Apart from its use as a natural sweetner, Stevia has a number of health benefits, which are as follows; controls Diabetes, weight control, regulates blood pressure, prevents cancer, cures allergies, cures skin problems, improves bone health, improves oral health.
Stevia is actually the name for the more than 240 species of shrubs and small flowering plans in the Asteraceae family, which is the same family as sunflowers. Stevia is known by different names, including sweet leaf or sugar leaf, but the formal scientific name is Stevia Rebaudiana. It is a sweetener and sugar substitute. A non-nutritive sweetener is one that contains little to no calories. The natural sweetener tastes 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. , stevia is a tender perennial that loves the warm sun and dies back in a freeze.
Stevia is valued mostly for its sweet leaves and its ability to replace sugar in a diet, but stevia also contains a wealth of antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, triterpenes, tannins, caffeic acid, kaempferol, and quercetin. The stevia plant also contains fiber, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. However, in the sweetener form, these additional elements are nearly negligible. The smaller organic compounds play the real role in the health benefits of stevia.
Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not contribute calories or carbohydrates to the diet. They have also demonstrated no effect on blood glucose or insulin response. This allows people with diabetes to eat a wider variety of foods and comply with a healthful meal plan. Stevia sweetens food in a similar way as sugar, but it contains stevioside, which is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. When stevioside breaks down, the glucose-containing particles are absorbed by the bacteria in the colon, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream and affecting glucose levels in the body. This is an ideal replacement for normal sugar for diabetics or people on carbohydrate-controlled diets because they can eat sweet foods without having to worry about diabetic complications. Thus stevia showed minimal to no effects on blood glucose, insulin levels, blood pressure, and body weight.
There are many causes of overweight and obesity, such as physical inactivity and increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and added sugars. The intake of added sugars has been shown to contribute an average of 16% of the total calories in the American diet. This has been linked to weight gain and reduced control of blood glucose levels. Stevia is very low in calories and is anywhere from 40-300x sweeter than sugar, depending on the prevalence of certain extracts in the species variety. This means that people can eat foods like cakes, cookies, and candies made with stevia without worrying about gaining a great deal of calories from sugars, so they won’t hurt their chances of successfully losing weight.
Stevioside is a type of glycoside, but there are other glycosides in stevia that can actually relax the blood vessels, increase urination, and facilitate the elimination of sodium from the body. This means that less stress is put on the cardiovascular system and there can be a drop in blood pressure, which protects heart health and prevents certain conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
The wide range of antioxidant compounds found in stevia makes it an ideal dietary supplement for cancer prevention. Quercetin, kaempferol, and the other glycoside compounds in stevia helps to eliminate the free radicals in the body, thereby preventing them from mutating healthy cells into cancer cells. Studies have found that kaempferol can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. Antioxidants also help to prevent premature aging, cognitive malfunction, and various other serious conditions like heart disease.
Due to its anti- bacterial properties, stevia has been found to be a useful topical application for skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. It inhibits the spread of bacteria and acts as a steroid in these situations, making it a popular option for many people who can’t get relief from these conditions.
Although this hasn’t been extensively tested in humans, certain studies have shown that chickens that have been fed a stevia diet lay significantly thicker shells that contain a much higher content of calcium than average eggs. This has been extrapolated to humans, meaning that it could potentially help build stronger bones and decrease the chances of osteoporosis, thus improving bone health.
Stevia has been found to reduce bacterial formation in the mouth, making it a popular additive for toothpastes and mouthwashes. It also prevents cavities and gingivitis, which sucrose certainly doesn’t do, thus improving the oral health.
