Stevia by any other name would taste as sweet

On our Active Wellness blog, we’ve discussed the harmful effects of sugar consumption. We’ve also shown the hard-to-access monk fruit as a wonderful zero-calorie sweetener. But what can we use as a sweetener that doesn’t have harmful effects and is easily available?

Given the dual epidemics of diabetes and obesity, it’s a good thing that there’s a natural sweetener that has shown virtually no side effects with long-term usage. Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia has the benefit of zero calories but doesn’t produce adverse effects.

The raw leaves of the stevia plant can be 20 to 40 times sweeter than cane sugar, while the powdered derivative is 200 to 300 times sweeter! What this means is that a little bit of stevia goes a long way. For example, a single teaspoon of stevia extract may have the same sweetening ability as an entire cup of sugar. This ratio varies between brands.

The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycodes (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside). Studies have shown that stevia seems to help in balancing blood sugar levels. Usage of stevia by diabetics has shown significant results. In one of the studies, type 2 diabetic patients took either one gram of stevioside with a meal or one gram of maize starch. The group taking stevioside had a reduction in blood sugar by about 18 percent. 1

Does stevia taste as good as sugar when added to beverages and food? It depends: Some are more concentrated, some contain filler, some have artificial flavoring and some are extremely diluted. Some stevia extracts may also leave a bitter after-taste. And, because stevia is so intensely sweet, it’s important to use it sparingly when replacing the sugar that is generally called for in baking. It may take a bit of trial and error before you decide on the form (liquid or powder), the substitution ratio (sugar vs. stevia) and your preferred brand.

Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix uses high quality stevia extract from organic stevia leaves as a sweetener, in addition to the mild sweet taste of the organic brown rice solids. (link to What are brown rice solids blog) Drink to your health!

  1. Soren Gregersen, Per B Jeppesen, Jens J Holst, Kjeld Hermansen, Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects, Metabolism Clinical and Experimental Jan 2004 Vol 53, Issue 1, Pages 73-76.

What are Brown Rice Solids?

Most health enthusiasts know it is more beneficial to eat brown rice than white rice. Brown rice by itself is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It also contains natural fibers that help digestion. Brown rice fits in perfectly with an Active Wellness lifestyle. But have you heard of brown rice solids?

Brown rice solids are basically functional protein ingredients that are processed from sprouted brown rice following organic methods. When the rich protein content that is distributed between the bran and endosperm layer is concentrated and dried, brown rice solids are generated. They provide a high level of naturally occurring nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium.

But what is the significance of the brown rice solids in the new formulation of our Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix? When a formula contains only four ingredients, each one plays a vital part in the efficacy of the product. Brown rice solids play an important role in the drink mix, not only for taste but to replace synthetic vitamins.

  • Brown rice solids are hypoallergenic, have a mildly sweet taste and are easily digestible.
  • Brown rice solids contain essential and non-essential amino acids and are a quickly oxidized natural energy source.
  • Brown rice solids provide a sustained supply of energy without experiencing the symptoms of low-blood sugar that can impede performance.
  • Brown rice solids contain a wealth of vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (folate) vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. Vitamins B and E are known for their energizing properties and vitamin K is important in its support of bone health.

Only four ingredients make up Kenzen Ten4®. As with labeling protocol, ingredients appear in descending order: Organic matcha green tea powder, organic brown rice solids, kiwi powder (fruit), organic stevia extract (leaf).

Even if you’ve never heard of brown rice solids before, Nikken has done the research to ensure you have access to the best in food technology.