Stevia - What Is Stevia and Why Do You Need It?
Stevia is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family and is related to
both lettuce and chicory. It grows wild in parts of Paraguay and Brazil and goes by the
rebaudiana. For centuries, native people of South America employed it for
various medicinal and nutritional purposes. Now, stevia is commonly used in homes all over
the world as a flavor enhancer for drinks and in some healthy recipes as an alternative to
After decades of research and consumption, many health conscious consumers are convinced that stevia
may be the one “good” sweetener available today. The plant's extracts are much sweeter than
sugar, but do not impact blood glucose levels negatively. Pure liquid stevia has zero calories
and registers zero on the glycemic index. This makes it a solution for diabetics and anyone
trying to generate natural weight loss. Also, the fact that it can be a completely natural alternative
to artificial sweeteners makes stevia even more popular.
Stevia - Naturally sweet recipes for desserts, drinks and
The herb’s extracts are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Approximately ½ teaspoon of clear liquid stevia equals one cup of sugar. The flavor of stevia is
not exactly like sugar, but might be thought of as tasting like nectar or even licorice. In
addition to enhancing the flavor of teas and juices, many people use it for cooking and find that
it remains stable at high temperatures.
Not only does stevia help lower calorie consumption and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, it also
contributes to healthier organs. As the pancreas absorbs the stevia extracts, it is gaining
quality nourishment. This is the opposite of artificial sweeteners that are treated like foreign
substances by the body and eliminated as waste.
Pure Liquid Stevia
In 1984, Dr. Tei-Fu
Chen perfected an
extraction method for stevia without using chemicals. Today, this method is accepted as
the best way to produce liquid stevia. Powder stevia, on the other hand, may often be
produced with a chemical process that diminishes the healthy benefits. Some new
“stevia” products on the market are not considered the same as pure stevia extract.
While they may be a step up the nutrition ladder from sugary or artificially sweetened
products, the benefits of stevia are minimal in these highly processed foods and drinks.
In 1994, the herbal manufacturing company, Sunrider, led by Dr. Chen, successfully petitioned the FDA to allow the use of stevia as a
“dietary supplement” in the United States. More recently, some forms of stevia have been
approved as “food additives”. Companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi are coming out with new soft
drinks, juices, and other products made with some form of stevia rebaudiana. There are also
new brands of stevia being advertised on television, but they should not be confused with pure
stevia extract. Even though stevia can now be legally marketed as a dietary supplement,
advertisers are forbidden to call the real stuff a “sweetener”, as that would make it a “food
Author Cliff Everett Smith is one of the owners of www.BestHealthFoodStore.net,
a health food store
online where you can
stevia and hundreds of
other healthy products not sold in stores.
Content provided from BestHealthFoodStore.net.
Lifetree Health & Herbs is not responsible for the content on this web
site and the statements here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, sure, or prevent any
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