The Health Benefits of Stevia: Nature’s Sweetener

If you have a sweet tooth, but wish to avoid the calories and glucose from sugar or the toxic bi-products of artificial sweeteners, then Stevia is a choice you should look into.

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a small, green, whole leaf plant that is native to Paraguay. The leaves are extremely sweet and can be used whole (brewed with tea leaves), ground into powder, or sold in liquid form.

What are the health benefits of Stevia?

Aside from the use as a safe, non-caloric sweetener, preliminary studies indicate a possible link between Stevia and appetite suppression. It has been shown to interrupt the hunger mechanism causing people to feel fuller sooner. Containing glycosides, Stevia is not metabolized and contains no calories. In addition, in its pure form, Stevia does not adversely affect blood glucose levels and is safe for diabetes or hypoglycemia sufferers. Diabetics have reported that 20-30 drops with each meal helps keep their glucose at normal levels after a short time period. Increased mental acuity and higher levels of energy have also been reported.

Stevia research has also shown assistance in lowering high blood pressure without affecting normal blood pressure as well as inhibits the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms. There tends to be a lower incidence rate of colds and flu in frequent Stevia users.

When used as a topical treatment, Stevia has been shown to soften and tighten the skin, reduce blemishes and sooth other skin conditions such as eczema. It can also be used as soap, body shampoo and shampoo. Stevia can also be used orally mixed with toothpaste or as a mouthwash.

Other health benefits include an improvement to digestion and gastrointestinal function. Stevia has also been reported to aid in reduction cravings of alcohol and tobacco.

Due to the large number of nutrients and healing oils in the leaf, Stevia can be taken daily for the above mentioned benefits as well as a general nutritional supplement. In addition to being naturally 300 times sweeter than sugar, Stevia is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, fiber, iron and many other nutrients.

Is Stevia safe?

To date, there has not been a complaint of any harmful side effects of using Stevia in any of its consumable forms. It has been used for over a millennium in Paraguay and has been extensively studied over more than 20 years in Japan with no adverse results. Although the FDA allows Stevia to be imported for use as a dietary supplement and for skincare, it has not been approved for use as a sweetener. However, it is commonly used as a sugar substitute again with no ill effects noted thus far.

This basic introduction to Stevia is for educational purposes only. You should always consult your physician prior to taking any dietary supplements especially if you are on medication that could react with any of the components of Stevia.

Comments

  1. Have been looking for some time into this sweetener, thank you for such great information !

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