Stevia
  • Stevia

Stevia

stevia

Stevia - A Natural Sweet Herb with Many Benefits

Stevia, also known as the "herbal sweetener," is a unique plant-based source of natural sweetness. Originating from South America, it is valued for its exceptional properties. Stevia is not only an excellent alternative to sugar but also has many health benefits. This sweet herb has gained popularity for its ability to sweeten food and beverages without adding calories. It is much sweeter than sugar, which means that a smaller amount is needed to achieve the desired sweet taste. Stevia is an excellent choice for individuals looking to reduce their sugar intake and control blood sugar levels. However, stevia offers much more than just sweetness. It is known for its antioxidant properties, which help combat the effects of harmful free radicals in the body. Additionally, research suggests that stevia may have a beneficial impact on blood sugar control, which can be particularly relevant for individuals with diabetes. Stevia is also valued for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

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Description

Stewia (stevia) other names  Other names:


  • Stevia rebaudiana (scientific name)
  • Süßer Kraut (German)
  • Ka'a he'ê (Guarani)
  • Sweetleaf (English)
  • Hoja de azucar (Spanish)
  • Kaa jhee (Thai)
  • Honigkraut (German)
  • Canh dược liệu (Vietnamese)
  • Ervas das rainhas (Portuguese)
  • La feuille sucrée (French)
  • Stevia Rebaudiana.



Stewia (stevia) properties  1. What is stevia and what are its properties ?


Stevia is a plant originating from South America, primarily known for its sweet leaves. Due to its intense, natural flavor, stevia has become a popular substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners in diets. The sweetening properties of stevia are a result of the presence of steviol glycosides, including stevioside, in its leaves. Being almost calorie-free, stevia can be used in the diets of people with diabetes or for calorie reduction purposes. Stevia also has many other health benefits. It contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, and zinc. Research suggests that stevia leaf extract may help lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower the risk of heart disease. The antioxidant properties of stevia can also help combat free radicals and protect cells from damage. Stevia can also contribute to maintaining healthy teeth and gums as it does not promote the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Stevia is a plant with sweet leaves that can be used as a natural sweetener in diets. In addition to its sweetening properties, stevia has many other health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.



Stewia (stevia) sweet taste  2. What compounds are responsible for the sweet taste found in stevia ?



Stevia contains compounds called steviol glycosides, which are responsible for its sweet taste. These are natural chemical substances that occur in the leaves of this plant in varying amounts. The most important of these compounds is stevioside, which accounts for about 90% of the steviol glycosides in stevia. Other significant steviol glycosides include rebaudiosides A, C, D, E, and F. Depending on the variety and origin of the plant, the quantity and proportions of these glycosides may differ, affecting the quality and intensity of stevia's sweet taste. Steviol glycosides are much sweeter than sucrose (table sugar) and, at the same time, do not have an impact on blood sugar levels, making them an attractive substitute for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Additionally, stevia contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C, making it a valuable source of nutrients. This is why stevia is gaining increasing popularity as a natural sweetener that not only replaces sugar but also has positive effects on health.



Stewia (stevia) sugar level in blood  3. Can stevia help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes ?



Stevia, a natural plant-based sweetener, has properties that suggest it may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Stevia contains steviol glycosides, which have an impact on glucose metabolism. Research suggests that stevioside, one of the main active compounds in stevia, may increase tissue sensitivity to insulin, aiding in maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Stevia can also influence insulin secretion by the pancreas, which is crucial for blood sugar regulation. Animal studies suggest that consuming stevia may increase insulin secretion, helping to maintain a stable blood sugar level. Additionally, stevia has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels like other sweeteners do. Stevia can be a good choice for people with diabetes or predisposition to diabetes who want to reduce sugar consumption and maintain a stable blood glucose level. Although stevia appears to be safe for most people, some individuals may experience side effects such as diarrhea, allergies, or hypoglycemia.



Stewia (stevia) safe to use ?  4. Is the use of stevia safe for health ?



Stevia is considered a safe sugar substitute, but like any food product, it may cause adverse side effects in some individuals. Numerous studies have been conducted on the safety of stevia, and no serious adverse effects related to its use have been identified. Stevia is commonly used as an alternative to sugar due to its natural origin and low calorie content. It is of plant origin and contains zero calories, making it an ideal choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, it does not impact blood glucose levels, making it safe for individuals with diabetes. While most people can consume stevia without any side effects, some individuals may experience allergies to its components. This may manifest as a skin reaction, abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea. Stevia is considered a safe and healthy sugar substitute, but as with any food product, some individuals may experience adverse side effects. It is important to use it in moderation and always consult with a doctor before using it for medical purposes.



