The Japanese people are known to be conscious of their diet and this is why the country has the longest life expectancy. Most are lean because they don’t overeat and more importantly, they often eat vegetables, seaweeds, tofu and fish which are all rich in vitamins and minerals. Just ask yourself if you’ve seen any overweight Japanese in person or on TV and the movies apart, of course, from the sumo wrestlers.
One concrete proof of this population’s healthy diet is their use of natural ingredients. As an example, they use a natural sweetener in their food instead of the usual sugar. This is the stevia, a plant that grows abundantly in the Americas and parts of Asia, notably in the subtropical and tropical regions.
Since the 1970s, Japan has used stevia as a sweetener. This was after reports claimed that cyclamate and saccharin were carcinogens which can affect the health of people. From that time on, this Asian country has cultivated the plant to supply the needs of its people for an alternative ingredient that can sweeten a wide range of food products and even drinks.
Today, however, the use of stevia has gone beyond just being a food and drink sweetener. Owing to its steviol glycoside which is present in the plant’s leaves, this ingredient is now being used in making medicines including vitamins and supplements.
Some of you may not be aware of this yet but stevia actually contains a number of minerals that provides a lot of benefits to the human body. These are chromium, manganese, potassium, selenium, sodium, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc. Chromium plays a significant role in regulating blood sugar levels and as such, is beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Medical and nutrition experts agree that the use of this small plant provides double benefits to consumers. Besides making food and drinks sweet, it also gives out vitamins and minerals essential in promoting good health.
Photo via japan-stevia.com