CLEAN PLATE: Aloe vera juice is gaining in popularity

Miranda Beverly

Certain foods, diets, and supplements will often become trendy. You’ll start hearing about them more, seeing them online, they’ll pop up on Instagram, and then appear in your local stores. The trend may or may not be based on the product’s actual performance, and that’s when it becomes important to do some research.

One such product that you may have started seeing or hearing about is aloe vera juice. Aloe is, of course, a valuable topical treatment, but what’s not as well known are the health benefits derived from ingesting aloe. Large aloe leaves can be purchased and used for cooking, but cooking them yourself does pose some challenges. The first being that you must remove all the outer skin because it is a strong diuretic. The second is that the inside of the aloe leaf is slimy, so it can be unpleasant to work with.

Obviously, being able to now purchase aloe vera juice takes care of those issues. If you do purchase some, make sure you buy the processed and purified version, and have a talk with your doctor before you get started. So, is it good for you? Mostly, yes. Make sure you avoid any juice that includes the outer green leaf part, or you and your bathroom will be spending a lot of time together.

Aloe vera juice is great for digestion and hydration, and it contains many helpful enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals like vitamins B, C, E, and folic acid, as well vitamin C, and vitamin B-12, which makes it a great diet addition for vegans and vegetarians, who may be lacking it in their diets. It is also soothing for your throat and stomach. Make sure you read labels so you can avoid juices that have added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients.

The vitamins in aloe vera juice also contribute to absorption of nutrients, and reduce inflammation, which can help with several conditions. Aloe juice is also a great cleanser and can be used in place of typical store-bought mouthwashes. Because of its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, the juice can remove plaque, as well as sooth gum inflammation and gingivitis. It really is an amazing plant.

Aloe vera juice can be drank straight, but you may find the taste off-putting. For that reason, it’s become common to include the juice in recipes. It’s also a good idea to start with a small amount and increase it once you know how the juice affects you. The juice can be added to your existing diet, or you can look up some new recipes — there are some great ones. Try out some bright morning smoothies until you find what you like and can tolerate.

Miranda Beverly works as a freelance writer and is editing a cookbook. She can be reached at mbeverlygill@gmail.com.

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