Natvia’s Francesca Del Rosario offers up an alternative to sugar that provides nutrition as well as sweetness – stevia…
It was not too long ago when Public Health England (PHE) issued a warning about the alarming consumption of sugar in Britain. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) deems that sugar should only be 5% of the daily energy intake, it is being exceeded by a whopping 7-10%. Unfortunately, PHE’s 2016 follow-up report states that this has not stopped children from consuming more than double the recommended daily sugar intake. How can children and adults then be saved from being at-risk for tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity?
There’s good news about removing sweets from your diet – you don’t necessarily have to. Remember that sugar – not sweets – is the nemesis. Being one of the most commonly known natural sweeteners on the market, stevia comes from the stevia rebaudiana plant that’s part of the Chrysanthemum family. With its origins in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China, this sweet-leafed plant has been grown for thousands of years. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar due to the glycosides it contains, one of which is Rebaudioside A (Reb A) – the sweetest part of the plant. Since stevia is 100% natural, it has three notable health benefits that contribute to its popularity today.
Stevia contains no carbohydrates, therefore not impacting blood sugar and insulin levels. This is due to stevioside – a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound – whose broken-down glucose particles are absorbed by bacteria in the colon (as opposed to sugar that goes to the bloodstream). In addition, some studies show that stevia consumption has a tendency to lower one’s blood sugar levels. The stevia plant also contains chromium which helps keep normal glucose metabolism, and magnesium that aids in insulin secretion. All this allows diabetics to quit sugar, while still enjoying a little guilt-free sweetness in their daily lives.
Can help in weight loss
Despite being 300 times sweeter than sugar, stevia has zero calories, so you won’t need much to sweeten your food or drink. This also means sweets can be included whatever your diet plan may be – gluten-free, vegan, oil-free, or sugar-free. Just typing ‘sugar-free desserts’ on Google can render over thousands of recipes for a fun and healthy meal plan (or check www.natvia.co.uk). Brands like Natvia even offer baking packs made from 100% naturally derived sources that are the perfect kitchen companions for all bakers out there. With all these options, keep in mind that a sweetener with no carbs and calories may be the key to your happy and successful weight-loss journey. Who thought a strict diet can contain cake?
Cavity-free teeth and clearer skin
Less known to many, stevia compounds such as Reb A and isosteviol have been found to possess anti-bacterial properties. In fact, a 2012 overview study on stevia shows that it can be used for cavity prevention by making it an ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Additionally, the stevia plant can be topically used on the skin to help cure acne, seborrhea, dermatitis and eczema. It can also be placed in wounds for faster healing. Stevia toothpaste and skin antiseptic, anyone?
Bonus: Great taste
Some artificial sweeteners have received criticism for a bitter aftertaste, which is certainly not the case for some of the natural sweeteners available on the market. Natvia is a sweetener made from 100% naturally derived sources using a unique blend of organic stevia and Erythritol (a naturally occurring nectar found in melons and grapes). Natvia has been taste-tested by over 600 baristas and coffee experts, who named it their go to sweetener for coffee and tea. Sweet like sugar, but with no bitter aftertaste, Natvia is the ideal way to replace or quit sugar for good. It can be used just like sugar, and is perfect for cooking, baking and mixing into other beverages as well. Now that’s sweet healthy living!
Quitting sugar can be a challenging feat, but a beatable one with natural extracts such as stevia. Now that you know all about the world of natural sweeteners, head over to www.natvia.co.uk for more information on starting your sugar-free journey. Don’t make your sweet tooth suffer – stevia is here to the rescue.
Fancy giving stevia a try in your bakes? Why not try this delicious sugar-free and vegan mint slice: