Monk fruit is not something that you can easily find in the produce aisle. If it is, it is not something that you will choose over colorful apples. However, this fruit is getting popular these days. Thanks to those health-conscious foodies. If you do not like to eat it raw, you may consider buying a monk fruit sweetener.
In this post, you will learn about its many health benefits and some drawbacks.
What is Monk Fruit?
It is a small green melon. Buddhist luohan monks cultivate this fruit for centuries, ergo, the name. What are the things you might not know about this fruit?
1.) Monk Fruit is Picky
Yes, it does not grow anywhere. It can be picky where it wants to grow. You need to be living in a sub-tropical country near the mountains to grow it.
You cannot easily find it in a farmer’s market because it tends to go rancid quickly after harvest.
2.) As an Alternative Sweetener
Although it is not easy to spot in a farmer’s market, you can purchase monk fruit sweetener online. It is made from dried fruit extract.
Compared to table sugar, this sweetener is 250 times sweeter. However, it has zero calories and carbs. it also does not cause a sugar spike.
The fruit contains natural sweeteners, like fructose and glucose.
3.) High in Antioxidants
The intense sweetness of this fruit comes from mogroside. It is a type of glycoside that has unique antioxidant properties.
When you purchase a monk fruit sweetener, you will see the percentage of mogroside present in the product. The higher the number, the “purer” the extract is.
4.) Great for Patients with Diabetes
It is indeed sweet. However, as mentioned earlier, it does not cause a sugar spike. In that case, it is safe for patients with diabetes.
However, foods and drinks that have been sweetened with this fruit may contain added sugars. Thus, you must not assume that every monk fruit product is carb-free or sugar-free. Always read the label.
5.) Help in Weight Loss Goal
It does not cause weight loss but it can help you lose weight. The reason for this is that it has no carbs, fats, and calories. Thus, if you are watching your waistline, it can be a great sweetener to your coffee.
And if you follow intermittent fasting, you can put monk fruit sweetener to your coffee while still in the fasting state without ruining your fast. Keep in mind that coffee is allowed when you are fasting provided you are not adding any sweeteners.
Since this sweetener does not contain any carb, calories, and fats, it is okay to drink coffee with monk fruit sweetener while you are fasting.
You may also eat monk fruit products while in a fasting state. However, make sure that the product does not have any added sugars. Never eat it and add some diet-busting ingredients.
6.) Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
In Traditional Chinese medicine, this fruit is being used to make hot drinks. It can relieve sore throats and improve phlegm production.
The mogrosides contain anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why they are touted to help in preventing cancer.
7.) Includes Anti-Microbial agents
This fruit can inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens. As a result, it can help in maintaining a proper balance between good and bacteria in the gut.
Artificial sweeteners and sugars are regarded by pathogens as food. Candida albicans, for instance, eats them. However, because of the fruit’s anti-microbial properties, it promotes friendly bacteria and boosts the growth of B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, and the like.
In that case, it can help in suppressing any inflammation in the body. As we published earlier, promoting healthy guts can be the key to slow down aging and body inflammation.
8.) Promotes Longevity
As we age, we start to experience massive stress inside. It results in increased inflammation and tissue breakdown.
When you consume this fruit regularly, you are getting its antioxidants, which are known to fight inflammation and prevent the degradation of body cells. With that in mind, it can protect you against premature or rapid aging.
9.) Improves Cardiovascular System
Another benefit of eating monk fruit is that it reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is that it contains some components that can inhibit cholesterol oxidation. As a result, it can prevent the build-up of cholesterol in the blood, which can result in plaques.
The mogrosides in this fruit protects your body against cholesterol buildup. Furthermore, it may boost your HDL (or good) cholesterol that is great for your heart health.
10.) Enhances Immune Function
As stated earlier, this fruit comes with some anti-bacterial properties. It can maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Furthermore, the antioxidants present in this fruit can fight against harmful radicals. In that case, it can prevent diseases and illnesses.
11.) Causes Allergies
Unfortunately, monk fruit has some drawbacks. Some people have developed allergies to this fruit. The reason for this is that it is a member of the Curcurbitaceae family.
It means that if you are allergic to cucumbers, melons, and squash, then you are likely to be allergic to this fruit and its products.
If you notice hives or experience a rapid pulse, dizziness, swollen tongue, wheezing and difficulty breathing, then they are sure signs of an allergic reaction.
However, monk fruit allergy is rare so does Curcurbitaceae allergy.
12.) May Help with Allergies
It is contradictory to the top 11. However, monk fruit may relieve your seasonal allergies. We have histamine in our body that is triggered by insect sting or allergen. During pollen season, we often experience nasal congestion.
This fruit is said to have the ability to lower our histamine response to allergies. In that case, daily consumption of this fruit may help relieve your seasonal allergies.
Then again, if you are allergic to the Cucurbitaceae family, then you might as well use other ways to lower your histamine level.
13.) Better than Other Sweeteners
it is sweeter than table sugar, as mentioned earlier. Despite that, it does not increase your blood sugar level.
Between Splenda and Monk fruit sweetener, these two products monk fruit is better. The reason for this is that Splenda contains carbs and maltodextrin. As a result, it can bring your calories up to 3.36 per gram.
Compared to Stevia, monk fruit is more expensive. It can be because it is difficult to harvest. Stevia, on the other hand, is widely available.
Should You Start Using Monk Fruit Sweetener or Eat this Fruit Regularly?
You may eat this fruit regularly if you can find it easily. As mentioned earlier, it is not simple to find it in a farmer’s market.
As a sweetener, it can be a great alternative to your regular sweeteners. However, you need to make sure that the product contains pure monk fruit and it does not contain any added sugars. If it does, then it only defeats the purpose of monk fruit.