Monk Fruit Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Monk fruit is a small, green gourd that resembles a melon. It’s grown in South east Asia. The fruit was first used by Buddhist monks in the 13 th century, hence the fruit’s unusual name. Fresh monk fruit doesn’t store well and isn’t appealing.

The name monk fruit might not be very common, but perhaps you have heard of luo han guo, Buddha fruit, or longevity fruit. These are all names for Siraitia grosvenorii, a vine in the gourd family that bears a particularly valuable and powerful fruit. You can primarily find monk fruit in Thailand and certain parts of China, where it has been used for thousands of years as both, a medicinal remedy for a variety of diseases and a useful food additive, namely as a sweetener.[

Monk fruit has risen to celebrity status as an alternative sweetener. Also called luo han guo, monk fruit is a small green melon that was cultivated for centuries by Buddhist luó hàn monks, hence, its name. Unless you live in a sub-tropical region near the mountains (the fruit is native to southern China and northern Thailand), it’s highly unlikely that the fruit will get to your locality in its fresh form. Much of the world’s monk fruit is still grown in its area of origin, and the fruit tends to spoil quickly after it is harvested.

But monk fruit sweetener products have become widely available. To make monk fruit sweetener, the skin and seeds of the fruit are removed. The fruit is then crushed and the juice is collected. Lastly, the juice is dried and turned into a concentrated powder.


Monk fruit powder is basically entirely carbs, but the amount contained in a one-packet serving wouldn't impact blood sugar levels. The sweetness in monk fruit comes from a compound called mogroside, a compound that may help maintain blood glucose metabolism, according to some in vitro and rodent studies.


Monk fruit sweetener is fat-free


Monk fruit sweetener also does not provide any protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Although monk fruit itself contains vitamins, such as vitamin C, consuming the powdered sweetener products made from the fruit's juice does not supply any micronutrients.

Health Benefits

Monk fruit contains the natural sugars that many other fruits contain—mainly fructose and glucose. But the intense sweetness actually comes from a different compound, a type of glycoside called mogroside. Glycoside is just another name for a type of simple sugar compound. Mogrosides are a unique antioxidant extracted from the glycoside in monk fruit.

Does Not Affect Blood Sugar

Since monk fruit sweetener doesn’t have calories or sugar, it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. However, when choosing monk fruit products, make sure to check the ingredients label—many products and sweetener blends may still contain sugar or other ingredients that can affect blood glucose.

May Have Healing Effects in Cancer Patients

A study published in the journal Oncogenesis in 2016 reported that when mogroside V obtained from monk fruit was administered in both in vitro and in vivo pancreatic cancer models, it promoted cancer cell apoptosis (cellular death) and “cell cycle arrest,” possibly through the interruption of cancer cell communication.

Additionally, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggested that the anti-inflammatory properties of Momordica grosvenori, another variation of monk fruit, have anticancer and anti-diabetic effects.

May Promote Weight Loss

Despite its super-sweet taste, the body metabolizes monk fruit differently than it metabolizes table sugar. Research has shown that using low-calorie sweeteners can lead to moderate weight loss, but these studies did not focus specifically on monk fruit.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The same substance that gives monk fruit its sweetness is the one that holds its anti-inflammatory properties. The mogrosides in monk fruit show promise for inhibiting the growth of harmful cells and preventing chronic disease.


As with any food, there is a risk of allergy with monk fruit, but the lack of proteins in the sweetener make this unlikely. However, allergies to another natural sugar substitute, stevia, have been reported.

Adverse Effects

There are currently no known side effects of monk fruit or monk fruit extract. The fruit is on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of “generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) substances. It's considered safe for everyone, including pregnant women and children.

One animal study on the effects of monk fruit on the body showed no toxic effects. In the study, subjects were given large amounts of luo han guo extract (more than you could probably consume by using monk fruit products), and no negative effects were observed.

However, because monk fruit is relatively new to grocery store shelves, there isn’t any research on the effects of long-term use of monk fruit or monk fruit products. And as with all products you consume, be sure to monitor your individual response to monk fruit sweetener. If you experience an adverse reaction, it’s probably best to stop using monk fruit.


Typically, monk fruit is sold in powdered form, like sugar. You may also find it as a liquid, sometimes combined with stevia or a sugar alcohol. Here's how monk fruit sweetener compares to other sweeteners and sugar substitutes.

Monk Fruit vs. Sugar

Monk fruit extract can be anywhere from 150 to 250 times sweeter than table sugar, but it has zero calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar, provides antioxidants, and may help with weight loss.

Monk Fruit vs. Non-nutritive Sweeteners

Most non-nutritive sugar substitutes, such as sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame-potassium, can cause side effects like gas, bloating, or allergic reactions. There aren’t any known side effects of monk fruit.

Monk Fruit vs. Sugar Alcohols

Many people prefer sugar alcohols over non-nutritive sweeteners because they seem more "natural." Common sugar alcohols include xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol. While they are organic compounds derived from sugars, many sugar alcohols cause digestive issues (in certain people) that are more significant than those caused by some non-nutritive sweeteners.

Monk Fruit vs. Stevia

Stevia has many of the same benefits as monk fruit: zero calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. Stevia leaves contain substances known as steviol glycosides, which are estimated to be 200 to 400 times sweeter than table sugar. The main differences between stevia and monk fruit are cost and availability. Stevia sweeteners are typically more widely available and less expensive than monk fruit sweeteners because monk fruit is difficult to harvest.

7 Amazing Benefits Of Monk Fruit

Relieves Allergy

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.

Anticancer Potential

Although research is somewhat limited in this area, the studies that have focused on monk fruit’s impact on cancer cells have found that it has anti-carcinogenic properties.

A 2016 study published in the Nutrients journal shows that monk fruits help inhibit the proliferation of colorectal cancer and t hroat cancer cells. This is due to the presence of a triterpenoid glycoside calledmogroside IVe in them.

This traditional Chinese plant is known to be a very good natural substitute for sugar as it is highly sweet as well as low in calories. Research conducted on the effects of monk fruit on pancreatic cancer shows that it has the ability to promote apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

Anti-aging Properties

There is a unique statistic about the regions in which monk fruit naturally grows; there is a much higher than the 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.

Improves 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.

Controls Diabetes

One of the most widespread and dangerous diseases in modern times is diabetes, which is an inability of the body to regulate its glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream. An animal study by the Experimental Diabetes Research states that monk fruit sweeteners lowered total cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels in subjects with mild type-2 diabetes. Conclusively, monk fruit is beneficial for the treatment of high blood sugar levels and lipid disorder which are commonly linked with diabetes

Weight Loss

Similarly, high sugar intake has been linked to obesity in many cases. Weight loss programs are strenuous and challenging for many people, but by providing a healthy and extremely sweet alternative, monk fruit extracts and supplements can be the best of both worlds for those trying to lose weight without compromising taste and the pleasure of eating.

Boosts Immunity

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.

Reduces Inflammation

In Chinese herbal medicine, monk fruit was often relied on as a cooling agent in various drinks and medicinal preparations. For example, if you were suffering from a fever , inflammation of the joints, or heat stroke, the anti-inflammatory-properties of monk fruit could help eliminate those afflictions when the fruit juices were mixed with water or consumed directly.

Word of Caution: Like so many other herbal remedies, there have been no reported cases of serious side effects with monk fruit. However, as with any plant or food group, there is a chance of side effects for a small group of people. Fortunately, due to the anti-allergenic properties of monk fruit, you’re unlikely to ever experience them. As always, it is important to always speak with an herbalist or a trained medical professional before adding a new herbal remedy to your health regimen.