The Secret Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Aloe vera juice is popping up on juice bar shelves and in health food stores more often lately and there’s a good reason. Although aloe has mostly been known for its healing powers on sunburns or skin rashes, it has healthful benefits when consumed as a drink too. Unlike your daily green juice, it’s not something that you should drink in excess or even on a daily basis, but it is something that in small quantities can have powerful health benefits. Now let’s get to the bottom of why this drink is so good for you, your skin, and much more.
Nutrients in Aloe:
- Vitamins: A, C, E, B12 and folate
- Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium
- Anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy nutrients: Beta-sitosterol and salicylic acid
Aloe Juice May Help with the Following:
Aloe juice has been touted to be beneficial for promoting gastrointestinal movement and therefore preventing/clearing up constipation; however, too much aloe juice can cause a laxative effect due to the compound anthraquinone so be conscious of how much you’re consuming.
Aloe contains salicylic acid that contains anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation of the intestines in conditions such as Crohn’s and colitis. Additionally, when used topically aloe can help to reduce inflammation due to skin rashes and sunburns. Aloe also contains beta-sitosterol, another compound that may help to reduce internal inflammation.
- Heart Health
Aloe contains a compound called beta-sitosterol that may be beneficial to reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol levels by blocking absorption of cholesterol from food. Some research also suggests that when ingested, aloe may also help to lower triglycerides.
- Immune Health
Aloe contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties that may help to fight infection, both when used topically and also when consumed.
Aloe contains hydroxyanthraquinone a nutrient that research suggests may help to prevent growth of certain types of cancerous tumors.
How much should I drink?
The recommeded amount is no more than 2-4 oz daily at most.
How do I make a homemade aloe vera drink?
Use the clear gel found inside the leaf, not the yellow latex that is closer to the surface of the leaf.
Step 1: Remove the clear gel from the inside of the plant and be sure not to get any of the yellow-colored latex with it.
Step 2: Combine 2 Tablespoons of the fresh gel (the clear part only) removed from the inside of the plant leaf with 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice and 1 cup of water in a blender.
Step 3: Blend on medium/high for 15-20 seconds.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy!