Stevia: A Natural Herbal Sweetener

stevia herb

Stevia is an all natural herbal sweetener native to Paraguay and Brazil, but now found in many health food stores and supermarkets. Since it is extremely sweet you only need to use a tiny amount to satisfy your sugar cravings. It doesn’t impact blood sugar levels at all, a great result for those who are craving sugary foods but don’t want to blow their diet.

Stevia is a perfect addition for many Candida dieters. If you’ve been eating sugary, high carb foods then switching to a strict Candida diet is not always easy.

Stevia allows you to taste that familiar sugary kick without feeding your Candida overgrowth. Stevia is zero calorie, 100% natural and has a low Glycemic Index, so you might even want to stick with it after you finish the diet.

Here are a few good reasons why you should make Stevia a part of your Candida diet plan.

  • Low Glycemic Index
  • Zero calorie
  • 100% natural herbal sweetener
  • Stevia does not have unpleasant long-term side effects like Aspartame-based sweeteners
  • A perfect addition to your Candida diet

Which Stevia should you buy?

Watch out for some of the additives in Stevia brands. Many Candida dieters don’t realize that their Stevia brand has Maltodextrin added. This is a complex carb made from corn starch that will feed your Candida overgrowth almost as much as a spoonful of sugar! Some other Stevia brands are even processed with dextrose or sugar alcohols. So you need to be very careful what you are buying and make sure to read the ingredients carefully.

We like brands like Better Stevia, manufactured by NOW Foods. This is a 100% herbal formula with no added ingredients. They use the whole leaf of the Stevia plant rather than putting it through a chemical process to extract a single active ingredient. This means that the extract is easier to digest and more natural.

You can also try ‘Better Stevia Balance’, which contains the same whole leaf extract but with Inulin added. This is a prebiotic that will help develop the colonies of healthy bacteria that you need in your gut. Chicory root coffee is another good source of Inulin.

How much Stevia do you need?

Despite containing zero sugar, Stevia is actually a very powerful sweetener. You will only need a small tiny amount for your coffee. Depending on how it is treated, it is anywhere from 15 to 300 times sweeter than normal sugar! If you buy it in powder form, one teaspoon of Stevia is roughly equivalent to a whole cup of sugar.

Stevia generally comes in packets similar to those used by sweeteners like Splenda. If you buy a box of these packets it is sure to last you much longer than a bag of sugar. You can use it for sweetening your coffee, baking or any other application for which you would normally use refined sugar. Try to buy the organic kind if you can.

Where can you buy Stevia?

You will find a selection of Stevia products in any good health food store. Increasingly though, as the health benefits over refined sugar become more widely known, Stevia is beginning to be sold in supermarkets too. Stevia is easily available online too, and will not be damaged at all by shipping. It does not require any special storage.

For lots more information on the symptoms, causes and treatment of Candida, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program.

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From Lisa Richards

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