Stevia is a natural sweetener that has become increasingly popular as an alternative to sugar. It is derived from the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant and is up to 300x sweeter than regular sugar. In addition to being calorie-free, it also offers numerous health benefits for those looking to reduce their intake of added sugars. Beyond its traditional uses as a sweetener, stevia can be found in many Ayurvedic products for its various healing properties and ability to aid in digestion.
This article will explore the various ways in which stevia can be used and consumed, as well as some of its potential benefits and therapeutic properties.
So, let’s get started.
Overview of Stevia
Stevia is a low calorie sweetener. It has antidiabetic and antioxidant properties. It is different from artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners increase the impaired glucose in the body. On the other hand, Stevia suppresses the plasma glucose level. It also increases glucose tolerance. The leaves of the plant have naturally high glucose content. Therefore, people can use the Stevia health benefits to add a sweet taste to their cooking and beverages.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, the Stevia plant can control and keep the plasma glucose levels in your body within their limit. It adds a sweet taste to your beverages so that you can enjoy them. However, you will not suffer the health hazards of using sugar.
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The Stevia plant helps to increase the insulin production of your body. It also increases the effect that insulin has on the cell membranes. Additionally, it stabilizes blood sugar levels. Diabetic people can easily consume this plant and its sugar as the products from the plant help to counter the effects and ailments of Type 2 diabetes and the health complications that accompany it.
List of Stevia Benefits
There are multiple benefits to using Stevia. The source of the sugar in the Stevia plant is a plant that you can grow in your garden, just like chrysanthemums. The Stevia plant leaves many people to use to add natural sweeteners to their tea and other beverages.
For diabetic people, Stevia is the next best option for their food and beverages. They can enjoy a hot or cold brew and sweeten it with Stevia supplements. It makes the beverages taste sweet while allowing them to safeguard their health consciously. Thus, one can enjoy the sweet taste by avoiding the harmful carbohydrates in artificial sweeteners.
1. Stevia Helps To Combat Diabetes
As stated, the sugar in Stevia is just a sweetener without calories and carbohydrates. One of the many Stevia uses assures that when you use it in your diet, you can enjoy the sweet taste. With Stevia, you can forgo the harmful effect of carbs and high sugar on your body.
The sugar in Steva does not alter the blood glucose level. People with diabetes can easily add this plant to their diet. They can use the sugar extract in their daily beverages and other foods. Stevia expands the options of a healthy meal plan for diabetic people.
There is proof that Stevia has little to no effect on the individuals' blood glucose, blood pressure, insulin, and weight. The herb triggers the lowering of blood glucose levels. The main hormone that controls the blood sugar level in individuals is Glucagon. Diabetic people often have a faulty Glucagon level. The herb controls the Glucagon level, thus maintaining a normal blood sugar level in the person.
As Stevia can regulate the blood sugar level in the body, it is the best alternative for sugar. People on a carbohydrate-controlled diet can add this herb to their diet. Stevia sweetens foods like sugar, but stevioside (non-carbohydrate) breaks down. Therefore, the body can easily absorb it, and the bacteria in the colon can also easily process it. Therefore, the blood does not absorb it, raising the blood sugar.
2. Weight Control
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Excessive sugar consumption leads to weight gain. If the amount of sugar consumption is not in check, it will lead to one becoming overweight and obese. Add physical inactivity to that, and the excessive sugar intake will cause high-fat content that makes one unhealthy and leads to serious health complications.
People tend to add lots of sugar to their beverages, like tea or coffee, to sweeten them. Using sugar may enhance the taste, but it is extremely unhealthy. The way to combat it is to use natural supplements or sources to sweeten the food.
Stevia not only enhances the taste by making the food and beverages sweet, but it also does not have any harmful side effects.
Additionally, as stated above, Stevia sugar benefits help to reduce and control blood sugar levels. You can maintain the blood glucose level and stay away from calories.
3. Potential Remedy for Pancreatic Cancer
Apart from being a sugar substitute, Stevia has immense popularity as an herb that treats pancreatic cancer. The herb is rich in antioxidants like kaempferol, which reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer. The rich antioxidant content of Stevia makes it ideal for consumption by individuals battling pancreatic cancer. The leaf extracts of the Stevia plant are one of the parts of the plants that have high antioxidant activity.
The Stevia plant has various components like kaempferol and quercetin, and others that help it to eliminate the free radicals from the body. Free radicals are very harmful to the body. If one does not eliminate them, they can multiply and mutate the healthy cells and turn them into malignant ones. Antioxidants are one of the main Stevia benefits. It prevents premature aging, promotes cognitive functions, and keeps the body healthy and pristine.
4. Regulates The Blood Pressure
The Stevia extracts have a few glycosides that can dilate the blood vessels. That increases sodium excretion and urination output. By dilating the blood vessels, it can lower blood pressure. One can call such a property of the plant's cardiotonic actions. The actions keep the blood pressure at normal levels and regulate the person's heartbeat.
5. Essential For Diets of Children
Kids love to eat sugary foods. They love sweets and chocolates. However, such foods also carry a lot of harmful calories with them. With Stevia use, parents can regulate the calorie consumption of the kids. Stevia decreases the unwanted calories consumption in the diet of children.
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High sugar for kids is not only bad for the dental health of the kids. High sugar can also cause heart complications even in risk and increase the risk of heart disease. Also, since sugar alters the cholesterol levels in the body, it can cause obesity in kids. Substituting Stevia in place of sugar reduces the risk of such health complications.
Foods and products with natural Stevia content give children a tasty, healthy snack. The kids can consume all their favorite drinks and foods without going for a low-sugar diet. The various Stevia benefits allow parents to regulate their kids' sugar and calorie intake. They can easily plan a healthy diet for their kids.
The kids can give into their sweet tooth nature and enjoy all their favorite cupcakes and chocolates when Stevia is their main sweetening component. Such foods satisfy their sweet craving while ensuring their health remains the top priority with this natural ingredient.
6. Safe And Does Not Cause Any Allergies
Another great thing about the Stevia plant is that it is not an allergen. Natural plants like the Stevia plants are safe for all to use. The natural source and organic and herbal elements make the plant safe for people of all ages to use in their foods.
People who have potential allergy risks can reap the Stevia sugar benefits. They can avoid possible allergens from artificial sweetening products. With Stevia, they will make their beverage and dish sweet and ensure that they can maintain their health. It keeps all the allergies at bay.
The glycosides in the Stevia plant are not at all reactive. They are natural and are highly unlikely to cause an allergy. There is no recorded evidence of Stevia-related allergies.
How Can You Use Stevia?
Here are a few tips if you are wondering how to use Stevia in your daily routine. First, you can replace your table sugar with Stevia. Mix it in your coffee or tea and enjoy them as you relax. As the sweetening capacity of the Stevia plant is high, a pinch equals one tablespoon of table sugar.
Add it to your coffee, tea, lemonade, cereal, smoothie, and unsweetened yogurt. If you like to bake, add Stevia to the baking mixture instead of sugar. The Stevia leaves an aftertaste that is quite like that of licorice.
Add Stevia to various dishes that you cook at home. It is a great sugar substitute that checks your blood glucose levels. Also, it is ten times sweeter than regular sugar. With Stevia, you can sweeten your food knowing that there are no side effect and the product has a long shelf life.
The Bottom Line
Stevia has a wide range of benefits and uses that make it an appealing sweetener, especially among those looking for natural options. It is also used in many ayurvedic products such as teas and other herbal remedies.
While there are still some questions about its potential side effects, most evidence suggests that it is safe to consume in moderate amounts. For those looking for a natural alternative to sugar, stevia may be worth considering.