In 2010, the European Food Safety Committee (EFSA) reviewed existing literature to determine if there was any cause for concern regarding the potential for allergic reactions to stevia. The reviewers concluded that 'steviol glycosides are not reactive and are not metabolized to reactive compounds, therefore, it is unlikely that the steviol glycosides under evaluation should cause by themselves allergic reactions when consumed in foods'. Even the highly purified forms of stevia extract are highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
Stevia sweeteners are primarily found in table sugar products and reduced calorie beverages as sugar substitutes. Extracts from the stevia leaf have been available as dietary supplements since the mid-1990s, and many contain a mixture of both sweet and non-sweet components of the stevia leaf. The sweet components in stevia sweeteners are naturally occurring. This may further benefit consumers who prefer foods and beverages they perceive as natural. Worldwide, more than 5,000 food and beverage products currently use stevia as an ingredient. Stevia sweeteners are used as an ingredient in products throughout Asia and South America such as: ice cream, desserts, sauces, Yogurts, pickled foods, bread, soft drinks, chewing gum, candy, seafood, prepared vegetables.
Some stevia products also contain sugar alcohol. People with sensitivity to sugar alcohol may experience bloating, abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea, though one type of sugar alcohol, erythritol, poses less risk of symptoms than others. Current research also suggests that it is safe to consume the recommended amount of sugar substitute or less while pregnant. As long as stevia is highly-purified and used in moderation, it will not cause side effects and can be consumed worry-free.
The plant is originally native to Paraguay and Brazil but is now also grown in Japan and China.
Stevia plants are best grown in the loose, loamy, well-drained soil that the plant prefers, it will grow 1 to 3 feet in height, depending on the length of the growing season. One should wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting. The plant should be fed with compost or Bonnie Herb and Vegetable Plant Food as directed on the label. The plant should be prevented from drying out on hot summer days. Container-grown plants will benefit from the same plant food and mulch. Stevia shouldn’t be grown in soggy soil, or the roots could rot. A sure sign of rot is wilting from which the plant doesn’t recover after watering.
उत्तर और दक्षिण अमेरिका के उष्णकटिबंधीय क्षेत्रों में उगने वाले स्टीविया के कई फायदे हैं. वैज्ञानिक नाम स्टेविया रेबउडियाना वाली स्टेविया की पत्तियां स्वाद में मीठी होती हैं. सूरजमुखी परिवार का यह पौधा झाडी और जड़ी-बूटी के प्रजातियों में प्रमुख है. इसमें कई एंटीऑक्सीडेंट यौगिक जैसे कि फ्लावोनोइड्स, टैनिन, काम्पेरोल, ट्राईटरपेनस, कैफिक एसिड, और क्वैक्सेटीन आदि पाए जाते हैं. इसमें पाए जाने वाले तत्वों में लोहा, फाइबर, सोडियम, प्रोटीन, मैग्नीशियम, पोटेशियम, विटामिन ए और सी प्रमुख हैं. स्टीविया के फायदों और नुकसान को विस्तार से समझने का प्रयास किया जाना चाहिए.
1. त्वचा की देखभाल में
हमारा त्वचा बाहरी पर्यावरण के सीधे संपर्क में रहता है. इसलिए उचित देखभाल न करने से इसमें कई तरह के विकार आने की संभावना लगातार बनी रहती है. त्वचा पर होने वाले एक्जीमा और डर्मेटाइटिस जैसे विकारों को ठीक करने में स्टीविया मददगार साबित होता है. स्टेरॉयड के रूप में काम करते हुए ये जीवाणुओं को फैलने रोकता है.
2. कैंसर में
इसमें कई एंटीऑक्सीडेंट यौगिक जैसे कि फ्लावोनोइड्स, टैनिन, काम्पेरोल, ट्राईटरपेनस, कैफिक एसिड, और क्वैक्सेटीन आदि पाए जाते हैं. ये सभी कैंसर के उपचार में एक आदर्श आहार पूरक हैं. फ्रीरेडिकल्स को ख़त्म करके ये स्वस्थ को कोशिकाओं को कैंसर कोशिकाओं में बदलने से रोकते हैं.
3. मधुमेह के उपचार में
हमारे शरीर में स्टीविया के कई फायदे हैं. इसका सबसे महत्वपूर्ण काम ये है कि ये रक्त शर्करा के स्तर को नियंत्रित कर सकता है. स्टीविया में स्टेवियोसाइड नामक यौगिक पाया जाता है, जिसे एक गैर कार्बोहाईड्रेट ग्लाइकोसाइड यौगिक के रूप में जाना जाता है. इसका मीठापन मधुमेह के मरीजों या कार्बोहाईड्रेट नियंत्रित आहार खाने वाले लोगों के लिए आम तौर पर मिलने वाली चीनी के बदले एक बेहतर विकल्प है. इसलिए वो लोग इसे बिना किसी चिंता के खा सकते हैं.
