The herb, Stevia rebaudiana, has been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay, who had several names for the plant, all referring to the sweet leaf or honey leaf. It is commonly known in South America as yerba dulce meaning sweet herb. The Guarani used stevia nutritionally and medicinally.
Stevia's most obvious and notable characteristic is its sweet taste. However, the sweet taste is not due to carbohydrate-based molecules, but to several non-caloric molecules called glycosides. Individuals who cannot tolerate sugar or other sweeteners can use stevia. The first glycoside molecule was isolated from stevia in 1931 by two French chemists named Bridel and Lavieille and called stevioside.
'Stevioside' or 'white-powdered stevia' is the purified or processed form of stevia. Removing unwanted plant matter concentrates the sweet glycosides into an off-white powder 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. The quality of the powder depends on the purity of the glycosides (i.e. 80 - 100% pure). The higher the concentration of steviosides, the better the taste.
Why Stevia Sweetner?
"Stevia Sweeter than Sugar: A high potency sweetener, Stevia is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. This also highlights the fact that quantity used / consumed for a particular level of sweetening is much lesser than sugar and consequently requires lesser storage area."
"Healthier than Sugar: Stevia is certified as safe to use, has no calories, and is appealing to the health and body-conscious youngsters, adults and children alike. It has many benefits including
- Reducing Hyper-Tension
- Treating Diabities
- Improving Digestion due to higher fiber content
- Benificial of skin as it is an Anti-Oxidant
- Checks weight
High Stability and Wider Usage : Stevia has an extensive usage in food, beverages & pharmaceuticals due to its unique properties. As a versatile new food ingredient it functions effectively as a sweetener and flavor enhancer. Stevia is used as:
- Highly soluble in water and alcohol bases
- Stable under light & in acid or basics solutions (pH3-9)
- Non-fermenting so improves shelf life of dairy products.
- Tolerant to temperatures of up to 2000 Celsius
- Stable in sweetness in all production processes
- Constant in taste
|Sugar - Stevia Comparison on sweetness|
|Sugar amount||Equivalent Stevia powdered extract|
|1 cup||1 teaspoon|
|1 tablespoon||1/4 teaspoon|
|1 teaspoon||A pinch to 1/16 teaspoon|
Stevia in Comparison to other Sweeteners
|Per 2 Teaspoon of Sugar||Stevia||Sugar||Aspartame||Sucrlose||Saccharin|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g||0 g||0 g||0 g||0 g|
Some of Studies on Stevia
Stevia for Hypertension:
Conclusion : This study shows that oral Stevioside is a well tolerated and effective modality that may be considered as an alternative or supplementary therapy for patients with hypertension.
Antihyperglycemic Effects of Stevioside in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects 2004
Conclusion: Stevioside reduces postprandial blood glucose levels in Type 2 Diabetic patients, indicating beneficial effects on the glucose metabolism. Stevioside may be advantageous in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
Inhibitory Effect of Stevioside on Tumor Promotion
Conclusion: The pharmacological activities of Stevioside and related compounds can be summarized as follows: 1) sweetener in diet for diabetes patients; 2) no abnormalities 3) has an anti-inflammatory effect and 4) has an anti-tumor promoting effect.
Sherry, Manhattan: "I just want you to know I LOVE Stevia. I have been using if for a while. It is great to use a product that is fantastic and tastes great and ISN’T bad for you! Thank you so much."
Peggy, Toronto: "One of my friends whose a doctor recommended me this product as her said aspartame products were harmful. Ever since I have used this and I am totally loving it. The taste is great, easy to carry and best of all, SAFE to use"
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