Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Agave Nectar: Nature's Super Sweetener

Trying to cut down on sugar but struggling with your sweet tooth? Fear not, nature is here to the rescue with something better, healthier, and believe-it-or-not....SWEETER!

It's Agave Nectar or Agave Nectar Syrup, and within the past couple of years it has become one of the hot trends in health & nutrition. Besides being a perfect alternative to sugar it also offers many healthy benefits.
So what is it? Well, Agave Nectar comes from the Agave plant and is similar to honey. Found in southwestern United States, Mexico, and tropical regions in South America, the Agave plant has been used for centuries as a sweetener, weight loss tool, and to heal wounds and infections.

"Honey Water" Or Tequila??
While the Agave plant is most known as the plant to make tequila, it has been used for thousands of years as a sweetener in foods. For centuries the Aztecs prized this "honey water" as a gift from the gods, using it in their foods and drinks. Now, with the incredible health benefits being realized, many health-conscious consumers are turning to Agave Nectar as their source for a sugar substitute.

The Glycemic Test
Over the past century, diets in the US has consisted increasingly more of refined sweeteners such as granulated sugars and corn syrup which raise our blood sugar and trigger the release of insulin which has resulted in the explosion of obesity in America.

Versus Granulated Sugar
Agave Nectar is a great substitute to sugar since it is a natural sweetener as opposed to an artificial sweetener that has zero nutritional value.
But the greatest advantage Agave has over processed sugar is it's low-glycemic value. What does this mean? Sugars spike our blood sugar level quickly signalling our body to store FAT! Agave Nectar, though, is absorbed in the body much slower preventing this "sugar rush" in our bloodstream.

Uses Of Agave
Agave can be used as exact substitute for sugar in most recipes. Since Agave Nectar is 25% more sweeter than sugar and comes in a liquid form you only need about 1/3 cup of Agave for every 1 cup of sugar.

Health Benefits Of Agave
In ancient times the Aztecs used Agave to treat wounds as an antibacterial agent. In addition to it's ability to fight infection, Agave Nectar is also useful as an anti-inflammatory and as an immune-system booster. How awesome is it to have a healthy, medicinal, all-natural plant root that is also honey sweet!

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