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If you are a diabetic or are on a diet, sugar is possibly one of your worst enemies. And to satiate your sweet cravings, you must have tried everything out there only to know that moderation is the key. While you might be aware of the fact that stevia helps in controlling your blood glucose levels and can be used as a natural sweetener, there are many health benefits of stevia you should be aware of. Here is how this natural herb aids in weight loss, controls blood pressure, reduces wrinkles and more health problems.
#1 Lowers your blood sugar levels
Did you know that one of the common health benefits of stevia is its ability to control blood glucose level? Used as a substitute for sugar by diabetics, stevia contains a compound called steviol glycoside that is not absorbed by the body and cannot be broken down and hence, is flushed out directly. It also stabilizes your blood sugar by increasing insulin resistance, inhibits the absorption of glucose and promotes the health of the pancreas .
Tip: Stevia tea is one of the best concoctions to keep one s blood sugar under control. Just steep some stevia leaves in warm water for about five to seven minutes. Drink this tea either hot or cold two to three times a day. Also, stay away from 10 everyday things that increase your blood sugar level.
Warning: People with low blood sugar should avoid drinking stevia tea as it could lead to a drastic drop in blood sugar levels.
#2 Controls high blood pressure
According to a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology and Technology stevia can lower the blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension . However, the results are seen over one to two years. Hence, people who are more prone to the disease can include it in their diet to prevent hypertension.
Tip: Drink a cup of stevia tea on a daily basis to maintain your blood pressure levels and lower your risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
#3 Beats dandruff and acne
One of the common health benefits of stevia is treating dandruff and acne naturally. The antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory compounds present in stevia can help you to get rid of acne and dandruff . The green leaves are also used to repair dry and damaged hair.
Tip: For dandruff free hair, just add a few drops of stevia extract into your shampoo and use it regularly. In a case of acne, either make a paste of the leaves or apply the extract directly to a pimple and leave overnight. The extract will dry out a pimple and more importantly will not leave a blemish. It is important to note that one must use it regularly to see the desired results.
#4 Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
Stevia contains a compound called retinoic acid that thwarts the progression of wrinkles . It works by inhibiting the breakdown of skin cells mainly collagen and elastin. Moreover, it reduces sebum production and also enhances the lifespan of the skin cells.
Tip: To reap its skincare benefits, all you need to do is mix stevia extract in their regular face cream and use it on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can apply the extract on your face every night and wash it off with cold water after half an hour. Are you following these 10 anti-ageing tips?
#5 Helps protect your teeth and gums
Gingivitis is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria. As stevia contains antibacterial and inflammatory compounds, it prevents the colonization of bacteria in the mouth and around the gums thereby hindering the formation of cavities and plaque that predominantly contributes to the onset of gingivitis .
Tip: Add few drops of stevia extract to your toothpaste or gargle regularly with the stevia mouthwash or stevia tea. To make stevia mouthwash, add two to three drops of stevia extract to a small cup of warm water and gargle. Here are 6 natural ways to beat oral problems.
#6 Reduces heartburn and indigestion
Tip: To reap the health benefits of stevia, drink a cup of warm stevia tea to deal with indigestion, whereas its cooled form combats heartburn. Also read about 10 effective home remedies for indigestion you MUST try!
#7 Aids in weight loss
Stevia is great for weight loss as it contains no calories and can be used a sweetener. You can use it in baked and cooked products as the glycosides present in it, do not break down when cooked. An added advantage of this leaf is that it has the capability of reducing your cravings for fatty foods .
Tip: To use stevia in everyday cooking, add the extract or the leaf to your daily diet to satiate your cravings. If you are planning to lose weight, here is an expert-recommended Indian diet plan for weight loss that might help.
#8 Heals wounds faster
Stevia inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and thus, acts as a powerful natural aid to treat wounds and minor skin infections. Naturopaths believe that it has the capability to reduce the pain associated with sores and even treat athlete s foot.
Tip: To treat athlete's foot, soak your feet in warm water containing few drops of stevia extract. After soaking them for about fifteen minutes, pat dry the area. Do this for about two weeks for desired results.
Although stevia provides numerous health benefits, few side-effects have been reported. These include bloating in the abdomen, lowered blood sugar in people already suffering from hypoglycaemia and lowered blood pressure in people suffering from hypotension. Hence, consult your doctor before trying it to avoid these health complications.
Disclaimer: This article is meant only for information. It is based on home remedies and does not condemn or condone the use of stevia.
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