Monk Fruit: A Healthy Alternative to Sugar

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Monk fruit is known for its nutritional value, especially for diabetics. It is the acai berry’s concentrated fruit form, extracted from the tree, native to the Amazon Rainforest. It contains many nutrients, including antioxidants, glucose, calcium, fatty acids, niacin, potassium, protein, fiber, selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, flavonoids, and many others.

What is a Monk fruit? 

monk fruit

Monk fruit has been used for ages as a natural alternative sweetener in place of regular sugar. Some cultures even use it in cooking and baking, although this mostly uses the pasteurized process and not the freeze-drying or hydrolyzed variety. 

Today, it is available in a variety of forms, including juice, crushed, puddings, candy bars, concentrated drinks, bars, and confections. Monk fruit is prized for both its flavor and its sugar content, which has long been used both as a natural sweetener and a medicinal ingredient. 

Among its many health benefits, it is said to be beneficial for diabetes, heart health, cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, and weight control.

The flavor of monk fruit is quite tart, with a slight coconut flavor common among its species. This fruit has a pungent taste reminiscent of lemons or limes and is commonly used in making juices, smoothies, and ice cream. 

This is also where the fruit’s acai form comes from; the juice of the fruit is considered to be an important source of the acai’s unique flavor and nutrients. Among its many other uses, the juice is frequently added to smoothies and sold in grocery stores and health food shops.

Although monk fruit may seem to be on the bland side, this fruit does have many delicious flavors. Some people use it to replace sugar in their desserts, while others include it as a key ingredient in a fruit salad. It has a subtle flavor, so it is often served alone, or blended with other fruit for a contrasting taste. 

In fact, this sweetener is so popular that you can find it in many forms; one of the most popular variations is called xylitol, which replaces the bitter aftertaste some xylitol-containing pastes may have.

What are the benefits of the monk fruit?

No negative effects

Unlike other types of sugar substitutes, Monk fruit has no negative effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or blood sugar levels. This sweetener also does not raise the blood sugar level as much as other synthetic sweeteners would. 

Even so, its effect on blood sugar levels is relatively weak, resulting in occasional swings in energy levels that may last for a few minutes, or for hours.

Extremely healthy

Because Monk fruit is produced from a naturally growing berry found only in the mountains of the Andes, it is considered one of the healthiest foods available today. During the last several decades, its popularity as a natural health food product has grown tremendously. 

Its benefits have been proven by hundreds of thousands of users, who typically maintain a healthy weight and live years with a low risk of heart disease and cancer. Moreover, Monk fruit extract contains no calories, counting only a few calories for the main sweetening ingredient, which makes it an even healthier alternative to refined carbohydrates. 

This is due in part to its chemical make-up: Lakanto, a compound made from natural sugar that actually provides some of the health benefits.

The negative effect of the Monk fruit

However, even with all of these wonderful benefits, there are some people who react negatively to monk fruit extract. 

According to Dr. William Murtha, director of nutritional biomedicine at the Stanford Prevention Study Center, consuming large amounts of sugar has been linked to allergic reactions. Because of this, it may be best to use monk fruit extract with caution if you have allergic reactions to sugar or another type of sweetening. 

It is also important to avoid taking it with other prescription or over-the-counter medications, as there are some products that may interact with it, as well.

There are many health benefits to drinking monk fruit extract, but there is more to the fruit itself than meets the eye. In fact, it has a number of other benefits that make it a great healthy addition to your diet and lifestyle. 

Its natural compounds promote general well-being and provide a healthy, alkaline environment in the body, which is a contributing factor to a number of illnesses including cancer. Further, it helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and its anti-oxidant properties help to fight free radicals, a leading cause of aging.

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