Food for Healthy Skin: Monk Fruit
Monk fruit, a well-known favourite Chinese herb of many, has natural anti-ageing and anti-cancer properties. It is often enjoyed as a delicious tonic. In this Skin Food series, we will go through the benefits of superfoods to eat for your skin and overall health, focusing on the little known superfood, monk fruit.
What is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit, also known as Siraitia grosvenorii or luo han guo, is one of the stalwarts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its life-prolonging benefits make the fruit commonly hailed as the immortal fruit. It is named luo han guo as the fruit was originally discovered in China. The sweet flavoured fruits extracted from the monk fruit plant are almost 300 times sweeter than normal sugar. Furthermore, this extract contains zero carbohydrates, fats, sodium or calories. Its sweetness comes from mogrosides, a natural compound that does not increase blood sugar, hence making it a perfect low-calorie, natural sweetener, safe for diabetic consumers.
In addition, monk fruit is a common cure for diabetes and also to reduce obesity in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2003, a Japanese team found that monk fruit could impede the growth and spread of skin cancer tumours, increasing interest in monk fruit as a potential source of cancer-fighting agent. These bioactive compounds in monk fruit are used as an adjunct or even to replace existing conventional cancer treatment methods. For all these reasons, monk fruit is an effective food for healthy skin.
Benefits of Monk Fruit: Superfoods For Skin
1. Natural Antioxidant
Monk fruit contains mogrosides, the compounds that give the fruit its intense sweetness, which is also powerful antioxidants. Oxidative stress plays a vital role in many diseases and disorders Consuming high-antioxidant foods aids in reducing free radical damage in the body. Research done shows that mogrosides had strong oxygen-free radical scavenging activities, significantly inhibiting reactive oxygen species and DNA oxidative damage. Therefore, monk fruit can protect the body and skin from “breaking down” due to free radicals as one ages.
Monk fruit also contains a high concentration of Vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin for the overall health of the human body. In addition to encouraging white blood cell production in our body, Vitamin C also promotes collagen production. Hence providing anti-ageing properties, helping the skin look fresh and young.
Studies have shown that mogroside V can treat several models of pancreatic cancer. It can trigger death in cancer cells and prevent them from developing or spreading any further. Researchers posit that the compound mogroside disrupts the pathway that cancer cells used for communication.
Furthermore, mogrosides are natural antioxidants that eliminate free radicals that could harm healthy cells and tissues. This property of mogrosides can reduce the risk of cancer via a detoxification process. The excess levels of free radicals that cause cell injury and mutation make it associated with cancer.
Additionally, consuming monk fruit or monk fruit extracts increases the amount of cancer-fighting mogrosides in one’s body and reduces the amount of processed sugar that fuels the proliferation of cancer. This reduction is a result of cancer cells consuming large amounts of glucose to power their growth and spread throughout healthy tissues.