Why Stevia Is So Great, Especially If You Have Acne Or Candida
Posted Mar 24 2009 3:15pm
I have an ex boyfriend who once told me that Stevia was bad for you and stupidly I believed him. And when I recently asked him what it was that was so bad about Stevia he couldn’t remember …ahhh ..so I’ve been missing out on this fantastic natural sweetener for all of this time!
Well I’ve since done a little research, purchased the Stevia cookbook and even got a clipping of the actual plant from my grandmothers garden (see the picture below!) and as long as you know how to cook with this stuff properly to get rid of the sometimes odd aftertaste, Stevia is an amazingly good natural sweetener. It’s no wonder why it’s so popular within the health and raw food community.
I ate a leaf off this clipping and it tasted exactly like the stevia liquid drops. That just shows how natural this sweetener is.
Unfortunately Stevia can have a bit of a yucky aftertaste which is probably why it hasn’t really taken off in a big way. I know what to expect with the taste so I found the leaf I ate from the clipping kind of nice. My parents however who tasted some at my grandmothers house weren’t expecting the liquorishy aftertaste so had an immediate bad impression.
You can get rid of the aftertaste by using Stevia correctly in cooking. I tried to make up a chocolate dessert sweetened with Stevia without using a recipe when I was living in Toronto. The Stevia aftertaste came through too strongly which ruined the taste of the dessert and I’m sure this was because I didn’t follow a recipe (I was just experimenting!). Everything else I’ve made with Stevia and a recipe has masked the aftertaste and produced a lovely smoothie or dessert.
You also can get used to the aftertaste and start to like it. I have heard in Canada a few scientists are trying to create a Stevia powder that has no aftertaste at all. But I’m a little worried that this creation process requires a little too much processing or genetic modification, so in the meantime I’m happy with the natural Stevia that’s already out on the market.
What’s so good about Stevia?
Stevia is 300 times as sweet as processed cane sugar so you only need to use a teeny tiny bit of it as a substitute. It also has a glycemic index of 0 which is just amazing. So you can very confidently consume stevia without worrying about your skin OR it feeding a Candida overgrowth if this is a problem with you.
You’ve probably heard me talk a lot in the past about how processed cane sugars are really bad for our bodies and how they can aggravate acne. Processed cane sugars have 0 nutrients and act a bit like a toxin or poison in our body once consumed, so you want to stay away from them as much as you can.
There are a few natural sugars available on the market now which are safe to use. Xylitol has been a favorite of mine and I love it because it’s good for your teeth. But it is processed so I buy Xylitol gum and Xylitol toothpaste and leave it at that. Lakanto is another great sweetener which is highly recommended in Donna Gate’s Body Ecology Diet for similar reasons to Stevia - it has a zero glycemic index. So Lakanto is another sweetener that’s definitely worth looking into.
How do you use Stevia?
As you can see form the image above, Stevia is a plant so you can grow it in your garden and use the fresh leaves. This is a good way to sweeten up a cup of tea. A dried leaf is significantly sweeter than a fresh one, so dry your leaves out first then crush them to release the flavor. Two to four dried leaves are usually used to sweeten a cup of herbal tea.
Most health stores and even some grocery stores sell the Stevia liquid concentrate or the Stevia powder. In North American health stores (and Wholefoods) I found small bottles of flavored liquid Stevia (vanilla, orange, apricot, etc) which I haven’t found here in Australia. Flavored Stevia is a great addition to a smoothie.
Stevia powder is the most potent so it’s recommended to dilute it with water and use it by the drop. I personally feel that it’s much easier just to buy the liquid already premade. I also prefer to use the liquid Stevia in cooking. I’ve been adding it to a Quinoa porridge in the morning with cinnamon and coconut oil which has been delicious.
I’m trying to get away from using so many natural sugars so Stevia, Xylitol and Lakanto and three sweeteners that I’d like to start using more of. A small amount of natural sugars are very important in a healthy diet but I have a Candida overgrowth in my body so I’m trying to eat as little as possible over the next few months.
I have a very sweet tooth so for me sugar substitutes are very important! It’s also fantastic how Stevia and Lakanto in particular have a 0 glycemic index so you can bake and prepare foods with them 100% guilt free. Agave which I’ve talked about in the past is fantastic too, and especially because it’s raw, natural and full of nutrients which these three sugars are not. But Agave is still a sugar so does have a glycemic index and does act like a sugar in the body.
I’ve bought the Stevia cookbook but you don’t need to because there are plenty of free recipes on the net so get Google-ing and see what you can find.
And of course, if you have a favorite Stevia recipe or something else to say about it that I haven’t included, let us know in the response box below.