The Stevia plant has been used for centuries, way before it became the popular sugar alternative it is today. Its leaves can be plucked and directly used to sweeten food and drinks, or they can be boiled to create liquid Stevia. When dried, the leaves can be crushed and made into green Stevia powder or be processed as white powder. Many people recommend using green Stevia powder over its white counterpart. Let’s find out why.
What is green Stevia powder?
Green Stevia powder is, simply put, ground up Stevia leaves. No processing is involved; hence, the natural color of the Stevia leaves is retained – green! It’s all natural, so you’re assured that this form of Stevia extract has no additives. And since it does not undergo any chemical process like bleaching, you can enjoy the full benefits of Stevia.
Green vs. White
White Stevia powder is also calorie-free, just like its green counterpart. However, it is chemically processed, and therefore, it does not have the benefits that green Stevia powder has.
Many white Stevia powder brands use the food additive Maltodextrine, which contains the simple sugar oligosaccharine. It is used to decrease the very strong sweet flavour of Stevia extract. If you have yet to taste Stevia, it tastes like licorice, and it can have a bitter aftertaste. White Stevia powder can actually taste bitterer than green Stevia powder. Aside from Maltodextrine, white Stevia powder may also be processed with other chemicals, such as aqueous erythritol, ethanol, chloroform, or hexane. Using such chemicals creates “fillers” within the white powder form of instead of fully natural and unmodified Stevia plant powder. These fillers only mean that you’re getting less Stevia.
White Stevia powder is sweeter than green Stevia powder, but that’s it – it’s sweet, but it lacks the nutrients that you can get from the green powder. Plus, the process to change it from green to white is still questionable.
Benefits of Green Stevia
Using green Stevia powder can be very beneficial.
If you love making ice cream, sorbet, and other frozen treats, use green Stevia powder for longer lasting sweetness. When you freeze something, there’s a tendency for its sweetness to decrease. Thus, when you’re using other forms of sweeteners, you usually end up using a lot of them to keep them at your preferred sweetness. When you use Stevia, even just a little amount is enough because it is several times sweeter than sugar or other sweeteners. In the long run, you’ll save more money than when using other sweeteners.
If you’re concerned about your body’s blood sugar levels, then it’s better to replace sugar with green Stevia powder. Refined sugar does not actually have nutritional benefits, while Stevia has none of the unhealthy characteristics of sugar. It’s much sweeter, too. In addition, if you would like to lose weight, stevia can help you accomplish your goal. It has no calories, meaning it simply goes through the body. People with diabetes and hypoglycaemia will also benefit from this.
Green Stevia powder can do many other things for you. It promotes oral health, controls your cravings (for food, alcohol, or even tobacco), and gets rid of headaches.
If there are benefits, there can also be some potential dangers of using green Stevia powder. Some users have reported experiencing dizziness, albeit for a short time only. For others, consuming stevia can cause them to feel bloated and experience nausea. There have also been reports of users having mild muscle pains. A few have reported feeling numbness, but like dizziness, it does not last long.
Some studies have claimed that Stevia can cause infertility because of its contraceptive effect on the body. However, there are also studies that show it doesn’t do so.
Because it may lower blood pressure, caution in using Stevia must be exercised by people who have low blood pressure.
There are people who find Stevia addictive. These same people worry about not getting rid of such an addiction. If you really want to go for a natural sugar alternative but are concerned about getting addicted to the sweetener, then it will be better for you to simply increase your consumption of fruits to feed your craving for sweets.
Further studies need to be made about the other possible side-effects of Stevia, particularly if it has carcinogenic effects.
Green stevia powder can still be more beneficial than harmful, but if you’re having second doubts about using it, then it’s best to consume it slowly or in moderate amounts first to check if you’ll experience any side effects. Overall, incorporating Stevia into your diet can be rewarding, just remember that moderation is the key.
Category: What is Stevia