Stevia is a small, herbal plant native to South America. It is a perennial plant with sweet leaves. In its natural habitat stevia leaves are harvested, dried and used a natural sweetener.
Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you are able to use less, which can offer some great health and wellness benefits.
Benefits of Stevia
Stevia is an excellent no carbohydrate, no calorie sweetener that can take the place of ordinary sugar. This makes it an excellent choice for those watching calories and carbohydrates for weight loss or due to diabetes. It is also an excellent alternative to sweeten foods and drinks for children.
Stevia is free of artificial ingredients, making it an excellent substitute for artificial sweeteners.
Recommended Daily Allowance
There is no recommended daily allowance of stevia, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that stevia is safe and can be consumed up to four mgs per kilogram of body weight daily.
You can use it freely as a substitute for sugar in your coffee, tea and even for baking.
Natural Food Sources
Stevia comes from plant leaves. You can buy it in powdered or liquid form.
Why Use Stevia?
In addition to stevia being an excellent substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners, and it has some amazing health benefits.
Stevia can help lower high blood pressure, so it is an ideal sweetener for those with hyper tension or high blood pressure.
Because stevia has no carbohydrates, it will not raise blood sugar and can actually help lower it. This makes stevia a good sweetener for diabetics or anyone with blood sugar or insulin problems.
Stevia has antibacterial properties and won't promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth like other sweeteners can. This means it may help reduce the risk of cavities, bad breath and gingivitis.
Stevia may help keep bones healthy. Studies show that stevia aids in calcium formation, which means it can help promote strong bones in growing children and help maintain strong bones in older men and women.
Best Ways to Take Stevia
You can find stevia in both liquid and powder forms. You can even find it in the baking food aisle. Some of the best ways to get stevia into your diet is to use it as a complete substitute for sugar.
Most stevia products have information on the label for sugar to stevia ratios when baking. You can also choose colas and other soft drinks that are sweetened with this natural ingredient instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
It's not a good idea to buy or use whole stevia leaves or crude forms of stevia. These have not been determined as safe. Only the purified form of stevia, known as stevioside is considered safe to use by the Food and Drug Administration's standards.
If you have diabetes, you may want to ask your doctor how to use stevia and how much is too much for your health concerns.
Filtur can help you sort through healthy sweeteners and choose the best one for your health needs.