Benefits of stevia, a plant with great sweetening power, which provides nutritional properties and is also extremely low in calories.
There is no doubt that stevia as a natural sweetener is precisely an excellent sweetener of natural origin, especially suitable for people with diabetes, as we have already discovered in our note dedicated to healthy natural sweeteners.
The stevia (known scientifically under the name Stevia rebaudiana) is a plant native to Paraguay, known to the ancient Indians with the name “Ka’ba he’e” which means “sweet grass”; name that by the way is only an example of its great sweetness power.
Benefits of stevia or stevia
The stevia is a plant particularly rich in stevioside, a natural compound that provides most of its virtues sweeteners. Just give a simple example: its leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar.
From a nutritional point of view, stevia is especially rich in minerals (iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, and cobalt) and vitamins (vitamin A and C), in addition to protein.
One of its most interesting benefits is related precisely to its sweetening virtues (greater than sugar), but nevertheless it exerts a hypoglycemic effect, directly stimulating the cells of the pancreas to generate more insulin, not affecting blood sugar levels.
Stevia properties, a summary
It also provides the following properties:
- Overweight and obesity: helps reduce calorie intake, being more sweetening than sugar but containing less caloric power.
- Flu: its ideal consumption is especially during the autumn and winter seasons, thanks to the fact that it helps in the prevention of flu and colds. It is also useful when it comes to soothing a sore throat.
- Diuretic: light diuretic effect, helping to avoid fluid retention and to eliminate toxins from our body.
- Especially rich in antioxidants: antioxidant benefits, ideal for preventing the negative consequences of free radicals in our body.
Nutritional values of stevia
- Caution is recommended when consuming stevia in pregnant women.
- In children, it is best to consult a pediatrician, since the benefits of stevia against overweight and diabetes could recommend the sugar situation for this natural sweetener.
Stevia side effects
There are no severe negative side effects confirmed so far associated with normal consumption. In fact, the FDA itself (United States Food Health Agency) has confirmed its non-toxicity.
In high doses, like any sweetener, it can cause stomach upset.
Where to buy stevia?
Although a few years ago it was certainly difficult to find it, today it is possible to find 100% natural stevia in herbalists, herb diet stores and even in certain supermarkets.
It is sold in bags or jars to facilitate its use, and although its price may be a little higher than common sugar, we must bear in mind that its duration is longer, since only a pinch is required to sweeten a certain food or drink. Of stevia.