Things You Should Know About Luo Han Guo
Most of us would probably walk past the Luo Han Guo fruit and for good reason. Its dark thin shell is hardly appealing especially when compared to other exotic fruits. And yet beneath its hard exterior, this small green sub-tropical melon conceals a wealth of health benefits and is a zero-calorie natural sweetener. Luo Han Guo is about the same size as an orange and ripens in autumn, turning from light to dark green. The fruit is often dried for year-round use which not only removes the hairs from the shell but leaves it with a sweet caramel-like flavour and nutty aroma.
Luo Han Guo comes from China
Monk fruit is cultivated on vines in several provinces in the south of China and has long been used in many traditional Chinese medicine therapies. The vines are planted on mountainsides as they provide the perfect environment to protect the fruit from an excess of sunshine.
It’s a fruit with many names
Luo Han Guo is the Chinese name for Monk fruit. It’s also known as the Buddha fruit, not because of its rounded appearance but because it’s believed that Buddhist Luo Han Guo monks were the first people to record its existence in the 13th century. Some call it the longevity fruit, presumably because of its health benefits.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties it’s been a stalwart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine have long known of the health benefits of Luo Han Guo using it to treat a range of ailments, particularly those that relate to the respiratory system such as coughs, bronchitis, tonsilitis and sore throats. It’s also prescribed to relieve constipation and acute gastritis. The mogrosides contained within the fruit are said to be anti-inflammatory and may help prevent cancer. The fruit also contains Vitamin C, which may help to boost the immune system, and friendly types of bacteria such as B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, L.salivarius and L. casei which help maintain a healthy balance in the gut.
It’s a delicious natural sweetener
Luo Han Guo sweetener has been used as a natural sweetener for thousands of years. The fruit not only contains glucose and fructose but compounds such as triterpenoid glycosides and mogrosides which are up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. As these compounds are not sugar based, they don’t cause a rise in blood sugar when consumed. They’re also free of calories and carbohydrates which makes Luo Han Guo sweetener ideal for anyone with diabetes or anyone who is looking to reduce their sugar intake. The sweetener remains stable at high temperatures, so it can also be used for baking and cooking.
It has no nasty side effects
Unlike some other zero-calorie sweeteners, Monk fruit sweeteners have no known side effects. So you can safely add it to your drinks, baked goods and sweet dishes without the risk of gas, bloating or allergic reactions. It’s also said to be generally safe for everyone, including children and pregnant women although there have been no long-term usage studies conducted.
GPA Wholefoods offer a variety of high-quality cassava flour Australia, Japanese matcha and Monk fruit sweeteners made from vine-ripened monk fruit that are crushed, infused with hot water and then filtered to create a concentrate. They’re perfect for adding sweetness to beverages and desserts without causing a spike in your blood sugar. Check out our range now.