Health Tips - Stevia

 
Stevia

Stevia rebaudiana, known as “sweet leaf”, is a South American shrub. It has been used as a sweetener and for health purposes for over 400 years in Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. Popular in Japan for over thirty years, it represents 40% of that country’s sugar substitute market. Stevia can be found as an ingredient in ice cream, bread and soft drinks throughout Asia and South America.

Benefits

  1. Stevia extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories.
  2. Due to the intense sweetness of the extract, only small quantities of stevia extract are needed. Two drops alone would sweeten a cup of tea.
  3. It causes no significant increase in blood sugar levels, making it useful for diabetics and anyone with blood sugar, weight or liver problems. Some studies show that it may even improve blood sugar problems by increasing insulin production and usability.
  4. Studies show that stevia may be an aid in osteoporosis and low calcium levels. A tiny percentage of powdered stevia stems and leaves added to chicken feed dramatically reduced egg shell breakage by 75%. Pigs that had a little stevia extract in their food had twice as much calcium content in their meat as other pigs. It looks like something in the stevia enhances calcium metabolism.
  5. Stevia extract contains antioxidants which help prevent the chromosome damage that leads to cancer and reproductive problems. (From a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.) “These results indicate that stevia rebaudiana may be useful as a potential source of natural antioxidants,” said lead author Srijani Ghanta, of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata. Halting chromosome damage is a key to longevity.
  6. Stevia also has antiviral, antimicrobial and antibacterial characteristics. Lower incidence of colds and flu has been found among regular users. It is used for relieving bleeding gums, sore throats and cold sores in South America and Japan.
  7. Stevia has been used traditionally as a digestive aid to reduce gas and soothe stomachs.
  8. Some research suggests it helps lower high blood pressure.

Suggestions

The leaves can be eaten fresh, or put in teas and foods. Add a fresh bruised leaf to iced tea, or harvest the leaves, dry, and grind to a powder for use in drinks and cooking.

While many stevia extracts have a slightly bitter, licorice-like aftertaste, this is handled by using fewer number of drops. As many brands of stevia extract do not taste great, I sell the best-tasting stevia extract we have found anywhere.  Call 1-818-808-0899 for our extract.

Try it in your herbal tea, cereal, yogurt and much more! Check out my Recipes section for great ways to use stevia, including ice cream and raw cookies.

Enjoy,

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