Bhu Ingredient Highlight – Monk Fruit*

Bhu Bars are sweetened with monk fruit, a small sub-tropical melon that has been cultivated in the remote mountains of Southern China for centuries. According to legend, monk fruit (also called Buddha fruit or longevity fruit) is named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated the fruit nearly 800 years ago for medicinal purposes. Although monk fruit has been in use to treat many different ailments in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia, only in the last 20 years has is garnered major international attention. Monk fruit’s sweetness comes from glycosides in the flesh of the fruit. In addition, it’s packed with antioxidants and other organic compounds and vitamins that have a wide array of benefits to human health.

• Allergy Relief: When our bodies experience something to which we are “allergic”, our body’s mast cells release a number of chemicals into our system, one of which is histamine. This is what causes allergic reactions like inflammation, irritation, coughing, and every other symptom of allergies. The extract of monk fruit has been proven to prevent this activity of mast cells, reducing the histamine and eliminating common allergies. This chemical is also connected to reducing asthmatic reactions, which can save lives.

• Cancer Prevention: Although research is somewhat limited in this area, the studies that have focused on monk fruit’s impact on cancer cells have been nothing short of remarkable. Particularly in skin cancer, the unique antioxidant properties of the glycosides and saponins found in monk fruit can prevent the spread of cancerous cells and even reduce their presence by neutralizing free radicals. Oddly enough, excess sugar has often been connected with a higher risk of cancer, but the glycosides and complex sugars of monk fruit apparently have the opposite effect.

• Anti-Aging: There is a unique statistic about the regions in which monk fruit naturally grow; there is a much higher than average number of centenarians per capita. In other words, people who regularly use and consume monk fruit seem to live longer. Obviously, this is based on population statistics, but the antioxidant properties of monk fruit do have an effect on the general “breaking down” of the body as we age, making this a powerful anti-aging fix.

• Heart Health: Monk fruit’s organic components also prevent cholesterol from oxidizing, which is what happens before that cholesterol builds up into plaque within the arteries and blood vessels. Therefore, monk fruit has the potential to lower risks of heart attack and strokes by preventing the development of atherosclerosis.

• Diabetes: Normal sugar has a very strong impact on those suffering from diabetes, but monk fruit-based sweeteners do not cause the same fluctuations of blood sugar, and are therefore widely promoted as a treatment or preventative method for diabetes.

• Weight Gain: Similarly, high sugar intake has been linked to obesity. Weight loss programs can be strenuous and challenging for many people, but by providing a healthy and sweet alternative, monk fruit extracts can help those trying to lose weight without compromising taste and the pleasure of eating.

• Immune System Booster: This fruit also contains a moderate concentration of vitamin C, which is one of the most important vitamins for human health. Apart from its stimulating effect on the production of white blood cells in the body, vitamin C is also important for the production of collagen, which our bodies need for the creation of cells, muscle tissue, and blood vessels. The special glycosides found within monk fruit, more specifically known as mogrosides, have also been linked to preventing various viral infections, including the Epstein Barr virus.