Health Benefits of Stevia

Just like Sweet and Low and Equal, Stevia is a sugar substitute people use in place of sugar. Some people prefer the taste of stevia while others, as diabetics, need to control their sugar intake. While it seems that stevia has been used only in the recent years, it has actually been used since the turn of
the 20th century when “Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni, while conducting research in eastern Paraguay, first described the plant and the sweet taste in detail” (Wipedia). While the plants were originally used to sweeten the taste of medicines, there are many health benefits to this plant

Stevia is healthier than refined sugar. While it is obvious that diabetics and people who are weight conscious would want to use a sugar substitute, everybody should switch to stevia because, other than a swet taste, stevia contains many vitamins and minerals that sugar does not have. These include:

Vitamins A and C
Calcium
Protein
Zinc
Magnesium
Phosphorus
Rutin

It is also a high source of fiber, low in carbohydrates and contains no calories.

Stevia has anti-glycemic properties. If you are diabetic, you do not have to worry about your sugar going out of control. Some diabetics may indulge on a sugary treat once in a while. When they check their blood sugar they may noticed a high spike in their sugar level. Stevia is actually sweeter than sugar. Therefore, they will notice that they will need to use less of this product than refined sugar to satisfy their tastes. Using stevia reduces the likelihood of dangerous spikes in their sugar readings. If you are trying to control your appetite, including stevia in your diet will help curve your cravings for sweet foods.

Substituting refined sugar with stevia will give your teeth a better life. Unlike sugar, stevia does not give you cavities or decay your teeth.

Stevia contains antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It is excellent for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. It also has cooling and antiseptic properties. By putting a salve that contains stevia on cuts, scrapes, burns and sunburns, you are protecting the affected areas from getting infected, while speeding up the healing process. When you use stevia to prevent your body from infections, you are also using it to prevent your body from a serious condition called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Stevia helps your digestive system when you eat a spicy meal or over indulge at the all you can eat buffet. It helps relieve the symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas, bloating, and nausea.

 

Where to Purchase Stevia

While the stevia plant is native in Paraguay, the plant is now grown worldwide in countries such as China, Brazil, Japan and the southern parts of the United States. It is legal to grow this plant in most countries. However, “some countries restrict its use as a sweetener” (Wikipedia). You can grow this plant in your backyard and use the leaves for your personal use.

If you do not have the time to grow your own plants, you can purchase stevia sweetener in your local grocery store. This product is high in demand. Therefore, it would be surprising if your grocery store does not carry this product.

You can purchase a variety of products directly from stevia.com. One line of products are flavored liquids that you can add to coffee, tea and smoothies. Some flavors include:

 

Peppermint
English Toffee
Chocolate

Check out stvia.com.  This websites also includes, as well an entire library of resources, recipes you can use with stevia. These include:

Beverages
Breads
Deserts
Jams
Jellies
Soups
Salads

You can also purchase tinctures and extracts online through sites such as Amazon and EBay.

Cautions

Stevia contains sodium. If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake or have high blood pressure, you need to monitor your blood pressure closely. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you plan to use stevia in your daily diet.

Even though stevia does not contain calories, if you are trying to lose weight, you have to take into your consideration your daily calorie intake. That drink with the stevia sweetener added will not cancel out the calories you consume from that large piece of chocolate cake.

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
www.stevia.com




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