Stevia is most widely known and used for what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t contain calories. It doesn’t spike blood sugar levels the way sugar does. It doesn’t take as much to sweeten.
But what about what it does do? Stevia is derived from a plant and is also widely used by health nuts to add a little sweetness without adding a lot of nastiness. Below are some of the top of health benefits of stevia leaf.
5 Top Benefits of Stevia Leaf
1. Controls Diabetes
Stevia regulates blood sugar levels and is often used to control diabetes. Stevia has stevioside, a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. Stevia has the same function as sugar, in that it sweetens food, but it differs in that it opposes sucrose, of which normal sugar consists.
When the stevioside breaks down, the particles containing glucose are absorbed in the colon and do not enter the bloodstream nor affect the levels of glucose in the body. Therefore, stevia is recommended to replace ordinary table sugar. This is particularly encouraged for diabetics so they can consume sweets without risking their health.
2. Weight Loss
One of the many reasons stevia is so popular among women with fitness and physique goals is due to the low-calorie nature of stevia. Stevia is 200X as sweet as sugar in the same concentration as normal table sugar. The dosage requirement is significantly reduced without having to alter tasty sweetness. Stevia can be used to bake with in place of sugar, leaving you guilt- and worry-free.
3. Regulates the Blood Pressure
There are other glycosides present in stevia which help relax the blood vessels, facilitate sodium elimination in the body, and increase urination. Since stevia relaxes blood vessels, less stress is placed on the cardiovascular system, which then prevents certain conditions like strokes, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.
4. Oral Health
Stevia is often a popular additive in mouthwash and toothpaste because it has the ability to reduce the formation of bacteria in the mouth. It can also prevent gingivitis and cavities. Crazy, isn’t it? Something that sweetens naturally and is actually good for your teeth!
Stevia is potent with antioxidants and is an ideal supplement for cancer prevention. The constituents kaempferol and quercetin found in stevia scavenge free-radicals that accumulate in the body and destroy healthy cells.
Is there a downside to Stevia?
Whole stevia leaves have many other health benefits like preventing osteoporosis and improving skin care due to the antioxidant compounds. While it does bring many benefits, prevents and cures many ailments, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to daisies, marigold, or ragweed, you may also be allergic to stevia leaf.
While a rare reaction, when using stevia you may experience bloating, cramping, headaches, or dizziness. It is always recommended to consult your physician before use and discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse reactions.