Power-Packed Longevity Fruit a Boon for Diabetics (and Health Enthusiasts Too)

Power-Packed Longevity Fruit a Boon for Diabetics (and Health Enthusiasts Too) - Luo Han Guo Ye - Monk Fruit

By  Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

A fruit belonging to the gourd family is causing quite a stir among health conscious consumers as  an  all-natural sweetener that won’t aggravate diabetes or contribute to maladies like cancer, heart disease, obesity, candida or tooth decay. Many times sweeter than sugar, Luo Han Guo (Siraitia grosvernorii) only contains 2 calories per serving and will not elevate  blood sugar levels. The secret to its sweetness is found in mogroside, a compound from the same glycoside family as stevia.

A humble melon, the fruit was reportedly eaten  by monks in 13th century China and is frequently  known by its common name: monk fruit. Considered a longevity superfood,  local residents of the Guangxi Province in Southern China consume the fruit regularly  and enjoy exceptional life spans.

Monk fruit is  difficult to find fresh because of its short shelf life and unpalatable flavor. However, once dried, the fruit takes on a nutty aroma and sweet, caramel toffee flavor, notes the wellness site Make Health Connect. Luo Han Guo extract has a clean taste that’s void of bitterness and is useful for adding a touch of sweetness to beverages, cooked foods and baked goods.

High in vitamin C, protein and 18 amino acids, monk fruit is a nutritional powerhouse that has been used medicinally for everything from allergies to heart disease and cancer. Monk fruit  also supports immunity and both the endocrine and respiratory systems. Over and above that, Luo Han Guo tea helps to cool heat stroke, reduce inflammation of the throat, encourage  elimination in the elderly and soothe digestive complaints.  Nevertheless, where the fruit  really shines is with diabetes.

Support balanced blood sugar

Despite a sweetness several hundred times higher than table sugar, monk fruit extract does not raise blood sugar levels, but actually lowers it — along with total cholesterol and triglycerides. As an added perk, the sweetener also improves liver function.

Additionally, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition  discovered  that the extract protects  against cellular damage and lowers  urinary albumin levels in animal tests. This is good news for those who would like to avoid kidney damage associated with diabetes.

Defend against cancer, allergies, cardiovascular disease and more

Dried Luo Han Guo - Monk FruitAlthough Luo Han Guo has received widespread  praise  as a diabetic-safe sweetener, don’t overlook the other beneficial aspects of the fruit. Studies have shown that the extract demonstrates significant antihistamine effects in mice. Apparently, the fruit calms mast cells that release compounds such as  histamine — which is linked with asthma and allergic reactions.

And Blanche Levine of Natural Health 365 reports:

“Japanese laboratory studies found that mogrosides from Luo Han Guo showed extraordinary effects against skin cancer in mice. This is note worthy since research supports the idea that sugar consumption elevates the risk of cancer. Perhaps it’s the type of sweetener, since the sweet monk fruit seems to be able to elicit the opposite response.”

Luo Han Guo also reduces  the oxidation of cholesterol — an important factor in lowering  the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, monk fruit has  long been used  as a remedy for fevers, colds, coughs and respiratory diseases.

Safe for candida diets, helpful for dental health

Luo Han Guo - Monk FruitA blend of Luo Han Guo and non-GMO erythritol,  Lakanto is a readily  available brand of the sweetener. Used for over a decade in Japan, the Ministry of Health recommends  Lakanto  for those struggling with blood sugar problems or obesity. In contrast to most natural sweeteners, Lakanto will not aggravate candida. Erythritol also won’t cause bloating or diarrhea like  xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol.

And while xylitol has been given plenty of press as a deterrent for cavities, a study in Caries Research  found that erythritol outperformed other sugar alcohols:

“The annual examination analyses and the follow-up analyses confirmed that the number of dentin caries teeth and surfaces at 24 months follow-up and surfaces at 36 months follow-up was significantly lower in the mixed dentition in the erythritol group than in the xylitol or control group. Time of enamel/dentin caries lesions to develop and of dentin caries lesions to progress was significantly longer in the erythritol group compared to the sorbitol and xylitol groups. Also the increase in caries score was lower in the erythritol group than in the other groups.”

How to use

If you’re keen  to sidestep cancer and cardiovascular disease, foster  strong teeth, stabilize blood sugar and avoid excess weight gain, give Lakanto a whirl — it’s a great sugar alternative for  children  and adults alike. Since it looks, tastes and bakes like regular sugar, you can use it in a one-to-one ratio for any recipe. Or, to try your hand at a traditional Luo Han Guo tea, simply slice a single dried fruit in half and simmer in 2 quarts of water for 30 minutes. Strain and enjoy either hot or cold.

Whole monk  fruit is often  found in Asian markets.

Article sources:

About the author:

Carolanne Wright

I’m Carolanne — a writer, chef, traveler and enthusiastic advocate for sustainability, organics and joyful living. It’s good to have you here. If you would like to learn more, connect with me at Thrive-Living.net or visit Twitter.com/Thrive_Living.


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