A SWEETNER -GOOD FOR YOU AND THE WHOLE WORLD
There are 2 Types of Stevia present-
Stevia is a sweet & low-growing shrub which has being known as ka'ahe'ê by South African people since more than 1500 years ago. It is a sweetener and a sugar substitute which is being extracted from the leaves of the species “Stevia rebaudiana”, native to Brazil and Paraguay. Sometimes, it is also known as sweet leaf or sugar leaf.
White coloured stevia sweeteners-It is made after most of the leaf’s contents which are removed leaving behind only the sweet containing mixture. It is basically the processed form of stevia leaves & contain glycosides includes-
• Rebaudiosides A, C, D, E, and F.
• Dulcoside A.
Green coloured Stevia sweetener-It is derived from whole stevia leaf and said to be more nutritious, with a stronger licorice flavor.
Extraction of stevia-The extraction process involves steeping the dried leaves of the stevia plant and then separating & purifying the best tasting sweet compounds, “The Steviol Glycosides” from the Asteraceae family. Stevia extract averages about 200 times sweeter than sugar. And it is GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
Stevia is an incredible alternative to sugar replacement and have become a popular choice for those who have a sweet tooth and for those who are calorie conscious. It is also a zero calorie sweetener and gluten free with numerous health benefits.
Mouthwatering ways to use stevia include:
Controls Diabetes-Stevia is an ideal replacement for normal sugar for type 2 diabetic people or people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. It triggers significant reductions in the blood glucose &glucagon response after a meal.
Weight control-Stevia can replace sugar in a diet to manage weight. It can be part of a well-balanced diet to help reduce energy intake without sacrificing taste.
Pancreatic cancer-Stevia contains many sterols and antioxidant compounds, including kaempferol and the other glycoside compounds which help to eliminate free radicals in the body, thereby preventing them from mutating healthy cells into cancer cells.
Controls Blood pressure-Certain glycosides in stevia extract have been found to dilate blood vessels. They can also increase sodium excretion and urine output which further make a drop in the blood pressure which protects heart health and prevents certain conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Good for Children's diets-Excessive sugars and calories are linked to obesity, cavities and gingivitis and cardiovascular disease. Stevia has been found to reduce bacterial formation, cut down on calories which help children’s health to be healthy enough.
• In coffee or tea.
• In homemade lemonade.
• Sprinkled on hot or cold cereal or bakery items.
• In a smoothie or shakes.
• Sprinkled on unsweetened yogurt.