NUTRIENTS AND BENEFITS IN STEVIA

Nutrients in Stevia

Stevia leaves are highly nutritious. They contain many important nutrients that are often lacking in the foods we eat but which are vital to various glands and organs of the body to function correctly. Some of the nutrients discovered thus far include:

  • Aluminum
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ash
  • Austroinulin
  • Calcium
  • Beta-carotene
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Dulcosides
  • Vegetable fat
  • Fiber
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Rebaudiosides
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Steviolbioside
  • Steviosides
  • Thiamin
  • Tin
  • Water
  • Zinc                                                               image2

     

    Health Benefits

     

    Many informed doctors, scientists, dietitians and nutritionists agree that stevia is an extraordinary sweetener because it can actually generate better health and well-being. It doesn’t require much investigation to understand why.

    Stevia leaves are highly nutritious. They contain many important nutrients that may be lacking in the foods we eat but are vital to various glands and organs of the body to function correctly. Some of the nutrients discovered thus far include ascorbic acid, calcium, beta-carotene, chromium, cobalt, vegetable fat, fiber, fluoride, inulin, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, sodium, thiamin, water, zinc and numerous intensely sweet glycosides. Stevia leaves also contain several polyphenols, bioflavinoids and antioxidants, quercetrin, two forms of quercetin, rutin, limonene, luteolin, kaempferol and essential oils. Other studies have shown that stevia leaves also contain a growth hormone (gibberellins) that stimulates the growth of certain vegetable producing plants.  Stevia leaves and whole leaf stevia products, such as water-based stevia concentrate offer several healing benefits when taken internally and used topically. Stevia, in these natural forms, even appears to be involved in helping to correct pancreatic function, and there is no evidence that it contributes to insulin resistance. Quality leaves are about 30 times sweeter than sugar but contain zero calories, and, more importantly, have a glycemic index of zero, which means that the sweet glycosides are not converted into glucose. Therefore, stevia does not cause fat creation and storage. When the body is deprived of glucose, it must go to its fat cells for energy. Thus, fat is released, broken down and transported to muscle cells to be burned. While glucose, which is found in all fruits and vegetables, is essential for the function of the brain and body cells, natures complex carbohydrates proteins, which should be ingested in one’s normal daily dietary intake, are slowly converted into glucose and are made available for such energy requirements. Stevia also reduces the desire for sweets and fatty foods. A possible reason for this may be because the most common cause of craving for sweets is a deficiency of the very minerals supplied by stevia leaves. However, even the ingestion of stevia glycosides as a tabletop sweetener reduces the cravings for other sweets. It is a fascinating phenomenon. Thus, when stevia is eaten daily as a part of the diet, it appears that users naturally reduce their ingestion of all other forms of sweets. You can still enjoy the taste of something sweet, but you will be satisfied with a much smaller portion – or none at all! You simply lose your craving for sweets. Stevia leaves contain several natural nutrients important to regulating blood sugar, including chromium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B3 (niacin), which the body converts into niacinamide and nicotinic acid.

    Chromium is necessary for insulin production and the transport of glucose into the body’s cells. It improves glucose tolerance in diabetics with impaired glucose tolerance and has been shown to improve the condition known as insulin resistance. Chromium is required by the body to control blood sugar and therefore to prevent both diabetes and hypoglycemia.

    Manganese appears to be involved in lowering blood glucose levels, even in people who are not responsive to insulin.

    Selenium is highly concentrated in the pancreas, and therefore, according to scientists, must have an important, if not yet understood, role in pancreatic function.

    Zinc is the major hormone of glucose metabolism, and, therefore, appears to be beneficial for diabetics. Scientists believe that zinc is involved with insulin in a few of the steps in glucose metabolism, although the mechanisms are not yet clearly understood. Without zinc, the body will soon stop burning sugars and convert them into fat storage. It is difficult, if not impossible, to lose this fat without zinc supplementation. Zinc deficiency may also slow the breakdown of nutrients in the energy cycles, leading to a conservation of energy and a resulting difficulty in losing fat.

    Zinc also has important benefits related to cognitive function. According to scientists at Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as reported by Dr. James McNamara, Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at Duke and author of the study, zinc performs a critical role in regulating communication between cells in the brain and is instrumental in the formation of memories and controlling the occurrence of epileptic seizures.

    Nicotinamide (also called niacinamide) helps to preserve insulin producing beta-cell function and has been shown to preserve pancreatic function, reversing diabetes in some Type I patients when high doses are administered soon enough.

    Free radical damage is believed to be involved in the process that destroys beta-cells in children, who then manifest Type I diabetes. One of the ways nicotinamide intervenes in this beta-cell destruction is by inhibiting free-radical damage. Along with chromium, niacin (vitamin B3) is an important component of glucose tolerance factor. Stevia may well be an important part of the solution to at least two of the world’s major health problems – diabetes and obesity, both of which are now epidemic. Obesity is a leading factor for Type II diabetes. A primary culprit is the amount of sugar ingested each year. In one form or another, sugars are in nearly all of the processed foods we eat. Because of this, it is reliably estimated that Americans ingest an average of 150 pounds of sugar annually, in one form or another. The human body is simply not designed to handle the enormous quantity of sugars we currently ingest.