The stevia plant is a naturally occurring sweetener that originates from South America where it has been used by the natives for centuries. The indigenous people of the region would add the leaves into their beverages to sweeten it or simply chew on them to get its sweet flavor. However it wasn’t until the European reached the New World before its use became widespread and is currently getting popular in the West. This is due to it being a healthier alternative to sugar and can even help those with a strict diet such as diabetics or those that have obesity.
This plant is actually sweeter than regular sugar and provides numerous health benefits with close to no calories.
- Various studies show that stevia helps lowers high blood pressure in those who suffer from this disorder. This can drastically help lower cardiovascular disease and greatly helps increase your overall quality of life.
- For diabetics it actually lowers blood sugar levels instead of raising it, making stevia an easy choice when looking for sweetener alternatives. This is due to its chlorgenic acid content which helps decrease the absorption of glucose from your gut. If diabetic you should still always monitor your blood and insulin levels after use.
- Stevia also has antibacterial properties; some people use it for mouth watch to fight against gingivitis causing bacteria. There are also topical creams that help moisturize your skin and even treat acne outbreaks.
- The stevia plant also has many antioxidant phyto-chemicals such as kaempferol. Recent studies have shown that this substance reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer by at least 20%.
- In an animal study it was found to lower LDL cholesterol levels which in turn lower the chances of heart disease.
Stevia can come prepackaged in powdered form or as leaves either one can be added directly into your drinks to make it sweet. Please be careful though as stevia is around 30 times sweeter than regular sugar. Around 1 teaspoon of the powder will be as sweet as 1 cup of sugar. These can be added into deserts, jam, and can even be used to sweeten bitter medicine. As always please consider consulting a nutritionist when making changes to your diet just to be safe.
Note: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice for any questions regarding a medical condition or changes in your treatment.