Thursday, July 30, 2015

Monk fruit - A Power food for diabetes

 Diabetes is a serious public health problem, not only in the United States but all around the world. In America alone, the number of diabetics is estimated to be around 30 million and those numbers are expected to rise in the coming decades. Diabetes can not only be difficult to manage from day to day, it also puts people at risk for many serious health complications like heart attacks, strokes, infertility, blindness and amputations, just to name a few. Fortunately, there are more options than ever for diabetics who want to try to manage their condition naturally, and this humble gourd from Asia is one of them. Read on to learn more about the amazing monk fruit.

More on monk fruit

Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a member of the gourd family. It derives its common name from 13th century China, where monks there would live primarily off this fruit, which has long been valued as a longevity food in Chinese culture. Although it is eaten throughout many parts of Asia, fresh monk fruit is somewhat difficult to come by in this country due to the fact that it has such a short shelf life and cannot often survive the journey from farm to market shelf. This is one of the reasons why up until recently, it has not been heard of much in the West.

However, monk fruit, when dried, has a sweet, toffee-like taste and is able to make it to market shelves even overseas. And its extract is now being marketed as a natural sugar substitute, making monk fruit more easily accessible in the West than it has been in the past. However, it is not accessibility but the monk fruit's amazing health benefits that have people so excited.

The health benefits of monk fruit

The main reason why monk fruit is so healthy is because of its amazingly high nutritious value. Monk fruit is a great source of amino acids, protein and vitamin C. Because of this, it has been used in traditional Asian healing practices to help treat such varied ailments as heart disease, allergies and cancer due to its ability to support healthy digestive, respiratory and immune systems.

But what has really gotten monk fruit so much attention is the positive affect it seems to have on the diabetic disease process. Even though it is an incredibly sweet fruit, monk fruit is able to lower the blood sugar levels of diabetics (and their cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well) and can even support healthy liver function, which is very important for diabetics to maintain.

There is preliminary clinical evidence to support monk fruit's healthful effects on diabetes. In a recent study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, it was found that diabetic laboratory animals whose diet was enhanced with monk fruit extract showed lower levels of protein in their urine. This indicates that the monk fruit is able to help protect the kidneys, and kidney health is incredibly important to diabetics. Most people who are on dialysis due to kidney failure have a medical background of diabetes.

In short, monk fruit, either dried or in the extract, is well worth investigating to help diabetics control their blood sugars naturally and avoid some of the more serious complications of this disease.

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