Miracle Fruit, the bright red berry, is one of the super foods that has become immensely popular in recent years, all thanks to its low calorie but intensely sweet taste and magical therapeutic properties. Also known as Miracle Berry, Miraculous Berry, Sweet Berry, these oval shaped fruits are grown on the plant Synsepalum dulcificum belonging to the Sapotaceae family.
Low on sugar content, laced with mild tangy taste, Miracle fruit contains glycoprotein molecule along with carbohydrate chains, called miraculin, hence the name. Miracle fruit originates from West Africa, with its culinary usage dating back to 18th century. It is a staple ingredient in palm wine, porridges in African countries owing to its amazing ability of transforming an extremely sour tasting dish into an intensely sweet one, also making it a popular food flavouring agent in the food industry.
The glycoprotein molecule present in this fruit binds to the taste buds when the fleshy part of the fruit is consumed and the miraculin blocks the receptors and activates sweet receptors, causing fresh, candy like taste in the mouth. However, this taste remains up to 30 minutes and vanishes after drinking water.
These fresh berries, though not available extensively in India can be bought in the dried forms or as a flavouring agent. Miracle fruit is not just all about changing the intrinsic taste of sour foods, they offer numerous health benefits as well.
What Are The Nutritional Facts Of Miracle Fruit?
Miracle fruit is an amazing source of Vitamins C, K, A and E is loaded with amino acids that are responsible for regulating various bodily functions. Low on calories, this fruit comes with an array of polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants that fight free radicals thus preventing various chronic conditions.
According to various studies, miracle berry aids in preventing oxidative stress, bringing down the levels of free radicals, improving organ functions besides regulating the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
What Are The Health Benefits of Miracle Fruit?
Regulates Blood Sugars:
Miracle berries are a blessing for the diabetics finding it hard to fight sugar cravings. Its amazing ability in reducing insulin resistance in diabetic patients makes it a wonder fruit that can prevent sudden spike in the levels of blood sugars, especially after consuming meals. Researchers believe that the high concentration of polyphenols in this miracle berry decreases plasma glucose, improves insulin sensitivity even in those with high levels of blood sugar.
These berries are your natural sugar-free additives and if you are one of those wanting to nibble on something sweet after a meal or with mid-day hunger pangs, enjoy these fruits. These fruits packed with simple carbs and sugars not only satisfy your urge for eating something sweet but also bring down weight, owing to its low-calorie count.
Miracle fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C, an important nutrient that play a vital role in fighting both viral and bacterial infections. This fruit if consumed on regular basis, triggers the production of white blood cells, thus preventing body from various diseases.
The presence of Vitamin A in the Miracle berry plays a pivotal role in protecting the vision. Include these amazing berries in your regular diet and consume it at least twice a week to prevent macular degeneration, formation of cataracts from an early age.
Clears Metallic Taste:
One of the popular therapeutic properties of miracle berry lies in its ability to mask the metallic taste in the mouth of patients undergoing chemotherapy. The side effects caused by chemotherapy include loss of appetite, aversion to eating, severe weight loss etc. Consuming these fruits after each session clears that metallic taste in the mouth, converting it into sweetness, encouraging the patients to relish regular foods, thus providing required nutrition.
How To Eat Miracle Fruit?
Miracle berries can be consumed as it is. Make sure to clean them properly, before eating. However, if you get dried berries, soak them in tepid water for couple of hours allowing it to soften and then enjoy. The water can be added to lemon or lime juice to mask its intrinsic sour taste as it serves as an amazing substitute to sugar.
What Are The Side Effects of Miracle Fruit?
Though miracle fruit is loaded with various therapeutic properties, it needs to be consumed with some caution. This fruit can alter with the pH balance and may cause elevated levels of acidity in the blood. It may also lead to heartburn, digestion issues and other gut related problems, if eaten regularly.
Miracle fruit or miracle berry originates from West Africa and its culinary usage dates back to 18th century. A bright red berry, this fruit has the unique quality of masking sour tasting dishes with intensely sweet flavour and is used extensively in various cuisines. Loaded with an array of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals these berries are a best bet for the diabetics fighting sugar cravings. These low-calorie fruits not only help you lose weight, fight mid-day hunger pangs but also improve body’s sensitivity to insulin.
This fruit is particularly recommended to the patients undergoing chemotherapy, as it helps in masking the side effects of chemotherapy like metallic taste in the mouth, by triggering hunger thus encouraging them to consume nutritious food. However, do exercise moderation as it can lead to severe heartburn or other intestinal issues, if consumed in excess amounts.