Stevia – when you look for zero calories

Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana, also called sweet leaf or sugar leaf.)

Stevia - natural stevia tablets and liquid.

By now we all have heard at least something about stevia. It is very likely that stevia is one of the sweetest tasting plants in the world. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is native to North America and Latin America. These days stevia is used in many countries around the world and it is used in many products as a much healthier sugar substitute. The whole plant offers sweet substance, except the roots. The most commonly used are the leaves producing I guess the most important substance called stevioside, which is 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar with no detrimental effect on our health. As a sweetener stevia has slow onset and longer duration than sugar. In Australia stevia become legal in 2008, but the longest use of stevia (not considering Paraguay and Brazil, as they used it in folk medicine many, many years ago) is in Japan.

“In 2006 The World Health Organisation evaluated previous studies done on stevioside and steviols and concluded that they are not genotoxic, somehow I think the wise native elders, native people, wouldn’t use it in a folk medicine for so many years, if they knew it has no benefit, or poses danger. And we know that millions of Japanese have been using stevia for over 40 years now with no known harmful effects or side effects.”

Why you should consider stevia

  • it is sweeter than sugar and you need only very little of it
  • it has no side effect
  • it has zero calories
  • unlike sugar doesn’t causes weight gain and increase of glucose in blood
  • it can be used as a sugar substitute not only in hot beverages, but in cooking and baking as it it stable to 200 degrees Celsius
  • most importantly it is extract that comes from the herb and not synthetically made artificial sweetener

Who benefits from stevia

People with health conditions such as:

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • cancer
  • candida
  • gum disease
  • digestive complaints
  • everyone who wants to ditch sugar and its detrimental effect on our body (it is a poison to healthy body imagine what it does to us when we are ill!)

How to use stevia

How we use stevia sweetener in place of sugar?

  • stevia comes in a form of liquids, tablets, powders
  • 1 teaspoon of powder is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 liquid drops are equivalent of approximately to 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tablet equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • stevia can be used wherever you would use sugar: in hot/cold drinks, smoothies, cooking and baking
  • most stevia products on the market will have instruction on the packaging
  • my favorite brand is Nirvana as it is certified organic, high quality product that does not leave bitter after taste and is owned and made by Australian company
  • if you find that some brand may leave bitter after taste it may be due to lesser quality and added chemicals and fillers

Side effects

  • none known
  • it is considered to be non-toxic, but as with everything it should be used in moderation
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