following question may stump the most informed reader.
Q: Which super food hails all the way from the Australian outback, has the highest levels of vitamin C of any food source on the planet, and has used by aborigines for thousands of years to help heal and strengthen health?
A: The gubinge fruit!
Gubinge is a small green fruit with a slightly sour taste that goes by many names—among them, the kakadu plum, the bush plum, the billygoat plum, and murunga. It has quite a prestigious claim to fame: At 1000-5000 mg of vitamin C per every 100 grams of the fruit, gubinge contains over 5% vitamin C by weight. That’s 50 times more vitamin C than an orange!
Vitamin C, the Great Healer
Alongside zinc, vitamin C is one of the best immune-boosting agents and has a strong anti-viral effect, perfect for kicking winter colds. Vitamin C keeps your bones, teeth, and gums healthy, keeps your skin youthful and firm by stimulating collagen production, and helps to improve brain function. Vitamin C also assists in the metabolism of enzymes necessary for proper digestion and production of peptide hormone, collagen, and carnitine (an enzyme that plays a vital role in energy metabolism).
Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant in gubinge. According to the journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, gubinge had the highest antioxidant powers of all the 12 native Australian fruits tested in a study—even higher than Cedar Bay cherries, blueberries, and Illawarre plums!
Gubinge’s Antioxidant and Anti-Cancer Features
In addition to vitamin C, gubinge provides health-promoting phytochemicals: gallic acid and ellagic acid. Research has shown that gallic acid is equipped with antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-tumor capabilities. A study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences showed that gallic acid exhibits significant anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat inflammatory diseases.
Other research shows that ellagic acid may help fight cancer, induce cancer cell death, and mitigate estrogen’s role in causing breast cancer. In addition, the journal Nutrition and Cancer reports that polyphenols extracted from gubinge suppress cancer cell activity.
Bone Builder and Natural Laxative
Gubinge is rich in calcium and magnesium, which work together to help strengthen bones and protect against osteoporosis. Calcium needs magnesium in order to be absorbed and impart its bone-building benefits.
High in dietary fiber, gubinge acts as a natural laxative. Dietary fiber helps your body eliminate accumulated waste from the colon. It also absorbs water from the colon, which helps curbs your appetite. As a low-cal, low-fat treat, gubinge is a great weight-loss fruit to have on hand if you’re trying to shed some pounds.
Despite attempts to commercially cultivate gubinge, the fruit thrives best in the harsh, remote woodlands of Australia. Farmed gubinge has significantly lower concentrations of vitamin C, so look for wild-harvested varieties. You can also purchase gubinge as kakuda plum juice or as a powder to mix into your green smoothies.