Hi there lovely peoples...I have been doing some research on Stevia. I Have posted an article below with some information on it. I am going over to the health food store today to buy some tablets so that I can use them in my tea and coffee and also some powder to use in baking....I shall let you know how it goes and what it tastes like etc... The fact that it is all natural, has no calories and aids in weight loss was enough for me to give it a go!!! Artificial Sweeteners have been banned in Japan for 20 years and they use this stuff in their softdrinks and the like... Let me know what you all think!!
An all-natural herbal substitute for sugar and an aid to weight loss
Helps maintain normal healthy blood sugar levels
Helps support healthy pancreatic function
Helps maintain a healthy digestive function
Convenient pocket-size containers
Stevia Rebaudiana is an outstanding sweet tasting herb that has remarkable health promoting qualities, contains zero calories and it is absolutely safe to use. The glycosides in its leaves (Steviosides/Rebaudiosides) account for its incredible sweetness, making it unique among the nearly 300 species of Stevia plants.
A good quality Stevia product has a taste that has been described as sweet, delicious and refreshing. Some people experience a slight liquorice aftertaste, but generally high quality Stevia contains very little of this aftertaste.
Stevia is a small shrub that is native to North Eastern Paraguay and adjacent sections of Brazil in South America, where the Native Guarani Indians have used it for over 1500 years as a sweetener, a digestive aid, a tonic and as a topical aid in wound healing.
In the late 1880's a scientist named Antonio Bertoni discovered Stevia in Paraguay and announced his discovery of this species in a botanical journal and was credited with "discovering" Stevia. Hence the botanical name Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni".
Since then, there has been a steady growth in the popularity of Stevia outside of South America, to the extent that it is now being consumed in North America, China, Japan, Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, the whole Pacific Rim and now in Australia.
Stevia has many favourable and exciting health benefits and is completely non-toxic. The herb is nutrient rich, containing substantial amounts of calcium, phosphorous, as well as sodium, magnesium, zinc, rutin, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and over 100 phytonutrients.
Stevia is also being used as an aid to weight loss and weight management, since it contains zero calories and reduces the craving for sweet and fatty foods. Therefore weight watchers love it. It is ideal for children as it prevents tooth decay and cavities.
Unlike sugar, it does not trigger a rise in blood sugar levels. You wont get a sudden burst of energy followed by fatigue and a need for another "fix". Studies suggest that Stevia may have a regulatory effect on the pancreas and could help stabilise blood sugar levels in the body, making it a wise choice for people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. It increases energy, aides digestion and gastrointestinal functions and has many other health benefits.
Since artificial sweeteners have been banned in Japan for more than 20 years, the Japanese are the greatest consumers of Stevia and it is now estimated that in Japan Stevia is being used in over 30% of their food products. In Japan, Stevia is used in Coca Cola for its Diet Coke, by Sunkist and Nestle as a sweetener and by Wrigleys in their sugar free gums.