What is Stevia?
Stevia is the name given to a green leafy used for of years because of its extremely leaves. Stevia , mainly stevioside and rebaudioside are the active compounds responsible for its sweetness. Stevia has its recent fame as being an artificial that is more than 40x sweeter than sugar but does not affect blood levels. It also does not have the negative side effects on the , unlike normal sugar and is useful especially for diabetics.plant, which is native to South America and has been
It has more than 240 species of sunflowers. Stevia is known by different names, including sweet leaf or sugar leaf, but the formal scientific name is Stevia rebaudiana. It grows in the tropical portions of North and South America, but it isn’t well-known as a plant.and small in the Asteraceae family, which is the same family as
As more and more research emerges about this wonderful new option for food has been rising. In 2011, the EU gave permission for stevia to be used throughout the 27 nations too.on -controlled , the number of countries who are approving stevia as a sweetener and a
Types of Stevia
Depending on the level of processing, stevia can be found in three forms.
- Green Leaf Stevia: This is the least processed form of stevia. It is 30-40 times sweeter than sugar and is also slightly bitter to taste.
- Stevia Extracts: Its are 200 times sweeter than sugar and comparatively less bitter to green leaf stevia.
- Altered Stevia: This is the highly processed form of stevia which contains GMO ingredients. It is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar and is often termed as the worst form of stevia.
Nutritional Value of Stevia
Stevia is makes it capable of replacing sugar in a diet. Importantly, stevia also has a very low calorific count it in the ‘no- ’ .most for the sweet taste, which
There hasn’t been enough research done on the value of stevia. Currently, stevia leaf is not known to have any present in it other than and the earlier mentioned stevia glycosides.
Health Benefits of Stevia
The health benefits of stevia includemanagement, loss, , and much more. Let us explore some of its health benefits in detail.
The most widely praised aspect of stevia forhealth concerns is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. This is an ideal replacement for normal sugar for or people on carbohydrate-controlled diets because they can eat sweet without having to worry about diabetic .
particles are absorbed by the in the , rather than being absorbed into the and affecting glucose levels in the body.to , which is what normal table sugar consists of, stevia food in a similar way as sugar, but it contains stevioside, which is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. As explained above, when stevioside breaks down, the -containing
Stevia is very low in successfully losing weight. This can also help in controlling excess sugar content in ’s diet.and is anywhere from 40-300x sweeter than sugar, depending on the prevalence of certain extracts in the species variety. This means that people can eat foods like , , and made with stevia without about gaining plenty of calories from , so they won’t their chances of
Regulates Blood Pressure
As mentioned, stevioside is a type of glycoside, but there are other glycosides in stevia that can actually sodium from the body. This means that less stress is put on the system and there can be a drop in blood pressure, which protects heart health and prevents certain conditions such as atherosclerosis, attacks, and .the blood vessels, increase , and the elimination of
The rich source of compounds found in stevia makes it an ideal for various prevention including cancer. Quercetin, , and the other glycoside compounds in stevia help to eliminate free radicals in the body, thereby preventing them from mutating into cancer cells. also help to prevent premature , , and various other conditions like heart .
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Studies show that consumption of stevia leads to significant reduction in bad , , and LDL levels. And, increased levels of HDL, which is healthy cholesterol and is essential for good profile.
Stevia has been found to reduce formation in the , making it a popular additive for and . It also prevents and , which sucrose certainly doesn’t do!
Stevia is useful against skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Topical application inhibits the spread of bacteria and acts as a in these situations, making it a popular option for many people who can’t get relief from these conditions.
Stevia, unlike sugar, aids in increasing bone osteoporosis. A study on shows its importance in increased calcium metabolism. Researchers are trying to find out different ways it could be used for human health.density and
Along with all the health benefits mentioned above stevia is also known to possess anti-diarrheal, anti-hyperglycemic, antihypertensive, , anti- , anti-diarrheal, and -modulatory .
How to Use and Store Stevia?
You can use stevia leaves, leafor liquid form directly as a sugar substitute in various foods:
- Beverages – coffee, and tea
- yogurt, and - products –
- Packed foods – pickles, , soft , and candies
- products – , cakes, and deserts
You could also use it invarious at home. However, it is important to check the amount before adding it as a substitute for sugar because it is many times sweeter than sugar.
Note: Raw stevia has a longlife when stored in a cool and dry place. While exposure to humidity may lead to caking it would still be safe for consumption.
Side Effects of Stevia
Although there aren’t any major side effects of stevia. May do worry if it’s safe to consume. So, here is the list of the possible issues that may be caused by stevia.
Unsafe variety: It is important to note that the highly refined varieties of stevia such as Truvia are recognized asfor consumption by Food and Administration. Although the leaf and extract form of stevia is safe their effects on health are not quite known and more research is needed. However, research continues to support its use as a sweetener and as a food additive.
Diabetes and low blood pressure: Diabetics and low blood pressure are advised to monitor blood sugar levels and blood pressure, respectively, after consuming stevia. There have been cases of conditions. It is highly recommended that you consult your before adding this to your diet, especially if you suffer from either condition.
Allergic reactions: People who are allergy . Also, some people have complained of bloating, as well as occasional dizziness or headaches after stevia. These cases are rare, and stevia remains a safe and beneficial sweetener and plant additive for people around the !to , , daisies, and related plants may experience