Stevia Rebaudiana is a small shrub native to portions of Northeastern Paraguay and adjacent sections of Brazil. It flourishes in the sandy soil of this elevated terrain and may grow to a height of 80 cm when it is fully mature. While native Indians of the Guarani Tribe appear to have used the leaves of this herb as a sweetener since pre-Columbian times, it was not until 1887 when a South American natural scientist named Antonio Bertoni first "discovered" it.
The sweet secret of Stevia lies in a complex molecule called Stevioside which is a glycoside composed of glucose, sophorose and steviol. It is this complex molecule and a number of other related compounds that account for Stevia Reubaudiana's extraordinary sweetness. The Stevia herb in its natural form is approximately 10 to 15 times sweeter than common table sugar. Extracts of Stevia in the form of Steviosides can range anywhere from 100 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. And best of all, Stevia does not affect blood sugar metabolism according to most experts. Some studies even report that Stevia reduces plasma glucose levels in normal adults.
Many of us may have been addicted with sugar-which, as we all know is associated with multiple health problems-obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases etc etc.
So why not change our regular table sugar to natural sweetener like stevia? Make a smart choice..
You are what you eat!
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