Meaning of stevia:
There is always a question in people’s mind that what is the meaning of stevia? So, let’s go through the complete details about stevia.
Stevia belongs to Asteraceae family which is also known as sunflower family. It looks a bit like holy basil. And extract from the stevia plant (stevia rebaudiana).
Stevia contains an element called steviol glycosides (stevioside and rebaudioside), which have up to 200 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not ferment-able. It has zero calories but still sweeter than sugar, also it taste has slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar.
This sweetener has historically been used for more than 1,500 years in South America. Initially commercially produced in Japan in the early 70s, it has been used traditionally for hundreds of years in Brazil and Paraguay. mostly produced in Paraguary, Kenya, China and United Stated. Other countries also produce this plant such as Vietnam, India, Colombia, Brazil.
In 1991, it was banned in the U.S. because it was thought to cause cancer. The food and drug administration (FDA) allowed stevia to be imported and sold as a food supplement but not as sweetener. In December 2008, the FDA declared that it’s safe to use as sugar substitute.
Common name of stevia is:
- candy leaf
- sugar leaf
- sweet leaf
- sweet herb
- Stevia cane
Now a days, sweet herb is very popular and being used in so many sugar free foods as an alternate of regular sugar.
It is associated with various health benefits of using it. Such as:
- Lower blood sugar,
- Maintain cholesterol levels,
- Maintain blood pressure levels and so on.
It is a boon for diabetes patients, not only had a positive impact on blood glucose levels, but it has an anti-oxidant and has liver protection properties. It’s a best substitute for tea, coffee and other beverages. It’s an herbal and natural so, it is safe to use.