If you have a tendency to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, glucose intolerance, or just want to stay healthy, take a look at organic stevia. No doubt you have already done so, but if it is not the case, it is urgent that you read this article.
Organic stevia is a natural sweetener derived from organic stevia rebaudiana, a plant that has been consumed for centuries by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay and Brazil. But it was only at the end of the 19th century that a Swiss botanist, who was doing research in South America, described this plant, which the Guarani called ka’a he’ê (“sweet grass”), and brought it back to Europe.
The Japanese began cultivating this species in the early 1970s to replace artificial sweeteners being banned in their country.
Today, stevia is grown and consumed in many Asian countries (China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia), Israel and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay).
In France and Europe, unfortunately, organic stevia in its natural form is banned for consumption. The reason given by the authorities is that this plant could have a negative impact on human reproduction, and be carcinogenic.
This did not of course prevent our administrations from maintaining their formal ban on the consumption of organic stevia leaves, powdered or otherwise. However, thanks to the intense lobbying of organic activists, a provisional authorization was granted by France, in 2009, to consume a particular extract of organic stevia, rebaudioside A (also abbreviated as RebA), under a concentration of 97% minimum. Quebec Health & Nutrition readers will have to wait, since RebA is still banned from eating in Canada, as is any form of organic stevia.
In France, you can find many products and sweeteners with organic stevia extract, which is already great. Indeed, organic stevia extract differs from sugar in many ways, and there are many reasons that you prefer it to sucrose (table sugar), whether you’re diabetic or just looking for more healthy.
We will review them.
Organic stevia is very, very powerful. The raw leaves of stevia (banned for consumption in France, I remind you), are about 40 times sweeter than sugar, and the stevia powder that is derived (which you can buy commercially) is up to 300 times sweeter. This means that 3.5 grams of organic stevia extract will sweeten more than a kilo of sugar!
This means that for all your sweet recipes, a little bit of organic stevia is enough. As you can keep organic stevia in your shelves for five years, the investment is worth it.
Organic stevia does not contain calories. Refined sugar makes you fat. Sucrose contains 400 kilocalories per 100g, and it is so prevalent in the modern diet that it becomes a full-time activity to try to avoid it. The consequence is that 42% of the French population is overweight or obese, and our children – who are exposed to refined sugar from a very young age – the figure is 19%. (2)
These alarming numbers are three times higher than thirty years ago. Fortunately, organic stevia does not contain any calories. Although this is by no means a slimming product, its benefits in this area are obvious.
Organic Stevia suppresses cravings
As we all know, there is an addiction to sugar. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may not be calories, they do not cause cravings and cravings for sweets. In addition, a growing number of consumers over the years have witnessed undesirable side effects of artificial sweeteners, from headaches to stomach pains. Organic stevia, on the other hand, eliminates cravings and the desire for sweets. And for 40 years it has been consumed on a large scale in Japan (40% of the sweetener market), no adverse effects have been reported.
Is Stevia Good for you
Organic stevia is good for your teeth. When you consume sugar, a sticky layer of bacteria forms on your teeth, causing plaque and, in the long term, caries. In chewing gum and dentifrices, manufacturers therefore use “sugar alcohols” (also called polyols) such as sorbital, erythritol and xylitol because dental bacteria can not ferment them, and therefore adhere to teeth.
These sugar alcohols, however, have disadvantages: they still contain a lot of calories, and some may still have a high glycemic index, which is not good for diabetics. Finally, they can cause bloating and flatulence in sensitive people. Organic stevia has the same advantages for teeth as polyols … but without the disadvantages!
Organic stevia is great for diabetics
Sugar is bad for diabetics because it contains high amounts of carbohydrate, up to 99% for refined white sugar. To indicate which types of food are suitable for diabetics, and which ones they should avoid, a system has been invented: the Glycemic Index.
I will spare you the details of how this system works. All you need to know is that a food with a glycemic index (GI) below 50 is considered relatively good for diabetics. The lower the GI, the better. To give you an idea, an apple has a GI of 39 (although this may vary depending on the type of apples). French fries have a GI of 95. Table sugar has a GI of 80. Stevia has a GI of 0 (yes, zero). It is therefore the ideal product for alleviating the symptoms of diabetes, without having to give up sugary foods in the least.
Organic Stevia regulates hypertension
For generations, South American Indians used organic stevia to sweeten their mate, a kind of herbal tea. In addition to its sweetening power, they used it to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Currently, doctors in South America even prescribe drugs containing organic stevia to regulate hypertension. In China, 2 high-quality, long-term clinical trials (1 year and 2 years, 750 mg and 1500 mg stevioside daily) have been shown to be successful in patients with mild to moderate hypertension. about 7%). (3)
Extensive research has also shown that organic stevia does not lower blood pressure in healthy people.
Organic Stevia fights candidiasis
Candida albicans is a natural yeast found in your intestines, including if you are in good health. But in some people, the candida population can explode, causing an infection called candida, with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. The main cause of candidiasis is the fermentation of sugar in the intestine. Therefore, candidiasis is often controlled by suppressing sucrose in the patient’s diet.
However, there should be no problem in replacing sugar with organic stevia in this situation. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet, however, and be sure to use pure organic stevia extract. Some brands add maltodextrin or inulin to their products; these are substances that are best avoided if you are subject to candidiasis.
Conclusion on organic stevia
If you’re used to sugar, the licorice aftertaste of organic stevia may surprise you, and it may take a little while before getting used to it. But one in the other, the benefits of bio stevia far outweigh this disadvantage. So, at least try it!
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