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Nutrients in Stevia

Stevia leaves are highly nutritious. They contain many important nutrients that are often lacking in the foods we eat but which are vital to various glands and organs of the body to function correctly. Some of the nutrients discovered thus far include:

  • Aluminum
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ash
  • Austroinulin
  • Calcium
  • Beta-carotene
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Dulcosides
  • Vegetable fat
  • Fiber
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Rebaudiosides
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Steviolbioside
  • Steviosides
  • Thiamin
  • Tin
  • Water
  • Zinc

STEVIA


When English speakers see the word stevia, they want to pronounce it “STEE-vee-uh.” It is, however, a Spanish word, so the “e” is pronounced like the “e” in met – therefore, the correct pronunciation is “STEH-vee-ah.” Either pronunciation is easily recognizable and understood throughout the world.

At maturity, stevia is a small shrub, growing to a height of two and a half to three feet. It is an herb of the Compositae (daisy) family, producing small white blossoms arranged in panicles at the terminal of the stems. The fruit or seed is an achene, so it ripens without bursting its sheath. The seeds are centered within tiny curved, stick-like fibers in the shape of a parasol. They are dispersed by the slightest movement of air, whether caused by a breeze or a passing human, animal or bird. In general, however, there is only about 10% germination from planted seeds. Currently, the primary method of propagation is from cuttings or seedlings that spring forth around the mother plant.

The sweetness of the small lanceolated, obtuse leaves depends on the hours of sunlight residing upon the leaves. The longer the day and the brighter the sun, the sweeter the leaves will be. Plants will generally die with the first hard frost of the season. The Latin scientific name is Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.



About Stevia

During the 1970’s, various researchers found stevia leaves to contain eight diterpene glycosides, three nonsweet labdane diterpenes, two triterpenes, two sterols, a flavonoid (later identified as rutin) and unidentified tannins. They also discovered that stevia leaves contain an essential oil with fifty-three compounds of which thirty-one were identified by 1980, including camphor and limonene. These oils include two alkanols, one aldehyde, one aromatic alcohol, twelve monoterpenes and fifteen sesquiterpenes.

 
Using Stevia

Stevia leaves contain 100 vital nutrients, and can a have taste profile 30 times sweeter than sugar. Published science documents indicate that various stevia glycosides extracted from the leaves can be 50 to 400 times sweeter than sugar, depending on the glycosides and the manner of extraction. A stevia leaf placed in the mouth is sweet and delicious, and added to various herbal beverages and teas, gives them a wonderfully sweet flavor as well as possessing significant value for improving health and healing the body due to its unique nutrient content.