This month, I’m clearing up confusion. Each week, we’ll tackle one misconception or confusing subject you, our readers, have recently been asking about.
And today’s confusing topic is Monk Fruit.
What is it? How can you use it? Is it good for you or not? There are a lot of questions out there about monk fruit, and we’ll cover them all. So let’s get started!
What is Monk Fruit?
Also known as lo han berry or lo han guo, monk fruit is an intensely sweet fruit that can be used as a calorie-free substitute for sugar. It’s been grown in Asia for hundreds if not thousands of years, and used as a natural sweetener for about as long.
It has also been called the Buddha Fruit, as Buddhist monks grew the vine-like crop and were said to have reached a nirvana-like state from the fruit. Today, the Chinese government does not allow the plant to leave the country, so all monk fruit is grown in China and exported.
Monk fruit is highly perishable, so to eat it fresh, you’d have to fly to China. Instead, they are carefully dehydrated (IF you know the right source – because not all supplements, including Monk Fruit, are created equal) and its powerful sweetener is extracted. That sweetener is 200 to 400 times sweeter than cane sugar, with ZERO downside glycemic effects on insulin levels!
Is it Good For You?
Here’s the amazing thing about monk fruit – the same chemical compound that makes it sweet enough to use as a no-calorie sweetener is also a powerful antioxidant.
No other sweetener in the world can make that claim!
So if you’re going to compare monk fruit vs. stevia or any other natural sweeteners (because you already know I am against unnatural sweeteners, the #1 most acidic ingredient on the planet), monk fruit does come out on top.
Organic stevia (not TrueVia or PureVia) and coconut nectar are other good options, but in the Bad > Better > Best comparison of sweeteners, monk fruit is SUPERIOR.
Here’s the problem with all artificial sweeteners-
They will actually lead to more weight gain, according to research. Why?
Drinking or eating anything that is artificially sweet-flavored triggers a release of the chemicals dopamine and leptin, so you feel good from the dopamine, and then the leptin is supposed to kick in and give you the sensation of feeling full once you’ve consumed a certain number of calories.
But with calorie-free sweet foods, that never kicks in. So what does your body do? Crave more sweets.
You know the expression – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
That’s why it’s best to dump the artificial sweeteners like Splenda, and replace it with healthier options like Monk Fruit.
Benefits of Monk Fruit
Monk fruit provides an amazing number of health benefits, and when you compare this list to any other sweetener, the choice is clear…
Drawbacks or PrecautionsHelps with weight loss – lo han berry has no calories, carbohydrates, or sugar, so it’s helpful for weight loss or maintenance when used sparingly and only in foods with no other added sugars.
- Lowers inflammation – lo han berry’s mogrosides are powerful antioxidants that prevent inflammation in addition to fighting free radicals.
- Prevents diabetes – as with all foods with no sugar or carbs, lo han berry does not spike blood sugar levels like its sugar-filled counterparts, but beyond that, mogrosides support insulin secretion and kidney function, important tasks in the prevention of diabetes.
- Slows the aging process – nicknamed the longevity fruit, the same antioxidants have been clinically shown to protect against the body breaking down as it ages.
- Combats oral bacteria and fungus – unlike sugar, this sweetener is good for your mouth. It’s an antimicrobial that goes after candida in particular.
- Relieves allergy and asthma symptoms – it prevents the histamine reaction and decreases asthma for patients who suffer from it
- One of the best tools against the common cold – lo han berry lessens symptoms like cough, sinus congestion, and sore throat, helping you to breathe easier.
- Fights cancer-causing carcinogens – unlike artificial sweeteners that increase the risk of cancer, this one actually is an anti-carcinogen!
There are no known side effects of consuming monk fruit, and very few allergic reactions that only seem to affect people with gourd-family allergies. The only drawback is that it is more expensive than other sweeteners because its healthier and its production is so limited.
One other thing to note: as always, check the ingredients on any packaged food you buy, and monk fruit is no exception. Companies have been known to add stabilizers, fillers, or even sugar alcohols to it.
Again – not all supplements are created equal!
How to Use Monk Fruit
It’s difficult to buy the fresh fruit because of its restricted growing location, but you can find sellers online with the dried fruit if you’re interested. In my opinion, an extracted sweetener is the way to go, which you can find as a liquid or dehydrated dried powder.
The dried, powdered sweetener is the most widely available and stable form, and you can find it in specialty markets like Whole Foods or online, and use it in any way you’d use sugar or other sweeteners.
Did you know?
Monk fruit is the natural sweetener we use in all of our lightly sweetened Alkamind products:
- Organic Daily Protein
- Berry Greens / Citrus Greens
- Daily Minerals
If you’re craving sugar and often looking to no-calorie sweeteners to satisfy your sweet tooth, you need to load up on our minerals!
Sugar cravings and addiction is a MINERAL deficiency, so load up!
Your body is craving calcium, magnesium, and potassium, but that craving is getting masked by cravings for sweets.
So add in Alkamind Daily Minerals every night to ensure you’re getting enough minerals in the right balance, which will end your sweet cravings and make it easier to lose or maintain your weight. Plus, you will have your BEST nights sleep ever!