Monk Fruit Benefits, Nutritional Value and Side Effects
People globally are looking for alternative sweeteners because they are increasingly trying to avoid sugar. Mont fruit sweetner or monk fruit extract is one of the popular sweetner, and it has been around for decades. Monk fruit’s benefits are attributed to its antioxidant properties, zero calories, and is 250 times sweeter than sugar.
A small green melon Monk fruit or Luo Han Guo is native to southern China, cultivated centuries ago by monks and hence the name. However, not many of us might pick out a monk fruit between the luscious lemon, vibrant oranges or colourful apples. But it is popular among people who want to go sugar-free.
Let us go through this article to learn more about the Monk fruit benefits and how can you incorporate it into your diet.
What is Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo) and Its Nutritional Values?
Monk fruit is a green gourd that resembles a melon and is small that grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit’s unusual name comes from the Buddhist monks who cultivated the fruit in the 13th century. This fruit extract is used in the preparation of a Monk fruit sweetner. However, Monk fruit isn’t very appealing and doesn’t store well.
Monk fruit is an exceptional and popular sweetner alternative with a sweetness 200 times more than sugar. This is because the fruit contains zero fat, zero sodium, zero carbohydrates and zero calories. One packet of Monk fruit powder contains the following nutritional information.
- 0 calories.
- 0 grams fat.
- 0 grams sodium.
- 0.8 grams of carbohydrates.
- 0 grams of fibre.
- 0 grams of sugar.
- 0 grams of protein.
Read: Why is Jackfruit So Healthy?
Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo) Health Benefits:
Most of us probably couldn’t pick out Monk fruit in the produce aisle. But because of health-conscious foodies, sugar-free devotees and people from the diabetes community, Monk fruit is getting a great deal of attention. Here are some of the Monk fruit health benefits:
1. Monkfruit Might Be Safe for Diabetes:
Mogrosides are natural compounds in Monk fruit that give the fruit its sweetness. Therefore, this fruit might not increase blood sugars and is generally safe for people with Diabetes. However, according to a study on mice, Monk fruit extracts might reduce blood sugar levels, lower oxidative stress, and increase good cholesterol (1)(2). In addition, the mogrosides’ can stimulate insulin secretion in insulin cells which is considered the reason for this benefit (3).
2. Monkfruit Aids in Weight Loss:
Monk fruit might aid in weight loss because it has no calories, fat or carbs. You can substitute monk fruit sweetener for table sugar to save substantial calories and carbs throughout the day. But, again, avoid monk fruit sweeteners or products that don’t include any added sugars.
3. Monkfruit Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Monkfruit’s benefits include providing anti-inflammatory effects that might help prevent cancer and keep blood sugar levels stable with the help of the fruit’s mogrosides. In addition, Luo Han Guo has been used for sore throat and reduces phlegm by using it to prepare hot drinks, as per a 2011 study (4).
4. Monkfruit Has Antioxidant Effects:
Monkfruit has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties attributed to Mogroside extracts, which might prevent damage to your DNA by inhibiting harmful molecules (5).
5. Monkfruit Has Anticancer Properties:
Monkfruit extracts inhibit cancer cell growth as per animal and test-tube research, though mechanisms are still unclear (6)(7). In addition, the mogrosides suppressed leukaemia cell growth. Also, they had inhibitory effects on skin tumours, as per a study on mice (8)(9).
6. Monkfruit Might Prevent Kidney Failure and Fights Infections:
The Monkfruit inhibits the growth of unwanted microbes because it acts as a natural microbial agent. It also helps maintain the correct bacterial balance in the gut by providing beneficial anti-microbial properties. Therefore Luo Han Guo might also be good for cough by suppressing the surge of antibiotic resistance. It also prevents kidney failure by inhibiting sugar overload.
7. Monkfruit Promotes Longevity:
Monkfruit is also called ‘Luo Han Guo, which indicates its potency. The antioxidants called mogrosides control body cells’ degeneration and inflammation with their regular consumption. Luo Han Guo benefits for skin include protection against premature and rapid ageing by shielding the body against inflammation and fighting infections.
Read: Benefits of Soursop Fruit for Health
Is Monk Fruit a Healthy Sweetener?
Monk fruit or Siraitia Grosvenorii is also called Buddha fruit, usually grown in Southeast Asia. Traditional Chinese medicine has been using Monk fruit extracts for centuries, although FDA approved it in 2010. The preparation of Monkfruit sweetener is done by crushing the fruit by removing the seeds and skin. The juice is then prepared into concentrated powder after drying.
Monk fruit is a zero-calorie and natural sweetner. It is 100 to 250 times sweeter than regular sugar because it is high in antioxidants called mogrosides. In addition, the fructose or glucose present in the monk fruit is separated during the processing of the juice.
Monk fruit extract is used as a standalone sweetener, a component of sweetener blends, an ingredient in food and drinks and a flavour enhancer (10). However, many manufacturers mix monk fruit sweeteners with other natural products like erythritol or insulin to reduce the sweetness. This extract is 100 to 250 times sweeter than table sugar.
How to Make Monk Fruit Tea?
Here is how you can prepare Monk fruit tea easily in the comfort of your home. Reap the monk fruit tea benefits with this simple preparation:
- 11 grams of dried monk fruit.
- Eight cups of water.
- Rinse a monk fruit after breaking it in half.
- Add the monk fruit, including the seeds and shell, to a pot with water.
- Boil the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Later discard the fruit.
- Use a spoon and fill the cup with the tea.
- You can either drink the tea hot or cold as per your preference.
- You can also refrigerate the tea, which should be consumed within seven days.
Read: Ash Gourd Health Benefits and Nutrition Details
Monk Fruit Side Effects:
Monkfruit sweetner was recognized as safe only in 2010 and is relatively new to the market. As a result, monk fruit extract doesn’t have many studies examining its effects, unlike other low-calorie sweeteners. However, there have been no reported side effects from eating the Monk fruit sweetener because it has been in use as a food for many years. But here are a few things you need to keep in mind about Monk fruit extracts:
- It is hard to find Monk fruit or its extracts and therefore it is pricy.
- Some people find the Monk fruit’s aftertaste unattractive.
Although more research is warranted to learn more about the Monk fruit benefits, Monk fruit extracts can be a perfect alternative for people who wish to limit or avoid dietary sugar. But to be sure, consult a doctor before adding monk fruit extracts to your diet. Also, don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based purely on research and is not a replacement for professional advice. You can always consult your doctor or health care professional before adding anything to your diet. Furthermore, the website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information.
1. What are the allergies to Monk fruit?
Ans: Although allergies to Monk fruit are rare, it is always best to watch for allergic reactions. Here are some allergic reactions that might happen if you are allergic to the fruits and veggies of the Cucurbitaceae family:
- Rashes or hives.
- Breathing difficulty.
- Weak or rapid pulse.
- Tongue swelling.
- Vomiting or stomach pain.
2. What are the different ways we can consume Monk fruit?
Ans: Since Monk fruit can be used as a sweetener, it can be used in the following beverages:
- Lemonade, hot or iced tea.
- Salad dressings.
3. Can anyone eat Monkfruit?
Ans: Monk fruit extract is generally considered safe for consumption. But to make sure, always consult your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.