4. मुंह को स्वस्थ रखने में
मुंह के स्वास्थ्य का मतलब है दांतों आदि की देखभाल करना. इसमें स्टीविया की भूमिका मुंह में जीवाणुओं को पनपने से रोकने में है. हमारे दन्तमंजनों में भी इसका प्रयोग किया जाता है. कैविटी और मसूड़ों के सूजन को ठीक करने में इसकी भूमिका होती है.
5. हड्डियों को मजबूत बनाने में
स्टीविया पर होने वाले कई शोधों में एक शोध मुर्गी पर भी किया गया है. इसमें स्टीविया खाने वाली मुर्गियों के अंडे में औसतन अण्डों की तुलना में ज्यादा मात्रा में कैल्शियम पाई गई. हलांकि अभी तक ये शोध मनुष्यों पर नहीं किया गया है लेकिन संभावना जताई जाती है कि ये मनुष्यों पर भी कारगर होगा.
6. वजन घटाने में
स्टीविया चीनी से ज्यादा मीठी होने के बावजूद कम कैलोरी वाली होती है. यानी आप इसके मीठेपन से अपने पसंद की तमाम चीजें जैसे कि कैंडीज, केक और कुकीज आदि बनाकर बिना किसी टेंशन के खा सकते हैं. इससे आपका वजन नहीं बढ़ेगा.
7. उच्च रक्तचाप को नियंत्रित करने में
उच्च रक्तचाप को नियंत्रित करने में भी स्टीविया के फायदे नजर आते हैं. स्टीविया में स्टेवियोसाइड के अलावा भी कई प्रकार के ग्लाइकोसाइड पाए जाते हैं. दरअसल ग्लाइकोसाइड्स रक्त वाहिकाओं को आराम पहुँचाने, पेशाब में वृद्धि करने और हमारे शरीर से सोडियम को समाप्त करने में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाते हैं. इससे उच्च रक्तचाप नियंत्रण में रहता है.
8. ह्रदय के विकारों में
स्टीविया में पाए जाने वाले ग्लाइकोसाइड्स के गुणों के कारण ये हमारे दिल का भी ख्याल रखता है. ग्लाइकोसाइड्स, कार्डियोवैस्कुलर प्रणाली पर दबाव कम करके हमारे ह्रदय को कई विकारों जैसे कि दिल के दौरे, एथेरोस्क्लेरोसिस, स्ट्रोक से हमारी रक्षा करता है.
क्या हैं स्टेविया के नुकसान?
* कुछ लोगों पर स्टीविया के कई नुकसान नजर आते हैं जैसे कि सूजन और ऐंठन आदि के अलावा कुछ लोगों में सरदर्द भी देखा गया है.
* कई लोगों को मैरीगोल्ड, रैग्वेड और डेजी सम्बंधित पौधों से एलर्जी होती है, ऐसे लोगों को स्टीविया से भी एलर्जी हो सकती है.
* इन नुकसानों को देखते हुए आपको किसी विशेषज्ञ के सलाह से ही स्टीविया का सेवन करना चाहिए.
The problem with the commercialized ketchup available in all market is that even though they may be addictive, they often contain high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, cane crystals and tomato concentrates in place of naturally produced tomatoes. As a result, they bring about a host of health problems which propels one to prepare home-made tomato chutney easily with a handful of ingredients.
The simple home-made tomato chutney can also be consumed as ketchup, and it is quite easy to prepare as well. A different recipe that needs garlic, ginger along with some dry red chilies or chili flakes, the recipe is healthy as well. The red chilies add a gentle touch of hotness as well as smokiness which you will feel while cooking. The chutney can be a good option to be used as an accompaniment with snacks or other foods.
Ingredients For The Homemade Tomato Chutney
Qty - 2.5 Kgs of chutney
Step 1: Rinse the tomatoes and raisins well in water and chop the tomatoes in roughly sliced pieces.
