Monk fruit is quite underrated nowadays considering how beneficial it is to a person’s health. It wouldn’t be your first pick considering as people we tend to get things based on how they look. Unlike a bright red apple, or a soft yellow banana, this fruit is a dull shade of brown.
About Monk Fruit
Buddhist monks were the first to use it hence its name. This fruit was cultivated by them because it was sweet and had healing properties. These were considered to be valuable properties at the time. It’s grown on vines in areas native to Asia. This specifically refers to China and Thailand.
This small round fruit has been used in Eastern medicine for a long time. It played a vital role in digestive aid and its extract is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. And even now they are cultivated for their fruit extract which is known for its sweetness.
1. Assists in Weight Loss
Sugar high diets are normally associated with weight gain or an increase in general fat mass. Many obese or overweight people have started turning to monk fruit for this reason.
For anyone who’s keeping an eye on their waistline, this fruit is a great choice. This is because it does not have any calories, carbohydrates (carbs), or fat. The sweetener of the fruit is a great substitute for table sugar in case you want to watch the calories and carbs you intake. It can even be a substitute for ingredients like chocolate since it is a sugar free sweetener and a natural one.
2. Protection Against Diabetes
Monk fruit came to the attention of people who were in search of foods with low sugar content. This included people with diabetes. It is a great alternative to artificial sugar since it is a natural sweetener. Diabetic people will find this to be a safer choice since it does not affect blood sugar.
Erring on the side of caution, people who are diabetic should look at the product labels of food or drinks that are sweetened by this fruit. These products may contain sugars or a high amount of carbs that could affect insulin sensitivity. One should not assume that all products containing this fruit are sugar free or even carb- free.
3. Monk Fruit may help battle Infections and benefits Immune System
A common problem nowadays is that people rely too much on antibiotics or don’t take them properly which allows their bodies to resist standard antibiotics. This is challenging for the doctors to treat and can prolong illnesses that are easily curable. One should take it for the course of time and regularly as recommended by their doctors.
Coming to the fruit at hand, a study by Yan Zheng and his colleagues suggests that they have antibiotic properties. Another study claims that it can fight a kind of yeast that can painfully affect parts of the body like the digestive system.
The fruit impedes the growth of unwanted microorganisms by its provision of helpful properties that are antibacterial. This allows there to be a bacterial balance abdomen. This shows that it is very effective in extinguishing the rapid growth of antibiotic resistance.
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4. Hormonal Imbalance, Slumber, Depression
Artificial sugars take a toll on the human body when taken in excess or unhealthy amounts. This results in hormonal imbalance which can cause side effects throughout our bodies along with insomnia. Furthermore, there is a higher risk of depression.
Using the fruit as a substitute we can:
- balance our hormone levels
- fix or at least improve our sleeping routine
- reduce depression
5. Prevents Cancer
Different cancers usually stem from the consumption artificial sugars. They cause inflammation in the body. Later on they turn cancerous. Consuming monk fruit instead of these harmful sugars can be beneficial.
There has been research suggesting that this fruit has anti-cancer properties. A study from 2016 discovered that the extract of the fruit could subdue the growth of colorectal and throat cancer. Other forms of research revealed that since this fruit contains anti-carcinogen properties it also has the ability to hinder breast tumor and skin growth.
It inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Due to the antioxidant effect of mogrosides (found in the fruit), the DNA damage that occurs due to cancer growth is reduced.
Other benefits include preventing kidney failure, allowing you to live longer, and relief from allergies.
How can Monk Fruit and it’s Sweetener be used in our lives?
Its uses are:
- Ice cream
There are some recipes to use this sweetener in baked goods like chocolate brownies or cream cheese frosting. However it is best to not use it for baked goods that require sugar for the structure and texture.
Other examples of making the most of this are:
• Adding it to dairy products to sweeten them e.g. yoghurt
• Adding a pinch of it on fruit for sweetening it
By having high concentration of vitamin C this fruit is also good for the skin. Due to its anti-aging properties, face masks or tonics are made out of it.
Seemed too good to be true, didn’t it? Like every other thing in this universe, this fruit too has its drawbacks.
This sweetener and fruit is a rather expensive alternative to its non-nutritive sweeteners. Well that’s only a problem once you actually find this fruit. It isn’t very common in your average supermarket. It’s a challenge to grow and harvest it. Importing and processing is a whole other expense as well as difficult. It’s mostly found in areas where it’s grown or in the form of its extract in stores.
Moreover, people often find the aftertaste unflattering too.
In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, physically and mentally, this fruit is the answer. Its lack of side effects and numerous benefits are astounding. If we learn to use it correctly, we can truly improve our lives. Science has yet to prove if there is anything dangerous about this ingredient and its forms. Furthermore, its lack of availability and high price prove to be an obstacle but if overcome, it may be life changing.