Stevia is a type of herb that has a sweet taste, and it is a healthy substitute for sugar because it's completely natural. It was first used centuries ago in Paraguay, and later, in other parts of the world as well. Also known as sugarleaf or sweet leaf, its extract is commonly used as an alternative to sugar. As demand for low-calorie and low-carbohydrate food increases, it has become a more popular option among food-manufacturers as well as health-conscious individuals.
1. No Side Effects
Stevia is the only natural form of sugar substitute that is available on the market. Since it's completely natural, it has no side effects, which makes it more beneficial to the human body than synthetic sweeteners. It can be safely used by both adults and children.
2. Helps in Secreting Insulin
Stevia is known for its ability to secrete insulin, which is a major advantage for those who are suffering from diabetes. It has traditionally been used for treating diabetes in Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia consists of a substance called stevioside, which stimulates production and release of insulin in the pancreas, therefore helping in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It's 40 times sweeter than sugar, and it can be safely used in sweets, tea, coffee and other foods and beverages.
3. Helps in Weight Management
People who have used stevia in their diets have claimed that it's effective in reducing their appetite and craving for certain foods, such as fatty foods and sweets. This has helped them lose weight and maintain a healthy body. You can either use the leaves directly or the powdered stevia that is available. Stevia tablets are also available in stores, and they can be consumed with water as a dietary supplement for reducing weight.
4. Wide Range of Uses
Most people may think that stevia can be used only in tea or coffee, but this is a misconception. The good news for sweet lovers who want to control diabetes or weight is that stevia can be cooked. Therefore, it can be used in a wide variety of foods, including cake, pastries and all sweets that need to be baked or cooked.
5. Healing Benefits
Application of stevia on cuts and wounds can relieve pain almost instantly. Apart from this, a facial mask made of stevia leaves helps in smoothing and rejuvenating the skin. It has also been used for treating other skin disorders, such as eczema and dermatitis.
For people who are suffering from diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disorders and high cholesterol, stevia is a great option. Whether it's used as a dietary supplement or a sugar substitute, this wonder herb can be very beneficial to your body. It's also rich in nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, proteins, vitamins, magnesium, zinc, sodium and other minerals that are needed by the human body. By replacing sugar with stevia, you can also control your sugar intake.