Step 2: Now peel the ginger, garlic and chop them also you will have to cut the chilies in halves and deseed them
Step 3: Take all the chopped tomatoes in a 5 liter pressure cooker and add garlic, ginger, red chilies, vinegar, raisins, salt, and sugar or stevia.
Step 4: Keep the flame low and start mixing them and as the tomatoes start to soften, you should switch off the gas. Allow the mixture to cool down and blend it well into a smooth puree.
Step 5: Strain the mixture into a large saucepan or pot. Your last step is to stir and dissolve the sodium benzoate in a cup of hot water and add it directly to your chutney.
The home-made tomato chutney is ready, refrigerate and use
Why use stevia in place of sugar
Stevia is a natural element which is not just super sweet, but has no calories with a zero glycemic index. It is a great sweetener and is available in the woods of Brazil and Paraguay. You will be surprised to know that the leaves of this plant are about 300 times sweeter than sugar. Consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist in case of any query.
How to manage diabetic neuropathy naturally?
Diabetic neuropathy is a chronic medical condition that results in nerve damage. This occurs due to the inefficient usage of insulin hormone in the body. More than 60 diabetic patients shows one or the other signs of neuropathy. The latter can aggravate to more complicated problems, if the blood sugar levels are not kept in check. Here is a list of some natural remedies that will help you fight diabetic neuropathy.
Ingredients that you generally come across in candies, soft drinks, desserts and so on are known as artificial sweeteners. Many women during their pregnancy include these ingredients (in the form of foods and drinks that have been artificially sweetened) in their diet so as to cut down the amount of sugar in their diet.
But before you go about including them in your diet during pregnancy, there are certain things that you need to be aware of. Artificial sweeteners are generally of two types - nutritive sweeteners and nonnutritive sweeteners, the former contains calories while the latter doesn't.
Which sweeteners are safe to have?
Nutritive sweeteners, when consumed in moderation, can be looked upon as safe to have when you're pregnant, as long as they don't add to your body weight. But if you suffer from carbohydrate intolerance like diabetes, insulin resistance or even gestational diabetes, you need to limit the consumption of nutritive sweeteners. This type of sweeteners includes the different forms of sugar sucrose, honey, corn sugar, maltose, fructose and dextrose.
On the other hand, non-nutritive sweeteners are found in small quantities in foods since their role there is to only add a certain sweetening effect to the food product. Experts are still carrying out research on the effects of this type of sweeteners on pregnant women and their babies during pregnancy. The category includes options like sucralose, aspartame, rebaudioside a or stevia and acesulfame potassium.
Which sweeteners are not safe to have during pregnancy?
Apart from certain sweeteners that you can have during this period, there are some that are a total no-go - these are saccharin and cyclamate. While insufficient data is available for the effect of cyclamate on pregnant women, several studies conducted in the past show the adverse effect of saccharin. Certain studies have revealed its effect on the bladder (it can lead to bladder cancer) as well as on fetal tissue and placenta. Contact with this form of sweeteners can cause the unborn or infants to develop muscle dysfunction and irritability. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
If you are looking for an ideal, healthy diet which will help in improving your GI’s or general symptoms, you should opt for an elimination diet. It is an effective dietary approach, which is useful for addressing individual needs along with certain benefits for everyone who undertakes the diet. This diet is especially useful if you suffer from food sensitivities. In the elimination diet, certain food items are eliminated from your diet for a certain period of time. They are slowly reintroduced in your diet after a span of three to four weeks. You should be as restrictive as possible for the diet to produce effective results.
In a good elimination diet, you should cut off food items such as gluten, soy, eggs, dairy, corn, beef, chicken, pork, beans, lentils, citrus fruits, nuts, coffee and several nightshade vegetables. Your diet should primarily compose of rice, meat such as turkey, lamb, or fish, several fruits and vegetables. Food items to include and exclude as part of an elimination diet
Here is a list of the various types of food items, some of which need to be avoided and excluded during an elimination diet:
In case of sweeteners, you should use stevia if required. Avoid using honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, desserts, high fructose corn syrups and white or brown sugar. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.