Stevia leaves: Health benefits and uses for diabetes

Stevia is low-calorie, and much sweeter than sugar. If used as a substitute, it helps in weight-loss and controlling blood sugar levels, which may be beneficial for people with diabetes.

Health benefits of using Stevia

Stevia is low in calories and much sweeter than sugar. If used as a substitute, it helps in weight loss and controlling blood sugar levels. It is also a more natural form of sugar in comparison to processed sugar.

Stevioside is a non-carbohydrate glucoside compound and therefore does not have sucrose and other carbohydrate compounds which need to be avoided if a person is overweight or diabetic. Stevia leaves also contain antioxidants that help in cleansing the body and healing it internally. Some of the flavanoid polyphenolic antioxidant phytochemicals present in stevia are kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, isoquercitrin, iso-steviol, etc. According to a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, kaempferol can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. Stevia is also reported to reduce blood pressure levels and contains many vitamins and minerals useful for the body.

Can Stevia be used in Diabetes?

Stevia is a natural sweetener and is much sweeter and safer for use than processed sugar. The use of stevia for diabetics is recommended by professionals as it does not increase blood sugar levels as much as normal sugar and also does not contain carbohydrates that have sucrose in them. In fact, in Brazil, Stevia-based products are used to treat diabetes. Also read Healthy snacks for people with diabetes- Foods you can eat without increasing your blood sugar levels

How can Stevia leaves be used?

Stevia leaves can be grown in homes and used directly as sweeteners in food and beverages. It can be stored in a clean, dry, humid-free place like any other herb and it will stay fresh for several months. Stevia-based products are also available in the market and can be used as substitutes for sugar and in any food items.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.