Truth be told, most of us probably couldn't pick out a monk fruit in the produce aisle as it's not likely to catch your eye amidst colorful apples, vibrant oranges, and luscious peaches. But the monk fruit is getting quite a bit of hype these days from health-conscious foodies, sugar-free devotees, low-carb warriors, and everyone in between.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about this beloved fruit, including all of its benefits, side effects, and more. Let's dive in.
Where Does Monk Fruit Come From?
Monk fruit -- also known as Luo Han Guo or Siraitia Grosvenor -- is a tiny green melon-looking fruit that's native to Thailand and China.
Monk fruit sweeteners are created by removing the skin and seeds of the fruit. Then, it's crushed and squeezed to release juice and natural sugars like glucose and fructose -- this is what's known as the monk fruit extract. The tasty juice is then collected and dried into a powder that has been separated from glucose and fructose, which is what makes it a calorie-free sweetener.
The monk fruit extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many centuries, and according to the FDA, the sweetness of the monk fruit relies on the content of antioxidants called mogrosides.
This popular sugar substitute is classed as a high-intensity sweetener as it's 100 to 250 times sweeter than traditional table sugar.
OK, What’s So Great About Monk Fruit?
As we mentioned, monk fruit extract is about 100 to 250 times sweeter than table sugar, so you really only need to use a little to get the desired sweetness that you're after. Plus, it has zero calories and carbs and doesn't raise blood glucose levels.
What's more — most nonnutritive sweeteners are notorious for causing less than desirable side effects like bloating, gas, and even allergic reactions. And some artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal are controversial. In the case of monk fruit sweeteners -- there are no known side effects.
The FDA has actually deemed monk fruit "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)" for everyone, including pregnant and/or nursing women and children. Even so, because monk fruit is relatively new to the mass market, there are no scientific studies on the effects of long-term use.
What Are the Benefits of Monk Fruit?
Believe it or not, monk fruit extract has a ton of incredible benefits. Here are a few of them:
Benefit #1: Fights Fatigue
If you're prone to getting tired or losing focus as soon as you embark on an activity, consuming monk fruit regularly may help. Many studies have shown that monk fruit increases the amount of glycogen stored in the liver and muscles -- glycogen is the form in which the body stores glucose for later use.
When needed, the glycogen is broken down to provide glucose, which is then broken down to generate energy. Moreover, monk fruit extract increases the number of mitochondria, which are the energy-generating compartments found within your cells.
To reap the fatigue-fighting and attention-boosting benefits of monk fruit, why not try a tasty plant-based energy shot like the one from Proper Wild?
Sweetened with monk fruit, natural juices, and nothing artificial, these mouth-watering energy shots contain two times more caffeine than a cup of coffee and 15x more L-theanine than a cup of green tea, for productivity and focus, without the jitters or crash.
Benefit #2: Supports Weight Loss (with Proper Diet and Exercise)
Monk fruit has zero calories, carbs, and absolutely no fat -- so it might be a really great option for anyone watching their waistline. You can save substantial calories and carbs by simply substituting monk fruit sweetener for table sugar throughout your day.
Benefit #3: Boasts Antioxidant Properties
When your body processes the food that you consume, it can end up producing various other substances, among them harmful ones that aren't readily removed from the body. Some of these pesky substances -- known as free radicals -- are extremely reactive and can attack your normal healthy cells. This can lead to cell damage, which diminishes the capacity of cells to function properly. Ideally, your body should detoxify these harmful free radicals by using antioxidants.
However, when your body's natural reserve of antioxidants is depleted or overwhelmed, there's a real danger of developing conditions or diseases due to the buildup of free radicals.
Well, free radicals meet your maker -- the monk fruit has powerful antioxidant properties that can neutralize free radicals and turn them back into harmless floating molecules.
Are There Any Side Effects of Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit sweeteners are relatively new to the market, as the FDA only recognized them as generally safe in 2010. Unlike other popular low-calorie sweeteners, monk fruit extract doesn't have many studies examining its effects. However, this doesn't mean that it's harmful.
Monk fruit has been used for hundreds of years, and there have been no reported side effects from consuming the sweetener.
The only complaint that some people have is that monk fruit sweeteners taste a little different from regular table sugar, and some find the taste unusual or unpleasant -- but to each their own.
Monk Fruit Available Forms And Dosage
You can find monk fruit sweeteners in liquid, granule, and powder forms. The serving size of commercial monk fruit extracts ranges from 0.8 to 4 grams. As mentioned earlier, monk fruit is much sweeter than traditional table sugar, so a little goes a long way!
A Final Word
Monk fruit is an excellent sugar alternative that not only provides antioxidants and plenty of incredible health benefits, but it's also friendly for pregnant women and children and is a great option for those watching their calorie, carb, and/or sugar intake.
More research is definitely needed to explore the full health impacts of monk fruit, but it's been used for hundreds of years with no reported side effects -- which is pretty impressive if you ask us!
Here at Proper Wild, we believe in clean ingredients backed by science -- that's why we sweeten our 100% plant-based energy shots with monk fruit, natural juices, and absolutely nothing artificial for a clean taste without the junk.
Designed to boost your energy and productivity, our clean all-day energy shots contain organic caffeine from green tea and L-theanine to keep you energized and focused from sunup to sundown.
And the best part? Not only are our mouth-watering energy shots low in calories and carbs, but they are made with ZERO grams of added sugar. What's not to love?
Ready to boost your energy and focus? Try our clean all-day energy shots today!