Have you heard of monk fruit?
If you’re someone who likes to keep updated on the latest health trends, odds are that you have. The Dr. Oz Show and The Food Network have both recommended the fruit, while famous nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin uses monk fruit in her diet plan. But what’s the big deal about monk fruit, and what makes it different than any other fruit?
The reality is that monk fruit isn’t just a trend. Studies show that monk fruit has a ton of upsides and not a single downside. Here’s the skinny on this new superfood that’s making a name for itself in households everywhere.
What is monk fruit?
Monk fruit, also known as “Buddha fruit,” and “luo han guo,” is native to China, getting its name from the monks who were the only ones who knew how to cultivate it due to its strange and difficult growing conditions. Monk fruits are grown mainly in the steep mountains of Guilin, as the fruits can be in the shade and mist that protects them from the sun, but still in a warm climate. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for years as a treatment for everything from sore throats to constipation.
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The monk fruit belongs to the gourd family and, while the exterior is hard and covered with hairs, the inside is delightfully sweet and edible. It was only scientifically recorded in the 1930s and recently started to become popular in kitchens today.
Why is monk fruit so popular?
There’s good reason why monk fruit has been all the buzz recently. This new superfood is mainly used as a sweetener, which is carefully extracted through a four-step process: it’s crushed to release the juices, which are then infused with water, which are then concentrated and dried to be used in baking and cooking, as well as in beverages.
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There are plenty of natural sweeteners out there, but monk fruit stands out among the rest due to its numerous health benefits.