Stewia (stevia) sugar substitute  5. Can stevia be used as a sugar substitute in a diet ?



Yes, stevia can be used as a sugar substitute in a diet due to its sweet taste and low calorie content. Compared to sugar, stevia has a much smaller impact on blood glucose levels, making it an attractive choice for those looking to reduce sugar consumption or eliminate it entirely. Stevia is a popular choice for individuals on weight loss diets or those who need to control their sugar intake due to diabetes or other conditions. Since stevia is much sweeter than sugar, smaller amounts are needed, resulting in fewer calories consumed throughout the day. Stevia is also a popular choice among individuals looking to avoid the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. Stevia serves as a natural substitute for artificial sweeteners, which have been the subject of controversy and scientific studies regarding their safety. Although stevia is considered safe, it is important to note that some stevia-containing products may contain additional ingredients that are not beneficial for health. It is always advisable to read labels and choose products that contain only natural ingredients to ensure the safety of using stevia.



Stewia (stevia) weight loos  6. Can the use of stevia help with weight loss ?



Stevia is commonly used as a sugar substitute because it contains very few calories and has a low glycemic index. It is often used in the diets of individuals looking to maintain or reduce their weight. However, does it actually help with weight loss? It is important to note that stevia itself does not directly burn fat, but it may help control blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for sweet snacks. Additionally, using stevia instead of sugar can help reduce calorie intake, which is crucial in the weight loss process. However, stevia should not be regarded as the sole solution in the weight loss journey. It is important to pay attention to the overall diet and lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity and healthy eating habits. Using stevia as a sugar substitute can be one component of a healthy diet and lifestyle that may aid in weight loss. It is also important to note that excessive use of stevia can lead to unwanted side effects such as diarrhea or low blood sugar levels.



Stewia (stevia) recomended doses  7. What are the recommended doses for using stevia ?



According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommendations, the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of steviol glycosides is 4 mg/kg of body weight per day. This means that a person weighing 60 kg can consume a maximum of 240 mg of steviol glycosides per day. The recommended doses for stevia in the form of powder, tablets, or liquid are usually suggested by the manufacturer or distributor, but they may vary depending on the specific product. For dried or fresh leaves, adding about 1-2 leaves per cup of infusion is typically recommended, while for liquid extract, a few drops are usually suggested. However, it is important to remember that stevia is an active substance, and excessive use can have side effects. Therefore, it should be used in moderation.



Stewia (stevia)  impact on digestion  8. Can stevia have a negative impact on digestion ?



Stevia is generally considered safe for digestion and is even considered helpful in some cases, such as reducing digestive discomfort like heartburn or ulcers. In fact, some studies suggest that stevia leaf extract may have a beneficial impact on the gastrointestinal system by reducing inflammation and protecting the intestinal mucosa. However, like any food product, some people may experience adverse side effects after consuming stevia. Some individuals may experience diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, or nausea after consuming larger amounts of stevia. In such cases, reducing the consumption of stevia or eliminating it from the diet entirely is recommended. It is also important to always choose stevia products from trusted manufacturers to avoid low-quality products that may be contaminated or contain undesirable additives.



Stewia (stevia)  pregnant  9. Can stevia be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women ?



The use of stevia by pregnant and breastfeeding women is not contraindicated, but it is always advisable to consult with a doctor before starting its use to ensure its safety. While no harmful effects of stevia on pregnancy or breastfeeding have been identified, caution is always recommended when using dietary supplements and food products, especially those whose effects on the body are not fully researched yet. Some studies suggest that consuming large amounts of stevia may affect sex hormones, which could have a negative impact on pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, using stevia in moderate amounts is always advised.



Stewia (stevia)  alternatives to stevia  10. What are the alternatives to stevia as a natural sweetener ?


