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Some of the most important health benefits of monk fruit include its ability to treat diabetes, help with weight loss, lower inflammation, eliminate fever, prevent certain types of cancer, protect the heart, prevent allergies, and prevent signs of aging.
You may not recognize the name monk fruit, but perhaps you have heard of luo han guo, Buddha fruit, or longevity fruit. These are all names for Siraitia grosvenoori, a vine in the gourd family that bears a particularly valuable and powerful fruit. You can primarily find monk fruit in Thailand and certain parts of China, where it has been used for thousands of years as both a medicinal remedy for a variety of diseases and a useful food additive, namely as an artificial sweetener. This unusual fruit is exponentially sweeter than sugar, with high concentrations of fructose and glucose, but the sweetness comes from unique glycosides in the flesh of the fruit. In addition, this fruit is packed with antioxidants and other organic compounds and vitamins that have a wide array of benefits to human health.
The fruit itself is round, approximately 5 centimeters in diameter, and has a sweet edible pulp inside a bitter outer rind. The fruit is attached to the plant via long tendrils, as this plant is technically a vine. Although this has been in use to treat many different ailments in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia, the western world only discovered the fruit in the 20th century, and it has only been in the last 20 years that major international attention has been drawn to luo han guo. The importance of its role as an artificial sweetener has made it very valuable to the western world, and monk fruit supplements and the fruit itself can now be found on a much wider scale than in the past. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the invaluable health benefits of monk fruit.
Health Benefits of Monk Fruit
Allergy Relief: When our bodies experience something to which we are “allergic”, our body’s mast cells release a number of chemicals into our system, one of which is histamine. This is what causes allergic reactions like inflammation, irritation, coughing, and every other symptom of allergies. The extract of monk fruit has been proven to prevent this activity of mast cells, reducing the histamine relief and eliminating common allergies. This chemical is also connected to reducing asthmatic reactions, which can save lives.
Cancer Prevention: Although research is somewhat limited in this area, the studies that have focused on monk fruit’s impact on cancer cells have been nothing short of remarkable. Particularly in skin cancer, the unique antioxidant properties of the glycosides and saponins found in monk fruit can prevent the spread of cancerous cells and even reduce their presence by neutralizing free radicals. Oddly enough, excess sugar has often been connected with a higher risk of cancer, but the glycosides and complex sugars of monk fruit apparently have the opposite effect.
Anti-Aging: There is a unique statistic about the regions in which monk fruit naturally grow; there is a much higher than average number of centenarians per capita. In other words, people who regularly use and consume monk fruit seem to live longer. Obviously, this is based on population statistics, but the antioxidant properties of monk fruit do have an effect on the general “breaking down” of the body as we age, making this a powerful anti-aging fix.
Heart Health: Monk fruit’s organic components alsoprevent cholesterol from oxidizing, which is what happens before that cholesterol builds up into plaque within the arteries and blood vessels. Therefore, monk fruit has the potential to lower risks of heart attack and strokes by preventing the development of atherosclerosis.
Diabetes: One of the most widespread and dangerous diseases in modern times is diabetes, which is an inability of the body to regulate its glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream. Normal sugar has a very strong impact on those suffering from diabetes, but monk fruit-based sweeteners do not cause the same fluctuations of blood sugar, and are therefore widely promoted as a treatment or preventative method for diabetes.
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