Monk fruit is a small fruit that has a long history of medicinal use.
May promote weight loss
Because monk fruit contains no calories, carbohydrates, or fat, people who want to lose weight may find monk fruit a useful addition to their diet.
A person who uses sugar can reduce their calorie intake by substituting monk fruit sweeteners where they would typically use sugar. For example, in their morning coffee, or with breakfast oats. People can also create low-calorie treats and desserts by using monk fruit sweeteners.
Safe for people with diabetes
Monk fruit does not affect blood sugar, meaning it is a safe choice for people with diabetes.
However, consumers should understand product labeling to make sure their choices do not also contain sugar or other ingredients that can affect insulin sensitivity.
The mogrosides in monk fruit have antioxidant characteristics, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The damage is a primary source of inflammation, meaning that monk fruit also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Although inflammation is the body’s natural way of healing itself, chronic inflammation is associated with many health problems. These include heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
May have anticancer properties
Limited research suggests that monk fruit may have anticancer properties.
A 2016 studyTrusted Source found that monk fruit extract could suppress colorectal cancer and throat cancer growth. The authors suggested that monk fruit as a dietary supplement may have benefits beyond standard medications.
The antioxidant effects of mogrosides also reduce DNA damage by free radicals, which scientists associate with cancer growth.
May fight infections
Antibiotic resistanceTrusted Source is a growing concern. If someone has an infection caused by germs that resist standard antibiotics, doctors may find them challenging to treat. The overuse of antibiotics is a contributing factor to these infections.
Studies suggest that monk fruit may have antibiotic properties
StudiesTrusted Source also suggest that monk fruit can fight candida. This yeast can cause painful oral thrush and affect other parts of the body, such as the digestive system.
Monk fruit has a very short shelf life. People may find the dried fruit or monk fruit tea in Asian grocery stores or TCM suppliers.
Monk fruit is also available as a sweetener, which people can use as a sugar alternative in many foods and drinks, including:
tea and coffee
lemonade, smoothies, and fruit juice
sauces and salad dressings
ice cream and frozen yogurt
mousse and frostings
Generally, monk fruit sweeteners are not suitable as sugar alternatives in baked goods that need sugar for texture and structure.
Monk fruit has potential as a sweetener. However, because producers find it challenging to cultivate and expensive to process, monk fruit sweetener costs more than alternatives.
Consumers in the United States will likely see fewer monk fruit options in the grocery store than other less expensive, more well-known alternatives.