African Berry Fruit, also known as Miracle fruit, was first discovered by European explorers in West Africa in the 18th century when they witnessed local tribes eating the fruit before taking sour staples such as fermented porridge and palm wine.
The African berry or Synsepalum dulcificum, grow on bushy trees and has been known for the presence of a glycoprotein, miraculin, in its pulp. Miraculin temporarily affects the taste buds, causing a sweet sensation when triggered by acids in food items that are sour in taste. Experts are of the opinion that African berry not just increases sweetness but also enhances flavours.
What are the Benefits of African Berry Fruit for Weight Loss?
Researchers have been studying the effects of African berry fruit as a sweetener since the 1960s. Though these berries are generally considered safe for consumption, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved African berry as a food product to be sold freely.
Rather, the FDA has termed African berry as a food additive that needs further research before being used as an artificial sweetener on a mass scale. Nevertheless, this berry is in demand among gym-goers and dieters for its taste altering characteristic.
Certain manufacturers have been processing African berry into powder and tablets, that are more effective than the berry itself, and can be easily used as an artificial sweetener. Like other berries, African berry contains vitamins such as Vitamin C and antioxidants. Its taste-enhancing quality makes healthy food items and smoothies more appealing and palatable to people aiming weight loss.
For dieters with a sweet tooth who cannot take refined sugar and yet crave for the taste, African berry is ideal as it can make even a citrus wedge taste like a sweetened candy. Further, consumption of the berry would not add up to total calorie intake and antioxidants present in the fruit strengthens the body’s immune system.
In How Many Days Can You Reduce Weight with Consuming African Berry Fruit?
It should be noted that African berry is no miracle pill that would assist in weight loss in a short span of time. It is a well-known fact that eliminating sugar from the diet helps in reducing the intake of calories. According to the American Heart Association, the daily sugar intake by males should be 37.5 grams (150 calories per day) and by females should be 25 grams (100 calories per day).
In a balanced, healthy diet, there is no particular need for added sugars. Hence, dieticians often advise staying away from sugar and other carbohydrates that eventually turn into fat in the body.
For dieters aiming weight loss, African berry might be the key to quit sugar. With a no-sugar balanced diet coupled with exercises, weight loss can prove to be easier.
How to Eat African Berry Fruit?
Though the ripe red African berry’s existence has been known for long, this fruit has been at the centre of many tasting parties among the urban population in the West. The pulp of the fruit is eaten raw while discarding the seed as the seed, though edible, is bitter in taste. The mildly sweet flavor of the firm pulp is similar to the taste of a less flavorful cranberry.
It is recommended to cleanse one’s palate with water before taking the berry. This is to neutralize the pH level of the mouth. The tongue needs to be coated with the pulp to have an effect, and hence, the fruit should not be quickly swallowed. It takes a few minutes before the berry temporarily affects the taste buds.
The taste altering characteristic of African berry causes sour food items like green mangoes, mustard, pickles, strawberries, cheeses, citrus fruits, and even dark beers to taste really sweet. Taking in sour food lowers the pH of the mouth, thereby letting miraculin activate the sweet receptors on the tongue and block the sour ones.
The effect of the fruit’s sweetness inducing agent on the palate lasts for at least an hour. Such is the hype about African berry that bartenders and chefs have been experimenting with it to enhance the flavor of juices, cocktails, wines, beers, and desserts.