Are you looking for a healthy alternative to sugar? Take a look at monk fruit.
A traditional Chinese medicine ingredient, monk fruit has several health benefits. It promotes weight loss, controls diabetes, prevents cancer, boosts immunity, and fights infections.
What’s more, monk fruit is especially beneficial for eye health. It reduces inflammation of eye tissues and protects vision. It also lowers the risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.
There are many ways to incorporate this wellness fruit into your everyday diet. You can add it to your morning tea or simply mix it with oatmeals and yogurts.
In this article, we will discuss all about monk fruit sweetener, its eye and other health benefits, and how you can use it. Read on!
What Is Monk Fruit?
Lo han guo, commonly called monk fruit, is a small, melon-like fruit. It’s native to Southeast Asia and is named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated it in the 13th century.
Since fresh monk fruit does not store well, it’s generally dried and made into medicinal teas. Many people today also consume monk fruit extracts like powdered and granulated sweeteners.
Monk fruit naturally is very sweet. But it has zero carbs, fat, or calories. This makes it a popular sugar alternative for fitness aficionados.
Monk Fruit Sweetener Explained
Monk fruit sweetener is an extract of monk fruit. It’s made by juicing the fruit after removing all seeds and skin. The juice is then dried into a powdered form. You may also find liquid or granulated extracts.
During its processing, fructose and glucose get separated from the fresh-pressed juice. For this reason, monk fruit is gaining popularity as a great alternative to sugar. It’s also 150 to 250 times sweeter than regular sugar.
This natural sweetener contains zero calories. It has antioxidants called mogrosides. These antioxidants do not impact blood sugar levels, and are great for diabetic patients looking for healthy, natural sweeteners.
Monk fruit sweetener also has anti-inflammatory properties. It may inhibit cancer growth, boost immunity, and improve heart health. There are also several benefits of monk fruit for eyes that we have discussed below.
You can use monk fruit sweetener in your tea, coffee, sauces, and more. And because this sweetener is stable at high temperatures, you can use it in baked goods, too.
Monk Fruit Eyesight Benefits
Monk fruit is an all-natural sweetener. Because it does not raise blood sugar levels, it may benefit your eye health. Let’s understand how.
Too much sugar can damage the delicate blood vessels of your retina. It can also distort your eye lens and lead to cataracts.
What’s more, high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. And diabetic patients may develop vision problems like glaucoma and retinopathy.
Sugar also hastens age-related eye problems like macular degeneration. Put it another way, poor eye health will impact your overall health.
But monk fruit benefits your eyesight. You can add it to your drinks and sweet dishes. It will sweeten them while keeping your blood sugar in check.
Monk sugar is diabetic-friendly, too. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It will help reduce the swelling of the eye tissue and preserve your vision.
Consider replacing sugar with monk fruit to benefit your eyesight. You can also make other lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, wearing sunglasses outdoors, reducing your screen time, and eating a nutrient-rich diet.
Other Monk Fruit Health Benefits
Monk fruit has a long and impressive history of medicinal use. And for all the right reasons. It helps with calorie control, diabetes, inflammation, immunity, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of monk fruit.
1. May Promote Weight Loss
Obesity is generally linked with high sugar intake. So, you can substitute sugar with monk fruit sweeteners if you’re watching your waistline.
That’s because monk fruit has no carbs, calories, or fat. Simply add it to your desserts and sweetmeats to save substantial calories without compromising on taste.
2. May Control Diabetes
Studies suggest that monk fruit is also diabetic-friendly. It does not spike blood sugar levels, and can also help reduce your total calorie intake.
What’s more, monk fruit sweetener is over 150 times sweeter than regular sugar. So, only a small amount is needed to achieve the sweetness of sugar.
3. May Prevent Cancer
Monk fruit also has anti-cancer properties. A 2016 study shows that monk fruit suppresses colorectal cancer and throat cancer growth.
This Chinese medicinal fruit also has antioxidants. These help reduce DNA damage by free radicals, which are associated with cancer growth.
4. May Improve Heart Health
Monk fruit may help lower the risks of heart attacks and strokes. It’s especially beneficial for those struggling with cholesterol problems.
That’s because monk fruit has components that prevent oxidizing of cholesterol. This in turn prevents the cholesterol build-up in the arteries and blood vessels.
5. May Promote Longevity
Monk fruit also goes by the name longevity fruit. All thanks to its high antioxidant levels that lead to a slower ageing process.
Furthermore, consuming the fruit regularly also controls the degeneration of body cells. You can eat it to prevent premature and rapid ageing.
6. May Boost Immunity
Monk fruit benefits your immune system, too. It contains Vitamin C which helps create new cells, muscle tissue, and blood vessels.
What’s more, the antimicrobial properties of monk fruit maintain the bacterial balance in the gut. These help fight off the harmful, disease-causing radicals.
7. May Reduce Inflammation
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, monk fruit was often used as a cooling agent. It was made into a tea to help relieve sore throats and remove phlegm.
According to a study, monk fruit contains mogrosides, which have natural anti-inflammatory effects. These help soothe heat strokes and inflammation of the joints.
8. May Fight Infections
Studies suggest that monk fruit has antibiotic properties. These can help fight bacteria responsible for oral and digestive system infections. These will also stop cavities from forming.
Not only that, but monk fruit also relieves allergies, especially those that are seasonal.
How to Use Monk Fruit
Fresh monk fruit has a short shelf life. But that shouldn’t stop you from keeping some in your kitchen.
You can opt for dried monk fruit or powdered extracts. Monk fruit tea is another popular option. But remember, monk fruit sugar is ultra sweet. A little bit will also go a long way.
Here are some ways to swap sugar with this natural alternative:
- Add it to your morning tea or coffee as a sweetener.
- Use it in lemonades, smoothies, and juices instead of sugar or honey.
- Sprinkle some over breakfast items like yogurt or oatmeal.
- Use it to bake your favourite cake or brownie.
- Stir a spoonful into a glass of carbonated water for a homemade soda substitute.
- Whip it into a mousse or frosting.
- Use it to make sauces, marinades, and dressings.
Everything in Moderation…
Including monk fruit. If you have a sweet tooth, you can use monk fruit sweetener as an alternative. Add it to your sweet drinks and foods. Or bake fancy cakes with it.
Monk fruit will offer you several eye benefits and other health benefits. It's also safe for children, pregnant women, and diabetics.
But make sure to consume it in moderation. And you will begin to see a healthy shift in your lifestyle.
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