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Stevia: The best natural sweetener

 Stevia flower

Stevia flower

Stevia rebaudiana is just one of more than 400 species of plants that make up the family of stevia, among them being the only attributed to their well-known properties as a natural sweetener. If you are diabetic or recommended to follow a diet low in calories, but do not want to do without sweets, stevia can become your best alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners like saccharin.

Origin and discovery of stevia

The origin of the stevia rebaudiana, also known as green sugar, is found in South America, particularly the tropical belt covering territories of present northeastern Paraguay and Argentina. Guarani Native Americans knew the properties of stevia sweeteners, and often used to sweeten foods and beverages, but although the plant was classified and named in the early sixteenth century by the Spanish scientist Pedro Jaime Esteve , well into the 20th century not isolated the active ingredients of stevia, revealing its high capacity as a natural sweetener with an intensity 200 times greater than that of sugar, compared with zero contributions in calories, sugars, fats , etc.

Stevia cultivation

After the discovery of stevia by Western scientists, there was a first attempt at cultivation in England in the mid-twentieth century, which ended in failure. Subsequently, stevia was introduced with greater success in Japan, along with China, has now become one of the major growers and producers of this popular natural sweetener.

Stevia Properties:

100 gr. stevia equivalent to about 20 kg sugar. Such a relationship allows us to understand at first glance sweetening capacity of this plant, which can be consumed naturally or processed (in liquid or crystallized, as conventional sugar). But if we look at the stevia chemical analysis, we found that their properties are the panacea for those suffering from diabetes, of obese people with hypertension, etc. The striking thing about stevia is that, compared to artificial sweeteners, is a totally natural product with no side effects, able to function as real substitute for sugar. And, apart from not provide calories, no sugar, no carbs, no saturated fat, no cholesterol course, stevia is a substance that needs to be processed by the liver.

Why not consumed stevia worldwide?

With these capabilities and this natural sweetener, the first question that comes to everyone about stevia, is why not consumed worldwide, in partial replacement for sugar and artificial sweeteners, especially in diabetic diets in low-calorie diets, etc. The answer is easy to understand, to respond to political and economic interests of the countries in which the sugar is an important source of income. In the U.S., for example, was literally banned stevia in the early 90s, except in cases where it was sold as “dietary supplement”. Here’s an example of how the partial interests of governments, they may stop to free trade in a food product with proven properties beneficial to health.

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