Originating from Paraguay and Brazil, Stevia has been used since the 16th century as a non-nutritive sweetener and herbal supplement. It contains little to no calories and has become a popular alternative to sugar in the past two decades. It is now grown in China and Japan as well as it’s native lands.
Stevia has many health benefits, as well as being 200 times sweeter than sugar. It also requires 20% of the arable land required to grow sugar making it a much more sustainable sweetener than sugar.
Stevia has impressive effects on those living with diabetes as it does not contribute to calories or carbohydrates in the diet. It does not affect blood glucose or insulin process.
This allows people with diabetes to have a wider variety of foods.
There has also been research that shows that type 2 diabetics who consume stevia saw an improved glucagon response after a meal.
Meaning that glucagon, a hormone that regulates blood glucose, was triggered to regulate glucose levels. This reaction is often faulty in diabetics and is important to note when discussing the benefits of Stevia.
Stevia allows those suffering from obesity (overweight due to overconsumption of energy-dense foods loaded with fat and added sugars) to enjoy sweet foods with almost no added calories.
Stevia is very antioxidant and sterol-rich. Notably, kaempferol is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23 percent.
Very few people consider the importance of liver health when focusing on protecting their heart. The liver is where cholesterol is produced and also where it is broken down. Having a healthy liver can break down the cholesterol more efficiently and fennel actively supports liver function.
Research has shown that there are promising benefits for applications of stevia on hypertension and high blood pressure. The glycosides in stevia have been found to dilate blood vessels and increase sodium excretion, giving hope that it could help lower blood pressure as part of a routine with hypertensive patients.
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