Stevia is a popular and natural sweetener, but if you are looking for an alternative, there are other options that can also be used as sweeteners:

  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly used as a sweetener in chewing gums, toothpaste, and other food products. It has a similar sweetness to sugar but fewer calories and does not impact blood sugar levels.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener derived from the nectar of flowers. It has a sweet, floral taste and can be used to sweeten tea, coffee, and other beverages.
  • Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a natural sweetener produced from maple tree sap. It has a sweet taste and can be used in baking, sauces, and other food products.
  • Lucuma: Lucuma is a fruit native to South America that has a sweet, caramel-like flavor. It is rich in nutrients such as fiber and beta-carotene and can be used to sweeten smoothies, desserts, and other dishes.
  • Yacon: Yacon is a root vegetable native to South America that has a sweet taste and low calorie content. It contains inulin, a type of fiber that aids in digestion and regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Date Syrup: Date syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used to sweeten desserts, cocktails, and other beverages. It has a sweet, caramel-like flavor and is rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener produced by bees. It has a sweet taste and can be used to sweeten tea, coffee, and other beverages. It is also rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener produced from coconut palm sap. It has a sweet taste and is rich in nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Agave Syrup: Agave syrup is a natural sweetener produced from agave plant sap.
  • Erythritol: Erythritol is a natural sweetener that occurs in some fruits and vegetables, such as pears and corn. It has only about 70% of the sweetness of sugar but contains no calories and does not impact blood sugar levels.


Stewia (stevia) research  Scientific research has been conducted by, among others:


  • University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • University of Bonn, Germany
  • University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA
  • Indian Institute of Technology, India
  • University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • University of Minho, Portugal
  • University of Surrey, United Kingdom


Stewia (stevia)  storage  STORAGE


Stevia, like many other food products, requires proper storage to maintain its flavor and nutritional properties. Here are a few tips on how to store stevia:

  • Store in a dry place: Stevia should be stored in a dry and cool place. Moisture can affect its shelf life and quality.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Stevia should be stored away from direct sunlight as UV rays can affect its quality.
  • Closed container: Stevia should be stored in a tightly sealed container to prevent loss of flavor and aroma.
  • Temperature: Stevia should be stored at room temperature, not exceeding 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Avoid moisture: Stevia should be kept away from sources of moisture such as sinks, stoves, or sinks.
  • Avoid refrigeration: Stevia does not require refrigeration as low temperatures can affect its quality and flavor.
  • Properly storing stevia can help maintain its quality and flavor for longer.


Stewia (stevia) sources  SOURCES



  • Food and Chemical Toxicology: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, source of a high-potency natural sweetener: A comprehensive review on the biochemical, nutritional, and functional aspects" (Curi et al., 2019)
  • Journal of Medicinal Food: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni: A Review on Physiology, Biochemistry, and Uses" (Siddiqui et al., 2016)
  • International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: "Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review" (Abou-Arab et al., 2010)
  • Trends in Food Science & Technology: "Sweeteners from plants—With emphasis on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) and Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle)" (Goyal et al., 2010)
  • Nutrients: "Effects of Stevia rebaudiana on Glucose Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials" (Liu et al., 2021)
  • Journal of Ethnopharmacology: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni: A natural alternative for treating diseases associated with metabolic syndrome" (Garcia-Gonzalez et al., 2018)
  • International Journal of Food Properties: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, Source of a High-Potency Natural Sweetener: A Comprehensive Review on the Pharmacological, Phytochemical, and Nutritional Aspects" (Soufi et al., 2020)
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: "Steviol Glycoside Biosynthesis" (Brandle et al., 2011)
  • European Food Research and Technology: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni – Source of a high-potency natural sweetener: A comprehensive review on the biochemical, nutritional, and functional aspects" (Curi et al., 2019)
  • Journal of Natural Products: "Sweet Diterpenoid Glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana" (Kinghorn et al., 1982)
  • PLOS ONE: "Evaluation of genotoxicity and oxidative DNA damage induced by steviol, the metabolite of stevioside sweetener, in human lymphocytes" (Uhl et al., 2016)
  • Journal of Food Science and Technology: "Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni and Its Effects on Human Health: A Review" (Bakhtiari et al., 2018)
  • Food Research International: "Recent advances in the development of sweeteners from Stevia rebaudiana: a review" (Gupta et al., 2019)
  • Planta Medica: "Metabolism of Stevioside and Rebaudioside A from Stevia rebaudiana Extracts by Human Microbiota" (Biendl et al., 2020)
  • Molecules: "The Genus Stevia (Asteraceae): An Overview on Chemical and Biological Aspects" (Yousaf et al., 2020)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia


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stevia
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