What is Stevia?
Stevia is one of the greatest health-restoring plants on earth. Native to Paraguay, it is a small green plant bearing leaves which have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar. Besides the intensely sweet glycosides (Steviosides, Rebaudiosides and a Dulcoside), various studies have found its leaves to contain proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, rutin (a flavonoid), true vitamin A, Vitamin C and an oil which contains 53 other constituents. Quality Stevia leaves and whole leaf concentrate are nutritious, natural dietary supplements offering numerous health benefits.
Stevia is the sweetener of the future. Because the human body does not metabolize the sweet glycosides (they pass right through the normal elimination channels) from the leaf or any of its processed forms, the body obtains no calories from Stevia. Processed forms of pure Stevia can be 70-400 times sweeter than sugar. Whether these products are called Stevia, Stevioside, Rebaudioside, Stevia Extract or Stevia Concentrate, if they are in their pure form they do not adversely affect blood glucose levels and may be used freely by people who struggle with diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure and obesity. Stevia is the perfect prescription of a natural sweetener.
Companies with products derived from the leaves of the Latin American herb Stevia, include:
• Arizona-based Wisdom Natural Brands sells packets of its powdered SweetLeaf
• Agribusiness giant Cargill, working in collaboration with Coca-Cola, sells Truvia
• PepsiCo with Whole Earth Sweetener Co. has developed a line of beverages sweetened with a Stevia product called PureVia.