Monk Fruit: The Natural Sweetener and its Health Benefits
July 12, 2022
July 12, 2022
As per available statistics, sugar in higher quantities is detrimental to our health, and the high amount of calories in sugar can make any healthy person not so healthy. In such times, it is wise to opt for natural alternatives. One such prominent alternative is monk fruit.
Monk fruit is a vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, also known as the gourd family. It is etymologically from China and Thailand. Monk fruit is well known for giving almost 250 times the sweetness of sucrose.
A scientist who travelled miles to discover this cultivation gave this fruit’s scientific name. Initially, this fruit was famous as a sweetener in Chinese medications. Later on, several botanists worked on the fruit to find the component that caused sweetness in the dishes or remedies. Currently, all the information is readily available through various research papers.
Monk fruit leads to lower oxidative stress, reduced risk of obesity and diabetes, reduced inflammation, fatigue therapy, and even a natural allergen due to its unique nutritional combination.
Commonly, monk fruit gets sold in a powdered form. Also, few brands offer it in a liquid state.
This variety contains no added sugar or alcohol and is made entirely of monk fruit. This variant provides antioxidants, does not alter blood sugar levels, and causes no practical side effects to your body.
This variant consists of monk fruit extract combined with sugar alcohols or stevia. A few examples of sugar alcohols include sorbitol, erythritol, and maltitol. But the issue with this additional sugar substitute is that it causes digestive problems in some people, which can aggravate if not treated correctly. On the other hand, stevia offers the same benefits, but the amount of sucrose and side effects differ from monk fruit.
According to the USDA, 100g of monk fruit contains the following nutritional properties:
Monk fruit is a unique and natural sweetener substitute, and this is because the fruit primarily consists of few carbs if it blends with stevia. But don’t be concerned! Your blood sugar levels will not be affected by the contents of one packet. In addition, mogroside, a sweetening ingredient in monk fruit, is an antioxidant that helps in blood glucose regulation.
Monk fruit sweetener contains almost zero calories. In addition, monk fruit sweetener has insufficient quantities of fructose, glucose, and other components, making it a non-nutritive sugar alternative. Although monk fruit includes vitamin C, products made from fruit extract have no minerals or vitamins.
Monk fruit sugar is a safe alternative for people with diabetes and is frequently used as a sugar substitute in keto diets because it does not affect blood sugar levels. Children and pregnant women can also consume it because it is certified for general use in the United States.
In general, monk fruit contains essential sugars, fructose and glucose. But the additional sweetness is due to the particular type of glycoside known as mogroside.
A few benefits due to this substance are listed below.
Monk fruit has impressive anti-inflammatory properties, and the compound mogroside that provides sweetness also contains anti-inflammatory substances. According to some studies, these substances inhibit the growth of dangerous cells, preventing chronic disorders.
The sweetening ingredient in monk fruit possesses tumour growth inhibitory properties by promoting apoptosis and cell cycle arrest of pancreatic cancer as part of several studies. Most of them demonstrated desirable cell cycle arrest outcomes.
Some studies also mention that a few varieties of monk fruit also contain anti-inflammatory properties that can control cancerous or oncogenic cells.
The problem with several sweeteners is that they impact the blood sugar level, which can be detrimental to diabetic patients. On the other hand, according to research, monk fruit does not contain any substance that can affect blood sugar levels, and consuming it daily in appropriate quantities does not cause any harm to your body. But, be cautious while choosing monk fruit extract-based products as they may contain sugar or sucrose additives and other flavour-enhancing additives.
As mentioned in the nutritional properties section, monk fruit contains no amount of calories and fat. Thus, the body digests and assimilates monk fruit differently than usual sugar. These factors may aid in weight loss eventually in the long run.
As there is no natural sugar, you need not worry about cavities. This feature makes monk fruit sugar suitable for children too.
Original monk fruit sugar can add sweetness 250 times that of usual sucrose. Hence you need not buy huge quantities and store them, and you would need a pinch of this sugar for your dish.
Overall, monk fruit provides various health benefits. Monk fruit does not include substances that can impact blood sugar levels; eating it in moderation will not affect your body. In addition, it’s a wonderful choice for people trying to reduce weight because it’s fat-free and low in calories. So, use it in your diet to get the most out of this delicious fruit.
Monk fruit is excellent on its own. In addition, monk fruit sugar gets consumed in several ways.
A few of them are listed below.
