STEVIA, Natural Sweetness without Adversity

Herbal Smoothies are not all delicious.  Some are bitter, some our sour,  astringent etc.  Please do not expect a super sweet “bubble gum” drink.  This is herbal.  This is healthy.  For me, sprouted black rice provides a pleasant tasting (malt) flavor but with the addition of our herbs, taste tests indicate that a slightly sweeter taste is preferred.  Stevia provides natural sweetness.  It is a healthy herbal alternative.  It contains no sugar but is sweeter than sugar with no calories, no toxicity and none of the negative health effects of sugar.

Stevia glycosides are approved as a dietary supplement/food additive in more than 30 countries including EU, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand and most ASIAN countries and has been approved by the Thailand F.D.A. since 2002.  The indigenous people of Paraguay were using stevia to sweeten their medicines and drinks as early at the 16th century.

Stevia is not only “harmless” but is healthy.  Most often you are getting a refined extract (liquid or powder) that has isolated stevia’s sweet compounds.  However, true to my mission to revive your relationship to nature’s complete foods, I prefer to use the entire leaf and deliver all of its health benefits.

Stevia is an effective sweetener for people on sugar and carbohydrate- controlled diets such as diabetics and people concerned with weight management and anyone/everyone interested in overall good health.  Lab studies confirm reductions in blood glucose levels attributed to chlorgenic acid which reduces enzymatic conversion of glycogen to glucose as well as decreasing absorption of glucose in the gut.

Stevia leaves contain magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B3.  Stevia is also rich in iron  (approx.. 700 ppm) which helps hemoglobin synthesis.  With over 10% fiber, stevia helps promote proper digestion and helps to cure constipation.  Stevioside (one of stevia’s sweet compounds) has been studied for its ability to dilate blood vessels, increase elimination of sodium and increase urination all of which help to reduce blood pressure.

Triterpenes, flavonoids and tannins are among the antioxidant compounds found in stevia.  Antioxidant phyto-chemicals found in stevia include kaempferol, quercetin, chororgenic acid, caffeic acid,  and isoquercitrin.  Kaempferol has been shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23% (American journal of epidermiology).

Some people experience a slight aftertaste from stevia, but combined in herbal blends this is not always detectable.

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