Stevia leaf is a natural sweetener. It’s gaining in popularity among diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Let’s look at the top 5 benefits of stevia leaf for diabetes.
A Safe Replacement for Sugar
Stevia can be used instead of sugar in hot and cold drinks. You can also use it to sweeten your meals, such as oatmeal, cereals, and it’s also widely used as a baking ingredient. It can replace sugar in most recipes but it’s important to note that it doesn’t caramelize.
There are some stevia formulas made especially for baking. However, you should be careful with processed stevia products, as they might contain additional ingredients that can be harmful to diabetics. Your best bet is to use unprocessed, organic stevia leaves.
Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
Keeping blood sugar levels in check is the main priority for all diabetics. As it turns out, regular use of stevia may help you regulate blood glucose levels by triggering a glucagon response in your body.
A small study conducted in Brazil back in 1986 examined the link between stevia consumption and blood sugar levels. It was conducted on 16 participants over a three-day period. The researchers administered stevia preparations to the patients in 6-hour intervals. They measured significantly lower blood sugar in subjects who took stevia preparations.
Helps with Weight Loss
People suffering from diabetes should keep their weight in check. Increased weight also increases insulin resistance and may cause fat deposits on the liver.
Stevia is a good option for diabetics trying to lose weight. It has zero calories and the human body can’t metabolize the glycosides that are found in stevia.
A study published in the Annals of Agricultural Sciences in June 2016 examined the link between stevia consumption and weight loss in female rats. The study was conducted over a period of twelve weeks. The researchers found that the rats that consumed stevia showed great improvement in overall body weight and feed efficiency ratio.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Keeping blood pressure in check is important for diabetics, as hypertension can cause serious complications. Stevia can also help you regulate blood pressure, as research shows.
A study published in 2003 examined the correlation between stevia intake and blood pressure levels. It was conducted over a 2-year period on 174 women and men. The subjects took daily doses of 500mg of stevioside powder. The average blood pressure of the participants dropped from 150/95 to 140/89 after two years.
A year-long study, conducted with 106 participants with high blood pressure was published in 2000. The participants took 250mg of stevioside powder a day. At the end of the study, the average blood pressure of participants went down from 166/104 to 152/90.
Impedes the Onset of Diabetes and Diabetes Complications
All the benefits of stevia impede the onset of diabetes in pre-diabetic patients. They also prevent diabetes-related complications in patients already suffering from diabetes.
What’s the Takeaway?
Stevia is a natural sweetener that’s widely used by diabetics and for good reason. The plant can help you manage your weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Also, it can help prevent the onset of the disease, as well as its subsequent complications.