Serves: 4 to 5 servings
Preparation time- 20- 30 Minutes
This cake is beneficial due to the absence of flour. All the other ingredients of this cake do not contain unnecessary calories.
This specific recipe is grain, dairy, sugar, and gluten-free and is entirely vegan-based, making it ideal to deal with hunger pangs and craving.
Serves: 4 servings
Preparation time- 30 minutes
Freezing time- 1hr 45 minutes
Any allergic reaction can be due to the presence of proteins. Since monk fruit contains zero amount of proteins, the chances of experiencing an allergy are rare. Yet as the fruit belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, people allergic to gourds are advised to avoid monk fruit as they can experience the following allergies.
Monk fruit usually has no side effects. Monk fruit is free from proteins and other sweetening substances; it causes no adverse effects and is safe even for pregnant women and children. According to studies, monk fruit falls under GRAS- Generally considered safe.
Several trials were carried out on various animals to confirm their safety. One study involved giving the specimen more than the recommended medication dosage, but the sample showed no adverse effects.
In the year 2010, FDA approved and labelled monk fruit as safe. Not many studies support the administration of monk fruit to humans and all research circles around animals. But that does not denote that the monk fruit is harmful to human beings. Monk fruit has been famous as a medicine, and there are negligible reports of side effects. However, if you are allergic to the gourd family, you may experience some side effects. Though monk fruit does not have adverse effects, a product similar to monk fruit- stevia, has few side effects.
Even if there is no research supporting the adverse effects of monk fruit, be cautious before buying any monk fruit-based products, as these products may or may not contain preservatives that can trigger an allergic reaction. Otherwise, you do not need to worry about the monk fruit sweetener as it does not cause any allergies.
Practically, everyone can consume it. According to studies, a person can consume up to 60 milligrams of monk fruit per kg of body weight every day. But minor fluctuation in quantity would not cause any adverse effects.
Monk fruit has no restrictions as pregnant women, children, and even diabetic patients can consume it in appropriate quantities. You can have it at any time of the day by including it in any meal or beverage. You can exclude Monk Fruit from your diet only if you are allergic to other gourds.
From these points mentioned above, it is evident that monk fruit is the best alternative to sugar in its original form. Including monk fruit in your daily diet can help weight loss and improve the body’s overall health, and it is the only sugar alternative with no records of allergies. Several studies and experiments on humans are ongoing to gather pieces of evidence to declare monk fruit as 100% safe.
A. Monk Fruit contains natural sweeteners that can reduce sore throats and the common cold. As a result, monk fruit has a long history of usage in Asian traditional medicine. In addition, the sweet component mogroside contains the properties to reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.
A. Monk Fruit possesses the following pros and cons:
A.Yes, monk fruit is the best alternative to sugar. Mogroside, a sweetening ingredient in monk fruit, is an antioxidant that makes it 200–250 times sweeter than usual sugar. But if you want to reduce the effect of sugar, you can majorly focus on consuming vegetables, fruits, and whole grain-based foods.
A. The origin of monk fruit dates back to the 13th Century. Monk fruit has been in use in traditional Chinese medicines. Thus, it gained the title superfood as it does not carry any side effects and has anti-cancer properties.
A. Stevia and monk fruit are natural sweeteners, and neither overpowers the other. But some studies show that stevia may activate the bacteria in your stomach that can cause gas/ bloating and cause allergies. To avoid this, the FDA has prohibited stevia’s raw consumption, whereas one can consume monk fruit in any form at any time of the day.
A. There is no scientific evidence suggesting monk fruit’s effects on your gut. Hence, monk fruit is perfectly safe to eat and will not cause any digestive problems.
A. Monk Fruit contains mogroside, which can slightly increase insulin production in the pancreatic beta cells. However, monk fruit does not impact blood sugar levels because it has zero calories or carbs.
A. Monk Fruit sweeteners in the market usually combine monk fruit sweeteners and erythritol. Erythritol is sugar alcohol added to monk fruit to ensure that the texture transforms and looks similar to regular table sugar. Erythritol does not add any calories to the Monk Fruit sweetener.
A. No, Monk fruit sugar primarily has no side effects. Several tests on animals with alteration of dosages show no adverse effects, and active research on human beings is going on to support this fact. Only people who are allergic to gourds should avoid monk fruit sugar.
A. Monk fruit sugar contains mogroside that has anti-inflammatory properties, which can even fight cancer by preventing the growth of oncogenic cells and restoring the contact inhibition property of the cell wall.