Just about everyone loves sweets… From baking delicious sweet treats during the holidays, to sipping on cool sweetened lemonade during the summer, sugary foods are everywhere and play a huge role in our diets. The negative? We know sugar causes some serious health issues, and is arguably the most addictive substance known. The solution? Stevia! There are many “artificial sweeteners” on the market, and it can be quite confusing and overwhelming to find which one is actually tasty and good for your health. Stevia rebaudiana is a leafy green shrub of the Asteraceae family, which originates from Paraguay and has been cultivated by indigenous tribes of South and Central America for over 1,500 years for medicinal uses and for sweetening their foods and beverages (Axe, 2018). Its spread to other major continents, and has become increasing more popular throughout the years for its positive health benefits, sweetness (stevia is 20 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way), and diversity of uses in foods.
So whats so great about Stevia?
Stevia is zero calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar, has a multitude of health benefits, and comes from a natural source as it is plant based (P et al., 2018). Not many other artificial sweeteners can say the same… Lets look at some particular health benefits of this tasty and unique plant.
- Aids in Regulation of Blood Sugar
- Cancer Fighting Properties
- Aids in Reducing Blood Pressure
- Inhibits Dental Caries & Stimulates Bone Density
You can have your sweets & eat them too!
Stevia is a very diverse herb in its health benefits, and in the amazing ways which it can be used as a sugar substitute. It tastes absolutely divine in baked goods, beverages, oatmeal and cereals, yogurt, waffles, pancakes, anything and everything that one would put sugar in. Try it out with an open mind, you just may be sweetly surprised!
Axe, J., Dr. (2018, April 20). 5 Benefits of Stevia How to Use the Different Types. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://draxe.com/stevia/
Bolmarcich, R., Dr. (2015). Stevia Leaf Extract|Herbal Library. Baseline of Health. doi:https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/foods/stevia
Kovačević, D. B., Maras, M., Barba, F. J., Granato, D., Roohinejad, S., Mallikarjunan, K., . . . Putnik, P. (2018). Innovative technologies for the recovery of phytochemicals from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves: A review. Food Chemistry. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from
P, S., KT, A., BA, M., Rieck, W., PB, J., PJ, R., . . . R, M. (2018). Stevia Leaf to Stevia Sweetener: Exploring Its Science, Benefits, and Future Potential. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29982648.
Pelish, A. J. (2012, April 14). The Health Benefits Of Stevia. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://price-pottenger.org/healthy-living-tips/nutrition/health- benefits-stevia