This 'Miracle' Fruit Can Actually Change Your Taste Buds

Believe it or not, miracle fruit may be a game-changer when it comes to changing the way we taste certain foods. Native to West Africa, miracle fruit is the red berries that grow on a type of evergreen shrub, also scientifically known as Synsepalum dulcificum (via Healthline). Around the size of a coffee bean, miracle berries have grown increasingly popular in recent years due to their taste-altering properties. But how exactly can they change the way your taste buds perceive flavor? As it turns out, the fruit is made up of a protein called miraculin.

Miraculin can attach to your taste buds near the sweet receptors on your tongue, causing any sour and acidic foods to taste sweet. However, it is only temporary (via Atlas Obscura). The sweetening effects of miracle berries only last for 30 minutes or so. Furthermore, heating or refrigerating the fruit can make the fruit completely ineffective as a taste modifier.

Miracle fruit may lower blood sugar levels

While further research is still needed, miracle fruit is linked to a number of promising health benefits. For instance, miracle berries may be particularly helpful when it comes to sugar intake (via Atlas Obscura). This is because they can help satisfy your sweet tooth without increasing the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis. If you have type 2 diabetes or high blood sugar, eating miracle berries may help lower and manage your blood sugar levels.

Although there is still a lack of concrete human research, some animal studies indicate that miracle fruit may increase insulin levels and sensitivity, thus improving blood sugar management (via Healthline). In fact, rats with diabetes who were treated with the fruit experienced an improved immune response and lower blood sugar levels. Miracle berries may also have a similar effect on weight management since they act as a low-calorie sugar substitute. However, more research is needed before any concrete answers or conclusions can be drawn.