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Benefits of Stevia
The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides.

1. Stevia
Stevia rebaudiana is a South American plant of the Asteraceae family, which also includes sunflowers and chrysanthemums. Native to Paraguay, stevia has traditionally been used to sweeten beverages and make tea. The termsteviarefers to the entire plant and its components, only some of which are sweet.

2. What is stevia
Stevia plants grow and are harvested in many countries around the world, predominantly in China and Brazil. The plants grow 24 feet in height with slim, branched stems, and thrive in temperate and some tropical regions. Stevia is grown by natural, conventional plant breeding methods such as crosspollination and other nongenetically modified processes.

3. Intensely sweet
As stevia is intensely sweet and an extract, it typically requires only a fifth of the land and much less water to provide the same amount of sweetness as other mainstream sweeteners. For example, in Kenya, stevia is typically grown on only a third of the land, with the rest of the land being devoted to other crops.

4. How is stevia extracted
Steviol glycosides are extracted from the stevia leaf, filtered, and purified. This process is similar to how other plant ingredients such as sugar and vanilla extract are obtained. The sweet molecules in the stevia plant are extracted by steeping the dried leaves in water, followed by separating and purifying the besttasting steviol glycosides.

5. Steviol glycosides
Steviol glycosides are found in the leaves of the stevia plant. They have particular taste profiles and intense sweetness. Steviol glycosides can be isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant and are approved for use in countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Paraguay. In the US, steviol glycosides with high rebaudioside content are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use as a tabletop sweetener.

6. How is stevia used
More than 5,000 food and beverage products currently use stevia as an ingredient worldwide, including tabletop sweeteners for baking as well as other everyday products. Stevia plant is a small, sweetleaf herb of South American origin used by native Guarani tribes of Paraguay since centuries. Is stevia safe alternative to common sugar in the carbohydratecontrolled diets? Does it have healthy nutrient profile safe enough for human consumption as in other herbs such as basil, mint, thyme, etc?

7. Alternative sugar
Stevia sweeteners provide an alternative sugar substitute when sweetening foods such as cereal, yogurt and fruit. Some recipes allow for cooking and baking with these sweeteners. However, appropriate usage levels vary according to the stevia sweetener, and manufacturers guidelines should be followed.

8. Does stevia have health benefits
Steviol glycosides have zero calories. Steviabased tabletop sweeteners can have zero or minimal calories per serving, depending upon the other food ingredients with which they are combined. These factors could have a positive effect on those looking to control weight or managediabetes.

9. Diabetes
Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not contribute calories orcarbohydratesto the diet and do not affect blood glucose or insulin response, which allows people with diabetes to consume a wider variety of foods and comply with a healthful meal plan. Recent scientific trials firmly establish that this sweetleaf herb has, in fact, many health benefiting plantderived phytochemical compounds that help control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure in addition to its use as natural sweetener. Together with the rise in demand for lowcalorie food alternatives, stevia has drawn the attention of health conscious fitness lovers all over the planet.

10. Weight control
The causes of overweight andobesityaround the globe are quite complex and include factors such as an increase in physical inactivity due to increased sedentary time and increased intake of energydense foods that are high in fat and added sugars. Stevia plant is a small, sweetleaf herb of South American origin used by native Guarani tribes of Paraguay since centuries. Is stevia safe alternative to common sugar in the carbohydratecontrolled diets? Does it have healthy nutrient profile safe enough for human consumption as in other herbs such as basil, mint, thyme, etc?

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Benefits of Stevia

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