Deep in the mountains of south China, Buddhist monks have meticulously cultivated a rare melon prized for its health benefits.
Also known as “Buddha fruit,” luo han guo sustained monks in long meditations in spartan living conditions. It was even used medicinally to treat infections, coughs, and other illnesses.
It is so prized the Chinese government has banned the export of its genetic material.
Because this little melon isn’t just healthy, it’s one of the sweetest plants on earth, despite zero sugar.
Monk fruit is poised to become the most valuable sweetener on the planet.
Before we get to all the wonders of this miracle fruit, let’s create some context.
Americans are eating more sugar than ever before. If you include processed sugar derivatives like high fructose corn syrup and brown rice syrup it is estimated that the average American consumes a shocking 130 pounds of sugar every year.
It’s not just the excessive amount that is so disturbing. Sugar is highly addictive, wreaks havoc on the microbiome, acidifies the body, and throws metabolism out of balance.
Sugar is linked to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, cancer, and may underly other chronic diseases.
All these downsides of sugar created a multi-billion-dollar industry of calorie-free sugar substitutes. Aspartame and Splenda are the giants of this dodgy industry.
While these substitutes have no calories, a major scientific review showed they are full of negative health consequences . They are toxic to gut bacteria, create oxidative stress, and their metabolites cause even more cellular damage.
Our desire for sweet is going nowhere, but the chemical alternatives just aren’t worth the consequences.
Stevia is the only real alternative. It is safe, but many people don’t like the taste.
Enter monk fruit, stage left.
Monk fruit derives its sweetening power from a group of compounds called mogrosides. They are roughly 300-400 times sweeter than regular sugar.
Even more incredible, it has zero calories and no effect on blood sugar levels.
That alone is enough to get the attention of everyone’s inner sweet tooth, but it gets better.
Mogrosides aren’t just sweet. New research shows they are packed with extra health benefits.
Because Monk fruit is relatively new to the world outside its mountainous home, there are no extensive studies on its health effects. The studies that have been done, however, are very encouraging.
Most notably, two separate studies have shown mogrosides are anti-inflammatory in mice [1,2]. In traditional Chinese culture, Monk fruit is used in herbal remedies for fevers, colds, and sore throats. The practical traditional wisdom may in fact be mediated by this scientifically verified anti-inflammatory effect.
These same sweet compounds also act as powerful anti-oxidants, which is remarkable considering sugar and other artificial sweeteners like aspartame are highly oxidizing.
Two independent studies showed monk fruit extract inhibits reactive oxygen species (aka damaging free radicals) and prevents oxidative damage to DNA [2,3].
Oxidative damage is widely regarded to be the main source of aging. The monks who originally cultivated monk-fruit regarded it as a “longevity fruit,” and this antioxidative potential may be the underlying basis for this belief.
In another significant departure from its less-than-healthy cancer-causing cousins, monk fruit extract has remarkable anti-carcinogenic properties––it fights cancer instead of creating it.
Research shows this little melon inhibits the growth for bladder cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and leukemia [5-7] by blocking key signaling molecules that help a tumor grow.
Perhaps for the first time, medicine can taste really good.
Another curious scientifically verified health benefit of monk fruit is its effect on endurance. A study of mice showed that mice fed monk fruit exercised longer and more vigorously than control mice. Instead of a sugar crash, it sustained endurance. 
Precisely how or why it does this is still unclear, but it may potentially be due to its antioxidative properties.
So, to put it all together here is a fruit several hundred times sweeter than sugar. Instead of causing metabolic havoc like sugar or artificial sweeteners, it fights cancer, lowers inflammation, has anti-aging properties, and improves endurance.
It solves all the problems associated with sweetness, with all the benefits of a superfood.
This little melon may very well be the future of sweet.
You can see why we chose Monk Fruit for the only form of sweetener in our PerfectAmino Power Meal shakes! It's the perfect addition, converting the best, most complete meal replacement shake to the MOST delicious shakes on the market!
The importance of having a well-functioning and healthy immune system has become increasingly obvious in recent times.
Sadly, everyone seems to have a different answer as to how you should go about strengthening your immune system. When you go to your local health and wellness shop, you might see twenty or thirty products that tout their “immune boosting” powers. An Amazon search reveals thousands of results.
Well, we’re here to tell you about an effective and ancient remedy that has been in use for over two thousand years: the red reishi mushroom.
We’ve all heard about all the negative effects of stress and the modern lifestyle.
We’re all rushing around, overworked, in a constant state of fight-or-flight and it has disastrous effects on our health.
But what if “stress” wasn’t the real problem?
What if our bodies knew exactly how to cope with the intensity of modern life… if we just gave the body what it needed to thrive?
And the key may be one little mineral.
I hope this finds you healthy and able to still get outside (or inside) for a daily run during this trying time of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of us are grieving several losses including race cancellations. Though it's a bummer, I want you to know that your hard-earned training is far from wasted.
Those miles are in your legs and all kinds of wonderful benefits have occurred including the addition of mitochondria, adding new capillary beds for increased blood flow, and strengthening the heart muscle for future training.
As athletes, it's important for us to be proactive in maintaining a strong immune system. We're not only doing this for our own prevention but also our loved ones that we spend time with.
Read on for 5 tips to consider as you seek to stay healthy.