Spanish explorers have noticed how the indigenous tribes of Para Guay, Brazil, and Argentina used Stevia, and in the 1800s, residents used the herb to sweeten the teas. Western countries interested in Stevia began in the 1900s, when it was intended to replace the sugar as a safe alternative for diabetics. However, the idea was met with strong opposition from sugar producers, and plans to develop a stevia industry faltered. In the 1930s, researchers found two compounds, Stevioside and Rebaudioside A, which produced 250 times more sweetness than sugar. Many countries around the world have extracted Stevia as a safe and natural solution.
Plant characteristics and development
Stevia is a herbaceous perennial herb that is 30-60 cm high. Leaves serrated, oblong, oval, not stem, clear veins. Light purple flowers with white flowers, tubular, 5 lobes, soft fur outside the surface. The fruit has hairy hair on the head.
The most notable feature of Stevia is sweetness. No tree can produce such a significant sweetness from just a small part of the leaf. It has been a promising sweetener for decades, and it has become a natural sweetener for food in the United States.
There are about 230 species in the genus Stevia, usually found in the dry regions of South America and western North America. Stevia is native to the highlands of Amam Bay and Iguagu district on the Brazilian and Paraguay border. It grows well suited to subtropical humid climates with little rainfall in winter. At present, the amount of Stevia sweet in the wild is very rare.
The grass has been brought back to Vietnam since 1988 and has been widely propagated in southern provinces, with many production facilities and applications, but still new in comparison with other countries in the world.
Stevia sweeteners are used in the treatment of the following diseases:
Insulin resistance in diabetic patients.
+ High blood pressure
Stevia can have a brilliant future. A powerful non-calorie sweetener, Stevia can be a phenomenon in the diet, especially for those who are obese and diabetic. If the calorie-free sweetener takes up the place of white sugar, the carbohydrate content in the diet improves with benefits for teeth, blood sugar, and digestion. In addition, stevia may directly affect insulin levels and associated mechanisms with increased blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, reducing blood glucose levels and reducing the risk of complications from high blood glucose levels. .
The sweetness and effect of Stevia is that of a compound called Stevioside, which is found mainly in leaves, which accounts for 4-20% of the leaf weight. Another compound structurally similar to Stevioside and physiologically active is Rebaudioside A. Some animal studies have shown that Stevia does not affect glucose uptake, although it may promote the release of glucose. Increased insulin sensitivity from the pancreas, increased sensitivity to insulin in the body, and slowed the production of glucose in the liver.
In humans, a study of 12 people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers examined the use of 1 g Stevia grass extract (including 91% Stevioside and 4% Rebaudioside A) and placebo with a meal . People who took the product with Stevia extract had a lower level of glucose after meals than those taking placebo, possibly as a result of increased insulin secretion that reduced blood sugar.
The hypotensive effects of Stevioside and Rebaudoside A on Stevia were also investigated. Several clinical trials have demonstrated that these compounds reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. However, this effect needs further study.
Stevia Leaf Clover: The dry leaf is a fine powder, which can simply be used as a sugar substitute in various ways, such as as a sweetening agent in food, in beverages. hot, or in many recipes.
Extract: Glycerin extract available, usually standardized with the main constituent of Stevia leaf. A few drops of extracts can be added to the food as a sweetener.