“The herb that can’t be got is the one that heals.”
– Irish Saying
Stevia is one of the safest sweetener choices, if not THE best choice for added sweetness. Stevia is extracted from a plant grown in South America, and in its original form, stevia is a complex sugar extract from the plant itself.
This is what I consider a natural sucrose (sugar) substitute.
Stevia is a complex plant carbohydrate, so it does not pass into the bloodstream, yet it releases a natural sweetness.
Is Stevia Bitter?
Some people complain that stevia is bitter, but that is an easy problem to fix. Don’t use too much. It’s no different than seasoning a tomato with too much salt or pepper, or using too much garlic or oregano on lasagna.
Start off slowly, and add as you “taste test.”
Many of us are in the habit of spooning huge amounts of sugar into tea or coffee, and I have seen people involuntarily pour on the equivalent of stevia like it was refined sugar or another artificial sweetener.
If you simply use one-quarter the amount of stevia for one serving of sugar, then the taste is pleasant, natural, and is not bitter.
Stevia History And Health Benefits
Because stevia’s entry into the American sweetener market has been “engaged in politics”, many wonder if it is because stevia really isn’t safe. Well, history shows that stevia is absolutely safe, and not only is it safe, it may be healthy for you.
Stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar when it is purified from the leaves of the stevia plant. Stevia has been used as a traditional remedy for diabetes and gum disease among the indigenous people of Paraguay and other South American countries for over 1,500-recorded years; who knows how many years prior to the records?
Scientific evidence performed by independent researchers shows that stevia can improve the function of the cells required for insulin production in the pancreas, and may also improve glucose tolerance in people with diabetes.
Imagine a sweetener that’s HEALTHY for a diabetic!
According to the generations of people who have used stevia as a part of their daily diet in South America, stevia has been proven to regulate blood sugar.
Unlike other sweeteners, stevia is reported to possess anti-viral qualities. Research also suggests that stevia possesses blood pressure lowering properties, making it a useful treatment for hypertension.
If you are a sweetener user, I would definitely try a quality form of pure and natural stevia.