The benefits and disadvantages of stevia - how to apply
Mar 09, 2018
Nature is wise and inventive, so it tells people that not everything in the world should be of an artificial origin. In addition to sugar cane and beet, there are other plants with a pronounced sweet taste, even if they are not suitable for the industrial release of sugar. One of these plants, the true gifts of nature - is stevia, a perennial plant from a huge family of complex flowers.
The benefits and disadvantages of stevia have been a reason for discussions for many years, naturally, it has both loyal connoisseurs and fierce opponents. Each of them has its own arguments.
This plant grows wild in the wild throughout South and Central America. The local population has long been familiar with the peculiarities of stevia and successfully uses it not only for medical purposes, but also for culinary purposes.
The sweetness of stevia is not due to glucose or sucrose, but to another natural sweet substance - stevioside. It is much sweeter than ordinary sugar, however, it has a specific flavor that can resemble a liquorice flavor. In cooking, several varieties of this plant are used, the most common is honey stevia.
This plant can be grown as an annual in our weather conditions or as a perennial indoor plant and used for food in its natural form. It reproduces well with the shoots, while seed reproduction is difficult. The most sweet are the leaves of stevia. They can be put in teas, compotes and other sweet drinks and dishes. The food industry of Western countries, especially the United States and Japan, produces stevia powder as a food additive and sugar substitute.
Application in medicine
is disputed about useful properties Stevia has been used by Indian tribes of South America not only as a sweet substance for drinks and food. Local shamans and sorcerers, who were also healers, gave leaves of stevia and tinctures from it for attacks of heartburn and as a mild laxative.
After numerous scientific and medical studies, modern European, American and Japanese scientists came to the conclusion that the medicinal properties of stevia are much lower than its role as a natural sugar substitute. Periodically in the press there are reports that this plant is capable of provoking the growth of malignant tumors, however, no such message has been officially confirmed with the help of scientific data, and not hypothetical conjectures.
Since this plant has nothing to do with sugars, it can be successfully applied to diabetics as a sugar substitute. Since it has a very sweet taste and does not affect the production of insulin, diabetic patients can diversify their menus without risking harm to their health.
Each person decides for himself how to use this plant and whether it is worth doing. However, there is a striking documented example: in Japan 40% of sweet foods are not cooked on sugar, namely on stevia. An example of a country with the longest life expectancy is very revealing and worthy of attention.
As a weight loss assistant
After the detrimental effect of excess sugar on the physical condition of a person and the accumulation of excess weight have been identified, obese people all over the world began to massively consume sugar substitutes. Synthetic preparations such as saccharin or aspartame have become widely used in so-called diet drinks and products. However, soon there were reports of carcinogenicity of these substances and their general health hazard.
Many people who are overweight, have tested the medicinal properties of stevia. This useful plant with zero calorie helped to get rid of fat folds without unnecessary suffering, without having to deny yourself the usual sweet tea or compote. After all, for many people, sweet is a powerful stimulant that creates a good mood. Since a person does not feel deprived of the usual diet, his weight loss is in a relaxed atmosphere without nervous tension, and therefore more effective and useful.
By introducing into your diet a stevia sheet of honey or ready-made preparations from it, you can get a sweet and tasty product with reduced caloric content. This is due to the fact that stevia preparations have no calories and do not affect the process of formation and deposition of excess fat. With a reasonable approach to nutrition, sports, when replacing conventional sugar with stevia in any form, you can achieve a persistent weight loss without rigid diets, which are very harmful to human health and disturb the psychologically comfortable state.
How to use
To use stevia as a food product, almost all people can use, unless there is a doctor's recommendation that prohibits or restricts its use. Like all plant products, stevia and its derivatives can cause allergies or individual intolerances. There are other contraindications: this substance can provoke upset stomach or persistent diarrhea, especially if used in large quantities, high concentrations or an unhealthy person with digestive problems.
A fresh or dried stevia leaf, a powdery substance or a tablet preparation can be used for food. Here, each person chooses the appropriate option for himself. Powders and tablets are more concentrated, but still made from natural raw materials, so their effect does not differ from the influence of plant leaves. However, you should pay attention to the manufacturer and choose the products of large and well-known companies with a good reputation.
Fresh or dried leaves can simply be added to the tea when it is poured with boiling water. In this case, the astringency of tea partially neutralizes the specific taste of stevia. It is difficult to call it unpleasant, but it still requires getting used to it. If you consider the potential benefits of the plant for health, with some inconveniences in the form of a taste, you can resign yourself.
Stevia powder can be sold in bulk or in bulk. In any case, it dissolves easily in liquids and gives them a sweet taste. Tablets of stevia are also readily soluble. Preparations in any form can be successfully added to different dishes, not just drinks. They can give a sweet taste of baking, home-made compotes, jam, jelly, porridge, desserts, ice cream. In the process of cooking, stevia powder is added in the last turn, so that the taste is not distorted.
A few more words about the benefits of stevia:
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