Stevia is a substitute for sugar and a natural sweetener manufactured from the leaves of the species of plant known as Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia’s active component is steviol glycoside and it includes rebaudioside and stevioside. This compound has sweetness nearly 150 times that of sugar. The compound is pH-stable, heart-stable and non-fermentable and has very little effect on the level of sugar in the blood. Thus Stevia is particularly beneficial to people who are on carbohydrate-low diet. However, stevia might be a little bitter when consumed in high concentration. Stevia is widely used in the United States, Japan and Europe as a sweetener.
How does stevia help you?
• An increase in blood pressure could prove to be a significant risk factor to human health and could lead to many other diseases including strokes, coronary syndromes and failure of the kidney. Research studies have found out that consuming stevioside might help in decreasing the blood pressure. However, there is still requirement of further studies on the subject.
• Type II diabetes remains one of the biggest health enigmas globally. Stevia has been seen to exert positive impact on people suffering from the condition. Consuming stevioside might reduce the level of sugar in the blood by a considerable 18 percent.
• Stevia has also been seen to have positive effects on decreasing the amount of LDL cholesterol, thus aiding in the prevention of heart conditions. The compound also has diuretic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory impacts.
• Many scientists have said that stevia could ease upset stomach, cure heartburn and improve the gastrointestinal functions. It might be a good idea to drink stevia tea post meal in order to improve digestion.
• The ingestion of stevia might lead to an increased calcium metabolism in the body thus suggesting that it might be a good mechanism to treat osteoporosis. The ingestion of stevia has been shown to enhance the density of bones.
• A number of research studies have found out that the antibacterial traits of Stevia might help in curing tooth decay, gingivitis and painful sores in the mouth. The compound has the potential to suppress the harmful microorganisms in the teeth and gum. Stevia could be used as a good mouthwash as well.