What Is Monk Fruit and Why Does it Matter?

You’re like most people and thinking about shedding some post-pandemic pounds. In fact, 61% of Americans reported unwanted weight change during the past months. In addition, eating is a common way for many people to cope with stress.

Yet, the hardest thing to leave out of most diets is sugar. It’s found in more than tasty treats. White sugar shows up in all kinds of cooking products. But, there is good news.

Monk fruit is gaining ground as a beneficial substitute to sugar. So what is monk fruit, you might ask? Well, keep reading and get the news on the latest on monk fruit sweeteners and more—the news about monk fruit matters in more ways than one.

Get to Know Monk Fruit

For centuries, a small round melon has grown in Thailand and Southern China. The green fruit gets its name from the monks who used to harvest it, also known as Swingle fruit. In those times, the monks found monk fruit extract had several beneficial qualities.

More recent studies by scientists have found that monk fruit is 100 to 250 times more potent than sugar. But, here’s the best part. Monk fruit sweetener has almost no calories.

Studies went on to show more promising conclusions. But first, you might be wondering what is monk fruit extract? The simple answer is that it’s the stuff taken out of the fruit to produce monk fruit sugar. 

Getting the Extract

The active ingredient for the extract comes from removing the seeds and the rind of the fruit. It then gets crushed down to extract the juice. Refined monk fruit juice when heated and then dried, then produces the powder.

The potent sugary substance left contains mogrols which have amazing characteristics. Most notable, they don’t get absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract.

But, studies have also shown that monk fruit extracts have antioxidants. In turn, those antioxidants are anti-inflammatories. This is where monk fruit differs from other sweetening substitutes.

Comparing Monk Fruit to Stevia

Stevia is another sweetener substitute that has been around for many years. It is a plant-based sweetener extracted from crops in South America. The sweetener is 200 – 400 times more potent than sugar.

Scientists have also found Stevia safe to use as well, but the differences are notable. Stevia has caused gastrointestinal discomfort in some people, which includes gas and nausea. Because it is plant-based, Stevia has also caused allergic reactions.

Lik monk fruit, Stevia is expensive to make and leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. But, unlike monk fruit, Stevia shows no signs of similar health benefits. Yet, Stevia is currently a more recognized product.

So, the basic difference is learning about each product. For example, monk fruit extract is new to most people, but it’s gaining a reputation as a viable alternative.

Why Does This Matter?

First, it is important to note that studies have found no adverse effects in using monk fruit extract. On the contrary, extensive research suggests the benefits are greater.

As an antioxidant, the monk fruit protects body cells from damage. In doing this, it works as an anti-inflammation agent to prevent chronic disease. But, of course, excess weight links with the development of chronic issues.

So, monk fruit sweetener reduces caloric intake while preventing potential illness. In addition, findings show it slows the growth of cancer cells.

Studies claim that monk fruit prevents colorectal and throat cancers. More clinical proof needs to be obtained. But, other studies have even more intriguing results.

Scientists have found monk fruit safe for use by people with diabetes. The extract doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It’s also safe for pregnant and lactating women to use.

Children are safe to use products with monk fruit extract in them. And, because it is unlike sugar, it does not promote cavities.

The most notable observation is that monk fruit has anti-biotic qualities. That’s important since more people are developing immunities to prescribed anti-biotics.

On the downside, some have claimed the taste of monk fruit sugar is less appealing. They also feel it leaves a lingering aftertaste. Monk fruit is also harder to grow and only found in Southern Asia.

What Forms Do Monk Fruit Extracts Come In?

With more interest in the product, the high cost of exporting monk fruit should come down. Moreover, as a sweetener with no adverse side effects, monk fruit can only grow in popularity. And, studies show that high-calorie soft drinks are the most consumed sugar products.

Used in concentrated portions, there are lots of ways to enjoy the benefits of monk fruit sweetener. For example, sauces and salad dressings use the extract. In addition, you can sweeten ice cream or frozen yogurt with monk fruit.

Brands are beginning to emerge like Lakanto monk fruit for teas and other drinks. Getting health benefits from other sources is getting easier every day.

Products baking are beginning to show up in online carts along with monk fruit teas. Yet, knowledge is the only piece missing so far.

So What is Monk Fruit? A Natural Sweetener

There are products with a more commercial history than monk fruit extract. Many have fallen out of favor for various reasons. However, some are still popular because alternatives haven’t been available.

What is monk fruit, then? For people looking to reduce their sugar content, it’s an alternative worth exploring. The simple benefits are clear.

What makes monk fruit sweetener so special is obvious. Plus, health agents work in this ancient fruit that many have known about for centuries.

So, if you enjoyed this article, come back soon and check out some more helpful tips and product details.

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