Today, aloe vera is primarily known to treat sunburn, but did you know that the gel inside of the aloe vera plant can be used for different health ailments? Aloe vera gel can be used directly from the plant, it can be consumed in the form of a juice, or it can be applied topically to the skin.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera, most commonly known as Aloe barbadensis is a succulent native to tropical regions, and has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. It thrives in a dry climate and has become a popular household plant because of its low maintenance and care.
Aloe vera gel is the clear, thick, gooey substance that can be harvested from the aloe plant when the leaves are cut. The gel can then be used topically over burns or as a moisturizer. It can also be blended into smoothies or mixed into juices or elixirs for digestion and other internal health benefits.
Nutritional Value Of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a very potent, medicinal plant. It has a whole array of uses for health and wellness and it’s all because of its extensive nutritional profile.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin C is essential for processes such as the formation of iron, immune system support, and maintenance of bones and teeth. Aloe vera contains a good amount of vitamin C (9.1 g for every 1 cup of aloe vera juice).
Aloe vera also contains essential vitamins like vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin E, vitamin B12, folic acid (vitamin B) and choline. The plant also contains minerals, calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
The plant is considered to be unique as it contains a number of beneficial enzymes that help break down sugars and fats. These enzymes, among others, include aliiase, amylase and lipase, which are vital enzymes in the digestion of starches and fats.
Aloe vera gel contains fatty acids from the steroid group – cholesterol, campesterol, β-sitosterol and lupeol. These fatty acids are responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic properties of this supplement. Aloe vera gel is a very therapeutic plant with an array of unique properties that can alleviate, treat and even cure many health issues and ailments. Given below are a few more benefits that the plant provides us with –
Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is extremely hydrating and contains important vitamins and minerals, enzymes and fatty acids for optimal body function. Here are important benefits of using aloe vera:
1. Treating Constipation
Constipation is not only uncomfortable, but it can have adverse effects on intestinal and digestive health. Aloe vera gel can be used as a natural laxative and help move bulk along the digestive tract.
The latex or the part of the plant in between the skin and gel contains anthraquinones, which is a compound that is responsible for the laxative effect. If you are taking aloe vera gel for constipation, be sure to start with a small amount (8 oz or around 200ml juice) in order to allow your system to get used to the laxative effects.
2. Staying Hydrated
Hydration is very important for overall health. Aloe vera juice is a great alternative to sugary drinks and fruit juices that can negatively affect your health. Aloe vera juice is low in sugar and calories and can thus be consumed directly or mixed with other juices and smoothies.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
Aloe vera has been proven to have “some” beneficial effects in improving conditions such as prediabetes and diabetes type 2. A study has shown that when subjects ingested aloe vera in liquid and powder form, it helped improve the regulation of blood sugar levels.
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