Discover The Fantastic Benefits Of Stevia
Stevia is a plant belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae) also called as sweet leaf, sugar leaf also Estevia etc. The plant has Steviol Glycoside which when extracted was 300 times sweeter than sugar. The natural sweetness of this plant has been used for hundreds of years. Leaves have been used as medicine too. This low carbohydrate, low sugar alternate to sugar may be just what we are looking for. Discover the fantastic benefits of Stevia.
According to data from USDA (US Department of Agriculture) sugar consumption has been on the rise steadily and in 1999 was 158 pounds per person which is a large quantity.
High intake of sugar co-relates to high obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure and hypertension. Similarly those consuming around 2.5 cans of coke or a soda a day are also likely to have a high blood pressure. In the journal of American Society of Nephrology the studies were focused on sugars in soda, cookies, chocolates, candy that led to high blood pressure in patients.
Benefits of Stevia:
- The plant extracts have been used for weight loss, treating diabetes, high BP and heartburn, lowering uric acid levels, preventing pregnancy and for increasing the strength of muscle contractions.
- The non-caloric sweetener is used as an artificial flavor enhancer.
- One of the chemicals in Stevia rebaudioside A was approved by FDA.
- The sugar derived from this can be used in coffee, tea, cereals and pastry in miniscule quantities since it is very sweet and all one needs is a couple of drops.
- The leaves of stevia contain no calories or sugar unlike sugar is a useful substitute in food. A study was also conducted on stevioside at doses up to 1500 mg per day and it was found the stevia sweetener was more concentrated with no calories.
- This is safer on teeth too. The sugar from stevia is better any day than the refined sugars and a decrease in tooth decay was noticed.
- Avoid artificial sugary foods in ketchup, candy, creams, salad dressing, meats, juices etc.
- Stevia sugars lower blood pressure as was found in the study reported in WebMD.
Stevia benefits outnumber the bad effects of using sugar and would be a good alternative once widely accepted and if enough research and evidence are gathered.
Image Credit: wikipedia