Stevia – the sweetest plant on earth. And no calories!
Stevia – or at least one of their 200 species (Stevia rebaudiana) is known all over the world. Main reason for such a high popularity is unprecedented sweet taste, for which responsible are substances of their leaves – steviol glycosides to be exact. The most important of those, are stevioside and rebaudioside A. They are contained mainly in stevia leaves, but their trace amounts can be found also in flowers, stalks, and seeds. On the other hand, they cannot be found in root of this plant.
Except that, stevia is also a rich source of valuable minerals and microelements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, selene, silicon, cobalt, zinc. We can also find vitamins B, vitamin C, beta-caroten, etc. Considering researchers conclusions, stevia contains a few hundreds (!!!) benefical and bioactive substances, which are yet to be identified.
Stevia is available for a long time in herb shops, and in shops with eco food. In typical supermarkets, it appeared approximately near 2008, after acceptance from FDA as food additive. Today we can find it in supplements, in colorful sweet drinks (especially in “light” versions of those), and in dietetic desserts. It’s very well known in Asian countries, but shops in Europe had to wait to 2011, for proper food researches, to allow stevia to be sold at European. It is suspected, that stevia been blocking, by corporations related to sugar, in fear of healthy alternative to common white sugar.
We can find stevia as powder, tablets, or as liquid. We can also buy dried stevia leaves, and create our personal blends, and sweeteners product. To compare sweetnes of stevia, and white sugar – 1 teaspoon of stevia equals 1 whole cup of sugar! And what’s more important, stevia doesn’t have any calories!
As it was sayed, stevia is mainly used as sweetener, but it can be easily used in home medicine, and as cosmetic (antiseptical product). It has antibacterical properties, and that’s why you can disinfect the skin, if it gets dirty. It can be also used as addition to skin cream. Stevia can also speeds up wound healing processes!
Additionaly, to stevia benefits we can also count”
- Very good water solubility, and thermal resistance
- Disinfecting and antibacterial properties, used in cosmetic, for example in manufactutring tooth paste
- It supports pancreatic functions, and supports digesting processes
- It reduces blood pressure
- It speeds up wound healing