The 2 Healthiest Sweeteners to Replace Sugar and Aspartame

By Health Ambition

With people’s increasing intake of sugary processed foods over recent decades leading to skyrocketing levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and artificial sweeteners being shown to potentially be even worse, are there any better alternatives?

Ahead are the two healthiest sweeteners that you can use to replace both table sugar and artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

1. Healthiest Sweetener: Raw Honey​

Honey has been used for thousands of years, not just for its sweet taste, but as a healing medicine as well. It’s best to buy raw honey where possible that hasn’t been heated. Heating honey can destroy some of the enzymes and other beneficial compounds.

Unfortunately, most of the regular honey you find in the supermarket has had much of its medicinal qualities heated and processed out of it. It still healthier than sugar, but not on a par with raw organic honey.

Going a step further, if you can find organic raw honey from a local farmer, it is believed to contain beneficial elements that can help your body deal with allergens from the local area. This kind of honey is definitely worth paying a little more for.

Raw Honey Health Benefits

Antifungal, Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Properties – Raw honey is full of compounds that benefit your digestive system and helps boost your immunity against harmful microorganisms. It is also good for healing a sore throat, especially mixed with a teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon.

Wound Healing – The same antibacterial properties make raw honey an excellent dressing for treating minor wounds and speeding up their healing. It is often used as a topical acne or eczema skin treatment as well.

Antioxidants and Enzymes – The antioxidant flavonoid pinocembrin is unique to honey and supports proper enzyme activity for improved digestion. Using raw honey is also believed to help slow down your body’s depletion of digestive enzymes for better health in general.

Calming Properties – A teaspoon of raw honey can act as a mild sedative and help you relax. Importantly though, raw honey should never be given to children under one year old as their gastrointestinal system is not mature enough to deal with it.​

2. Healthiest Sweetener: Stevia

The herbal sweetener stevia comes from a perennial bush in South America and has been used for centuries.

Its leaves are around 40 times more sweet than table sugar and when powered up it is around 200 times sweeter.

Benefits of Stevia

Suppress Sugar Cravings with No Calories – Unlike artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which have been shown to promote sugar cravings, stevia is believed to reduce them. It also contains no calories, making it a great replacement for both sugar and artificial sweeteners.

sugar is not good for you

Diabetes Benefits – Diabetes diagnosis has risen rapidly in recent years with the increase in high glycemic processed food consumption. Regular sugar has a high glycemic index of 80 and in large amounts will usually promote excessive insulin production that leads to body fat storage and over time an increase in the risk of diabetes. By comparison, stevia has a glycemic index of zero and is believed to be safe for use by diabetics (though checking anything like this with your physician is always recommended).

Dental Health – Eating sugary foods and particularly drinking sugar saturated drinks can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities and other dental problems. Stevia can not only replace destructive sugar, substances in it have been shown to actually help prevent mouth bacteria from adhering to your teeth and forming plaque.

Prevent Candida Overgrowth – Candida is a type of yeast in your digestive system that can be beneficial at normal levels, but decidedly dangerous and debilitating when it grows out of control.

Candidiasis can lead to a variety of baffling symptoms that many doctors find difficult to diagnose, ranging from headaches and exhaustion, to digestive complaints, bloating and gas, to problems with immunity and allergies.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is also commonly associated with candida overgrowth.The candida fungus feeds on simple sugars and the primary cause of an overgrowth is believed to be an excess of sugar fermenting in the digestive system.

Stevia is very different structurally to sucrose and is not fermented by the yeast in your digestive tract. Switching to it over sugar were ever possible should greatly reduce your risk of ever having to deal with candidiasis.Read also: What is the best tasting Stevia

Conclusion

So there’s two healthier alternatives to fattening sugar and highly questionable artificial sweeteners. Switching to these can make a real difference in your energy levels, body weight and overall health.

Have you tried using raw honey or stevia before or any other natural sweeteners? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the best way to sweeten foods and drinks without leading to health problems down the track.

Tom Campbell: How to Change the World

So many are concerned with the quality of our collective consciousness and the state of the world. What is the real solution? Tom proposes a new solution to our world problems. Challenging the belief about how we collectively blame something or someone else for the current high entropy state of the world, Tom provides us with another approach that puts us in the driver’s seat. Please share!

