Aloe VeraSuper Foods
Guest Blogger: Rachael Todd
Miss United States 2017
Certified Health Coach and Yoga Instructor, Certified in Positive Psychology
This series is written to increase the detoxification effects of Planet Beach services. It is focused on nutritional ingredients that you can add into your daily regime to take the already incredible results even further.
At Planet Beach you will find services that strive to ultimately make you feel better and look better, but they do this by reducing inflammation in the body. Utilizing red light therapy, the meditation booth, the hydration station, the HOTWORX infrared sauna and more, these powerful treatments are ancient technologies that are available to you.
In addition to utilizing services at Planet Beach that are based on ancient treatments and traditions, you can enhance your results with superior nutrition.
This month’s new food to incorporate is aloe vera…
You may know aloe as the plant that helps to heal sunburns and heal wounds, but did you know that ingesting aloe vera has incredible superfood properties??
This succulent plant has a long history of being used in ancient Egypt. (perhaps Cleopatra used it on her skin and drank it every day, it could be the secret to her youthful beauty)
From relieving heartburn to potentially slowing the spread of breast cancer, researchers are just beginning to unlock the benefits of this universal plant and its many byproducts.
Aloe vera includes several necessary vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12.
Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants and help fend off free radicals which can contribute to cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
Vitamin A- Integral for a strong immune system and bone growth. It helps fight off viral or bacterial threats to the body.
Vitamin C- A powerhouse vitamin that is believed to protect against cancer and cardiovascular problems. It also supports the immune system.
Vitamin E- May protect against heart disease while promoting a strong immune system.
B1 Vitamin- Also known as thiamine, B1 plays a role in digestion and contributes to a healthy nervous and immune system.
B2 Vitamin- Goes by the name riboflavin and works as an antioxidant. B12, like other B vitamins, provides the body with energy by creating fuel from food. It also plays an important role in maintaining a strong nervous system.
B3 Vitamin- Also known as niacin, B3 vitamins are used to treat high cholesterol, migraines and diabetes. It’s also used to cleanse the body of toxins and promote good digestion.
B6 Vitamin- Important to many of the body’s systems, including immune, cardiovascular and digestive. The vitamin is also connected to the serotonin and dopamine process.
B12 Vitamin- Primarily found in animal products, B12 is necessary for healthy blood cells and helps make DNA.
Calcium- Famous for its role in strong bones, calcium is also vital to the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Sodium- Often discussed as a negative mineral, sodium is essential to blood pressure, muscles and nerves.
Iron- Makes up blood cells and proteins in the body. It’s necessary for energy.
Magnesium- This mineral has a big job; it’s necessary for hundreds of processes in the body, including blood glucose regulation and keeping the immune system strong.
Potassium- Helps clean cells out, protects blood vessels and is thought to help lower the risk of heart disease.
Copper- Needed for growth and general health. This mineral helps maintain healthy heart function and is thought to help prevent osteoporosis.
Uses of Aloe Vera
Heartburn Relief– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that often results in heartburn. A 2010 review suggested that consuming 1 to 3 ounces of aloe gel at mealtime could reduce the severity of GERD. It may also ease other digestion-related problems. The plant’s low toxicity makes it a safe and gentle remedy for heartburn.
Keeping Produce Fresh– A 2014 study published online by the Cambridge University Press looked at tomato plants coated with aloe gel. The report showed evidence that the coating successfully blocked the growth of many types of harmful bacteria on the vegetables. Similar results were found in a different study with apples. This means that aloe gel could help fruits and vegetables stay fresh, and eliminate the need for dangerous chemicals that extend the shelf life of produce.
An Alternative to Mouthwash– In a 2014 study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, researchers found aloe vera extract to be a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based mouthwashes. The plant’s natural ingredients, which include a healthy dose of vitamin C, can block plaque. It can also provide relief if you have bleeding or swollen gums.
Lowering Your Blood Sugar– Ingesting two tablespoons of aloe vera juice per day can cause blood sugar levels to fall in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacy. This could mean that aloe vera may have a future in diabetes treatment. These results were confirmed by another study published in Phytotherapy Research that used pulp extract.
But people with diabetes, who take glucose-lowering medications, should use caution when consuming aloe vera. The juice along with diabetes medications could possibly lower your glucose count to dangerous levels.
A Natural Laxative– Aloe vera is considered a natural laxative. A handful of studies have looked into the benefits of the succulent to aid digestion. The results appear to be mixed.
A team of Nigerian scientists conducted a study on rats and found that gel made from typical aloe vera houseplants was able to relieve constipation. But another study by the National Institutes of Health looked at the consumption of aloe vera whole-leave extract. Those findings revealed tumor growth in the large intestines of laboratory rats.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that aloe vera can be used to relieve constipation, but sparingly. They advise that a dose of 0.04 to 0.17 grams of dried juice is sufficient.
Skin Care– You can use aloe vera to keep your skin clear and hydrated. This may be because the plant thrives in dry, unstable climates. To survive the harsh conditions, the plant’s leaves store water. These water-dense leaves, combined with special plant compounds called complex carbohydrates, make it an effective face moisturizer and pain reliever.
Potential to Fight Breast Cancer– A new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the therapeutic properties of aloe emodin, a compound in the plant’s leaves. The authors suggest that the succulent shows potential in slowing the growth of breast cancer. However, more studies are needed to further advance this theory.
Hair Conditioning– Mix equal parts water and aloe vera gel together. Next, add an essential oil of your choice. The aloe locks in moisture and blocks external toxins from damaging hair.
The moisture from the aloe also promotes a healthy scalp and the antifungal elements in the gel are known to eliminate dandruff.
Skin Inflammation– The combination of vitamins and minerals in aloe can soothe skin that is red from inflammation and acne. Regularly applying aloe to the face can help reduce redness.
Skin Firmness and Tone– Moisture from aloe keeps skin firm while the antioxidants may provide a more vibrant complexion. Aloe is also used to lighten hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Lip Treatment– Aloe can help take the sting out of swollen lips and can also be used as a moisturizer for chapped lips.