Stevia is a natural herb, primitively from South America, however not it is grown all across the world. Stevia sugar is a natural sweetener which is said to be 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. However, it does not increase the sugar levels in the blood unlike sugar or any other artificial sweeteners. Stevia sugar has been used as a medicinal herb as well as a sweetener in several cultures across the globe for centuries, nevertheless gained modern popularity in recent years. Also to note that stevia leaf in both fresh and dried form is a natural herbal sweetener, various modernized forms of sweeteners that are stevia based are processed and powdered. In fact, a research on stevia sugar market states that powdered stevia sugar undergo numerous steps at the time of processing right from bleaching to chemical alteration.
Stevia consists of two different compounds which are the reason for its sweetness:
Stevioside – this component is responsible for almost 10 percent of the sweetness quotient in stevia sugar. However, it also is responsible for an unusual bitter after-taste which many people do not prefer. Also, it comprises of most of the healthy and beneficial properties of stevia that are most studied.
Rebaudioside A - this component is most often evoked and put to use is stevia sweeteners and powders. For a matter of fact, stevia sugars available in the market consists added erythritol derived from corn, dextrose or any other artificial sweeteners.
Advantages of stevia in its natural form:
- A specific double-blind study has concluded that consuming stevia on a regular basis does help in reducing blood pressure for patients who have mild hypertension.
- Yet another research determined that stevia might have the potency to lessen breast cancer cell growth, however there has not been any in-depth research yet.
- Regular stevia consumers who use it as a sugar alternative can have several health benefits of its own.
Universally, more than five thousand food and beverage products are presently using stevia as an ingredient. Stevia sugars are used in many products in South America and Asia such as soft drinks, ice creams, candy, chewing gum, pickled foods, yogurts, sauces, prepared vegetables, etc. In the United States, stevia sugars are mainly found in table-top goods and lessen calorie beverages as substitutes for sugar.