Home Health Diet & Fitness Stevia – Zero Calorie Sweetener, Replacement for Sugar


Stevia is a natural zero calorie sweetener that is considered safe and can help regulate blood sugar levels as it has a slower action than sugar. It is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar and is available in leaf, liquid or powdered forms
Stevia is a plant that is native to South America. It is probably best known as a source of natural sweeteners. In fact, native people in South America have used stevia as a sweetener for hundreds of years. But the leaves are also used to make medicine.
Stevia is used as a weight loss aid; for treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn; for lowering uric acid levels; for preventing pregnancy; and for increasing the strength of the muscle contractions that pump blood from the heart.

The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf.

Stevia is named as  madhu parani (Marathi), madhu-pattha (Punjabi), madhu patra (Sanskrit), seeni tulsi (Tamil), madhu patri (Telugu)

Uses of Stevia:

Hypoglycemia

Scientific research has indicated that stevia regulates blood sugar levels, bringing them into normal balance.

Weight Management

Stevia has no carbohydrates (carbs) and contains no calories, making it an ideal sweetener for weight loss or weight management. Stevia also helps users consume less calories by reducing overall hunger and cravings for sweet and fatty foods.

Cardiovascular

Studies have shown that stevia acts as a cardiovascular tonic, helping to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Bacteria

Stevia inhibits the reproduction and growth of many pathogenic (harmful) bacteria and infectious organisms such as those that are responsible for the common cold, influenza (flu) and periodontal (tooth & gum) diseases.

Skin Care

When appplied as a facial mask, Stevia Concentrated Liquid smooths out wrinkles, heals acne, treats seborrhea, deermatitis, and eczema. It also acts to help protect your skin from environmental damage and visible signs of premature aging.
To use Stevia Concentrated Liquid as a facial mask place 2-3 drops on the tip of your finger and gently pat on to your face. Repeat as neccesary until you have applied to your entire face. Leave the stevia on for at least 5 minutes to ensure all of it has dried. Once you are certain it has dried compleatly, rinse with slightly cold water (use no soap) and pat dry. Repeat one to two times daily.

Digestion

When consumed in tea, stevia has shown to be effective as a digestive stimulant improving digestive and gastrointestinal function while soothing stomach upset.

Addiction

Including stevia regularly in your diet helps reduce your body’s desire for tobacco and alcohol. When you use stevia, your body interprets the sweetness as that of forbidden goodies like high sugar foods. When you try to give up addictions such as tobacco and alcohol, often the body will begin to crave other items such as sweets. By using stevia to fulfill your sweet cravings, your body is more readily able to give up alcohol and tobacco.

It also helps in-

Preventing pregnancy

Heartburn

Weight loss

Water retention

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of stevia for these uses.

 

Side Effects:

Stevia and chemicals contained in stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, are LIKELY SAFE when used as a sweetener in foods. Rebaudioside A has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status in the U.S. for use as a sweetener for foods. Stevioside has been safely used in research in doses of up to 1500 mg per day for 2 years.

Some people who take stevia or stevioside can experience bloating or nausea. Other people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscle pain, and numbness.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of stevia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Stevia might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. This family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other plants.

Diabetes: Some developing research suggests that some of the chemicals contained in stevia might lower blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control. However, other research disagrees. If you have diabetes and take stevia or any of the sweeteners it contains, monitor your blood sugar closely and report your findings to your healthcare provider.

Low Blood Pressure: There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that some of the chemicals in stevia can lower blood pressure. There is a concern that these chemicals might cause blood pressure to drop too low in people who have low blood pressure. Get your healthcare provider’s advice before taking stevia or the sweeteners it contains, if you have low blood pressure.

Source: www.webmd.com

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