Are Stevia Products Beneficial for Health?
Recently, a clear competitor to saccharin arrived. It’s called Stevia, and it’s a powerful, natural sweetener that’s supposedly beneficial to our health. Let’s take a look at stevia in more detail, and determine its benefits.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a shrubby plant that grows in temperate climates, such as those in South America. This evergreen plant reaches a height of around one meter.
This plant has many benefits for the human being, thus, its consumption has skyrocketed. Although its flavor requires a period of adaptation, because at first, it may taste unusual. For many people, stevia has become a sweet tasting additive for daily use. It’s a way to replace and reduce the high sugar consumption that we eat on a daily basis.
A saccharin substitute that we can also use for sweetening our coffee, milk and tea, there are many other brands that offer products containing stevia.
The main benefits of using stevia are:
- It’s a powerful antioxidant. Compared to other foods with antioxidant properties, such as green tea or tomatoes, this product is five times more potent.
- It favors intestinal transit. Due to its fiber content, it promotes digestion. This is why it’s also useful for people who suffer with constipation.
- Suitable for diabetics. Its consumption doesn’t produce an increase in blood glucose, so it’s perfect for diabetics.
Are stevia products harmful to the body?
It seems that sometimes, things are too good to be true. Surely there has to be a drawback to using a product that’s so healthy? This is why many consumers doubt just how healthy the consumption of this novel sweetener is. As a result, there has been a delay in the time it has taken many countries to approve the consumption of stevia. For example, the United States would not allow large companies to use it until a decade ago.
Some of the criticisms that have been made are related to a supposed toxic or genotoxic effect. So far this hasn’t been proven, but that doesn’t stop hearsay.
However, we do know that some people have digestive problems moments after consuming stevia. This is to be expected, as there will always be a small percentage of people who are intolerant to a particular food. Many people will experience similar issues with dairy products, for example, eggs or fish, yet this doesn’t cause concern over the use of these products.
The clear fact is that any side effects caused by its consumption, are as a consequence of consuming it in large quantities. However, this is highly unlikely, if not impossible because stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Therefore, it’s always consumed in small quantities.
Stevia and diet
Stevia products are very popular among people who are overweight or obese and those who want to lose weight. This is because of its sweetening potency and it doesn’t have all of the disadvantages of sugar. Stevia products replace sugar and eliminate those less healthy properties.
Here are some of the reasons why you should remove sugar from your diet and switch to stevia instead:
- Most products contain sugar. We encourage you to check the ingredients of the food products that you have at home. You will be surprised at the number of times you consume sugar without even being aware of it. It is therefore preferable to replace this and drink coffee or tea with stevia instead, as this eliminates some of the sugar we consume in excess.
- Zero calories. Another benefit of stevia is that it has no caloric content. Not adding too many calories is one of the main goals of many diets.