Stevia, a natural sweetener with proven health benefits, is a green leafy plant that grows in South America. It’s a 100% all-natural zero calorie sweetener with two major sweet compounds called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A; and serves as a healthier alternative to refined sugar. However, many still ask if it is safe as stevia sweetener is surrounded by some health concerns. To know more about the benefits of stevia, here is a list.
5 Health Benefits of Stevia
- Lowers Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar Levels and Fights Diabetes
Having elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for many fatal diseases. This includes heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. According to some studies, double-blind, placebo-controlled 174 Chinese patients took either 500 mg of stevioside or placebo (dummy pil) 3 times per day. Diastolic and systolic blood pressure was lowered. They also had a lower risk of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, an enlarged heart caused by elevated blood pressure.
One of the largest health problems today is Type II Diabetes. Characterized by elevated blood sugar caused by insulin resistance, stevioside seems to improve function of the hormone insulin thus lowering blood sugar levels.
- Reduces Risk of Pancreatic Cancer and Oral and Skin Health
Scientifically, the stevia plant contains sterols and antioxidant particles including kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, isoquercitin and isosteviol which are all necessary to reduce pancreatic cancer risk.
Stevia also reduces bacterial formation in the mouth, preventing cavities and gingivitis, which is why several brands of toothpaste and mouthwash add it to their formulas.
- Controls Weight and Aids Special Group of People
Plant-based and zero calorie stevia is highly recommended for a balanced diet to diminish sugar intake without foregoing sweet foods. Root causes of being overweight and obese involve factors such as prolonged sitting, physical inactivity paired with high and frequent intake of foods that are filled with refined sugar.
Some health agencies around the world highly recommend stevia leaf extract for safe use. Pregnant and nursing women, children, and people with allergies or diabetes are those who need it more.
- Fights Allergies and Counterattacks Risk of Diabetes
According to the European Food Safety Committee (EFSA), “steviol glycosides aren’t reactive and are not metabolized to reactive compounds, therefore, it is unlikely that steviol glycosides under evaluation should cause by themselves allergic reactions when consumed in foods.”
It’s good to know that research shows stevia does not have calories or carbohydrates and therefore has no effect in blood glucose. Diabetic people can still enjoy sweets without raising their blood sugar when substituting sugar for stevia.
- Prevents Cancer
Antioxidant compounds such as quercetin, kaempfrol, and other glycoside compounds found in stevia helps to eliminate free radicals in the body, thus preventing production of cancer cells. These antioxidants also prevent premature aging and cognitive malfunction.
Not only tasty and naturally sweet, stevia has plenty of health benefits for us. Give it a try if you’re looking to lessen your refined sugar intake without giving up sweets all together! A natural sweetener with proven health benefits like Stevia can bring wonders to one’s diet, especially when suffering from an illness that prevents or hinders one from the consumption of sugar.
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