Health Benefits of Stevia
Many informed doctors, scientists, dietitians and nutritionists agree that stevia is an extraordinary sweetener because it can actually generate better health and well-being. It doesn’t require much investigation to understand why. Stevia leaves are highly nutritious. They contain many important nutrients that may be lacking in the foods we eat but are vital to various glands and organs of the body to function correctly. Some of the nutrients discovered thus far include vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, chromium, cobalt, vegetable fat, fiber, inulin, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, sodium, thiamin, water, zinc and numerous intensely sweet glycosides. Stevia leaves also contain several polyphenols, bioflavinoids and antioxidants, quercetrin, two forms of quercetin, rutin, limonene, luteolin, kaempferol and essential oils. Stevia leaves contain several natural nutrients important to regulating blood sugar, including chromium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B3 (niacin), which the body converts into niacinamide and nicotinic acid.
Stevia leaves contain 100 vital nutrients, and can a have taste profile 30 times sweeter than sugar. Published science documents indicate that various stevia glycosides extracted from the leaves can be 50 to 400 times sweeter than sugar, depending on the glycosides and the manner of extraction. A stevia leaf placed in the mouth is sweet and delicious, and added to various herbal beverages and teas, gives them a wonderfully sweet flavor as well as possessing significant value for improving health and healing the body due to its unique nutrient content. The Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant was discovered more than 1,500 years ago by the native Guarani people, growing in clumps of two or three along the edges of the rainforests of Paraguay. In the beginning, the natives used the leaves for their medicinal benefit, to freshen their breath and to sweeten and mellow the strong taste of herbal tea. The sweetness of the small lanceolated, obtuse leaves depends on the hours of sunlight residing upon the leaves. The longer the day and the brighter the sun, the sweeter the leaves will be. Plants will generally die with the first hard frost of the season. The Latin scientific name is Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.
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