Stevia is a resource that nature gave us to be able to sweeten our drinks and food naturally and with a variety of properties for our health.
At the same time, the different formulas based on this plant from Paraguay and Brazil have generated great controversy. Many products are shown to be naturally sweetened, but in reality, due to the amount of processing to which it is exposed, it loses its quality as a 100% natural sweetener.
Chemical Sweeteners disguised as Natural
Chemical sweeteners that are sold as natural such as Splenda (Sucralose), Aspartame or Saccharin are not 100% natural, they are camouflaged between Light products or healthy drinks and have a high level of refinement and chemical processing.
Aspartame is a set of three compounds; aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol – all individually toxic. The methanol present is not like that found in alcoholic beverages and various vegetables, it is not accompanied by ethanol, which acts as a protector from methanol toxicity. Methanol, by itself, damages tissue and DNA, can cause lymphoma, leukemia, and other forms of cancer.
Sucralose is basically denatured sucrose. Its preparation involves changing the chemical structure of the sugar molecule in a process called chlorination (where chlorine is a known carcinogen).
Unfortunately, like tobacco (cigarettes) in its time, there are no in-depth studies by regulatory entities on the possible contra-indications of these artificial sweeteners. Therefore it is an individual responsibility to investigate and find out if these sweeteners are beneficial to health. Some studies have shown that these:
- They are related as carcinogenic products
- They have negative effects on different organs such as the liver, kidneys and other organs in the long term.
- They stimulate cravings and anxiety, which ultimately makes you keep eating
- In some cases cause gastrointestinal problems
- There is a percentage that creates problems in the development of children and fetuses
- They can cause headaches
The natural stevia used without adding any additives or preservatives is 100% healthy and is being increasingly consumed, not only for its ability to sweeten but also for its properties and benefits that it delivers to our body as a plant.
It has no negative effect, nor is it related to any health problem.
- Has no calories or caffeine
- Has favorable effects on fat absorption
- It benefits blood pressure with a mild diuretic, vasodilator and cardiotonic effect.
- Highly recommended for diabetic patients
- Regulates sugar metabolism (Hypoglycemic)
- natural anxiolytic
- Lowers cholesterol levels (hypocholesterolemic)
- Improves memory, concentration and learning
- Facilitates digestion
Natural stevia can be consumed in different ways and its extracts can be up to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. It all depends on your processing.
Stevia leaves are the sweetest part of the plant, it is the most recommended since that is where most of the benefits for our health are, this is because it is not necessary to undergo any refining process, it is sweet in itself. These can be used directly in our infusions, drinks and meals.
- Contains 5 times the antioxidants of green tea
- Detoxify different aggressive chemicals
- Help regulate blood sugar in people with diabetes
- They contain vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, niacin, chromium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and silicon, as well as protein and fiber.
- Stevia leaves help prevent cavities by chewing them fresh
- Antibacterial and antifungal (prevention and treatment for fungi)
- It is healing and bactericidal if you apply stevia leaves to burns or wounds.
The leaves can be eaten fresh or dried, they can be crushed, ground, or used in their natural form, as long as they are well washed and dried naturally, by this we mean that they are not dried in the microwave.
Chemical stevia is an extract of the plant, a glycoside that is extracted from the concentrate, it is found in powder or liquid, depending on its level of refinement, and in general it is manufactured.
Although it is highly processed at an industrial level, it is sold as a natural product and in health food stores.
- Most liquid stevia is flavored to add to beverages.
- Liquid stevia or industrialized powdered stevia is a synthetic product, although it originates from the plant, it has minimal amounts of it.
- Contain additives such as maltodextrin
- In the end it is a manufactured product impossible to find in nature due to the high level of modification
- Industrial powdered stevia is white, very similar to sugar, unlike natural stevia leaves pulverized by hand
It should be said that there is also liquid stevia and 100% natural stevia powder, in fact it is very easy to do it yourself, it is processed, but nothing more than the plant itself is used.