The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

By Dr. Edward Group

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Withania somnifera, better known as ashwagandha or “Indian ginseng,” has been a traditional staple of Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. The herb has a wide range of activity that promotes physical, emotional and mental health, body rejuvenation, and longevity. It is known to inhibit anxiety and improve energy. Ashwagandha may also promote healthy fertility.[1, 2]

Ashwagandha for Energy

Long distance cycling is an endurance sport that requires aerobic fitness and energy. Many products have been developed to provide energy in a quick, easy form: gel packets, energy chews, sports drinks, and more. Generally, these products just provide extra calories, which are necessary if you’re expending energy but don’t actually support physical ability.

In 2012, the Faculty of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy at India’s Guru Nanak Dev University conducted an eight-week study in which forty elite cyclists supplemented with ashwagandha. By the study’s conclusion, significant enhancements in both cardiovascular and respiratory endurance were reported.[3]

Perhaps even more importantly, research out of Malaysia found that when ashwagandha root extract was regularly administered to persons receiving chemotherapy, it had potential to relieve fatigue and improve their quality of life.[4]

Cognitive Benefits of Ashwagandha

In Ayurvedic medicine, one of the primary uses of ashwagandha root extract is to enhance memory and improve brain function. One of the mechanisms responsible for this effect is ashwagandha’s antioxidant action. Since oxidative stress contributes to neurodegenerative disorders, lessening oxidative damage may offer neuroprotection.

Multiple studies have been performed to evaluate the neuroprotective properties of ashwagandha root extract on rats and found that it may prevent some instances of memory impairment and oxidative stress on the brain.[5, 6]

Ashwagandha to Relieve Stress

Stress affects both mind and body and can be a strain that leads to underperformance. Most people will also testify that stress affects their quality of life. Ashwagandha has been documented in Ayurvedic and Greek medicine for its stress-combating properties.

The Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry at India’s Asha Hospital orchestrated a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving sixty-four subjects with a history of chronic stress. After separating the participants into control and study groups, the study group began supplementing with high-concentration, full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract. After two months, the study group reported significant improvements in all stress measurements and quality of life; all without serious side effects.[7]

Stress and Male Fertility

Additionally, stress is known to be a contributing factor for male infertility. Along with Tribulus terrestris, Ashwagandha is prized for its stimulating effects on fertility.

The Department of Biochemistry at C.S.M. Medical University conducted a study involving sixty infertile men who, however, did have normal sperm production. Participants were given five grams of ashwagandha root powder every day for three months. At the study’s conclusion, stress reductions and improvements in semen quality were observed and 14% of the participants’ partners ended up becoming pregnant.[8]

Supplementing with Ashwagandha

As a supplement, ashwagandha can be found in liquid and capsule form, sometimes blended with other herbs.

Be aware that ashwagandha may cause drowsiness; if you’re taking any medications that could interact with that effect, it’s best to consult your preferred healthcare provider before starting any new nutritional supplement programs — which, unfortunately, many conventional practitioners disregard. Will we see the day when the medical establishment understands and promotes ashwagandha root? Time will tell.

What have your experiences been with ashwagandha? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the conversation on Facebook.

References:

  1. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jul 1;32(5):1093-105. Epub 2007 Sep 21. Review.
  2. Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011;8(5 Suppl):208-13. doi: 10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9. Epub 2011 Jul 3. Review.
  3. Shenoy S, Chaskar U, Sandhu JS, Paadhi MM. Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Oct;3(4):209-14. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.104444.
  4. Biswal BM, Sulaiman SA, Ismail HC, Zakaria H, Musa KI. Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the Development of Chemotherapy-Induced Fatigue and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients. Integr Cancer Ther. 2012 Nov 9.
  5. Baitharu I, Jain V, Deep SN, Hota KB, Hota SK, Prasad D, Ilavazhagan G. Withania somnifera root extract ameliorates hypobaric hypoxia induced memory impairment in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jan 30;145(2):431-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.10.063. Epub 2012 Dec 2.
  6. Prakash J, Yadav SK, Chouhan S, Singh SP. Neuroprotective Role of Withania somnifera Root Extract in Maneb-Paraquat Induced Mouse Model of Parkinsonism. Neurochem Res. 2013 May;38(5):972-80. doi: 10.1007/s11064-013-1005-4. Epub 2013 Feb 22.
  7. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022.
  8. Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, Rajender S, Shankhwar SN, Singh V, Dalela D. Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Sep 29.

Recommended articles by Dr. Edward Group:

About the author:

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

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