Ideal to use in place of sugar, stevia rebaudiana is a plant that provides a natural sweetener low in calories, but it has drawbacks. Discover all
Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the stevia rebaudiana, a plant in cultivation in Brazil and Paraguay. One of the fundamental properties of stevia is the absence of calories, compared with a sweetening power greater than that of sugar and sweeteners of mass such as aspartame.
The active ingredients of stevia are stevioside and its leaves, which are found in all parts of the plant, but are most concentrated in the leaves. Is from the dried leaves, in fact, that you get the sweetener, more powerful than the common sucrose or of chemical alternatives: stevia is in fact 300 times more sweet as sugar, so just a little to sweeten drinks such as tea or coffee. And unlike sugar and other sweeteners, it has no nutritional value, that is, has zero calories, which makes it the dolficante ideal in the low-calorie diet.
The properties and benefits
Stevia has various properties, it is rich in minerals such as iron and manganese, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. The people of South America used it in ancient times and still today for its antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory. It also brings benefits to blood pressure, because with his power, hypotensive allows you to control your high blood pressure, is referred to in place of sugar to avoid cavities and thanks to the presence of flavonoids in its composition it fights the free radicals responsible for aging of the skin, helping to keep it young. Returning to her power regulator with regards to the calories, it is indicated in the diets of those who should control the blood sugar, as people who suffer from blood sugar and diabetes. It has been shown how the stevia to help regulate the iperglicemie, together with the hypertension, balancing the blood sugar.
The stevia is bad? Contraindications, and controversies
After an initial enthusiasm, especially due to the possibility to replace refined sugar, not recommended in any diet, is advanced by most parties to a suspicion: stevia is bad? Some parts have arrived in fact, the alarms on the fact that stevia might be carcinogenic: an excessive amount of his principle’s arrival, the steviol, may cause cancer. The question is actually very controversial and not yet clarified completely, since it is dosages of an element of stevia and not the plant or its extracts. Entries pros and cons of stevia, in fact, have produced a controversy which related to the suspicion of wanting to “scuttle” this additive natural in favor of artificial sweeteners, which would be hidden huge commercial interests. In fact, stevia has less side-effects and contraindications of sweeteners artificial such as aspartame.
Each Country or supranational organization, is so organized in his own way: in Japan, stevia is used for example to sweeten Coca-Cola Light, while the European Union, including Italy, and the United States, before they admitted stevia only as a dietary supplement but not as a food ingredient, then liberalizzarne use in the kitchen, in 2010. In any case, in the absence of sufficient scientific tests and the laboratory, it is recommended that a moderate use of stevia.
Where to buy? How much is it?
Being a natural product, the stevia does not undergo degradation with the high temperatures, and it is to this that can be used instead of sugar not only to sweeten but also for the preparation of desserts of every type. Thanks to its natural properties, the absence of calories, some suggest even in the diet of children. It is mostly found pure in powder, tablets, crystallized in cubes, and even liquid. You buy in the supermarkets and in health food stores, and has a price that varies from 10 to 30 euros depending on the size and quantity. A thousand tablets of stevia, for example, do not exceed 15 euros.