‘Miracle plant’ aloe vera is versatile and powerful | Irish Examiner – Irish Examiner

Posted: July 14, 2017 at 11:45 pm

Abi Jackson gives seven reasons to fall in love with aloe vera this summer

Naturally cooling and soothing, its often hailed for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities. It can help to speed up new cell growth and repair damaged tissues, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. Thats why its an excellent soother for irritated and burnt skin.

Ultra-refreshing and naturally sweet, aloe vera is making its mark in the healthy drinks market, whether youre glugging an aloe-based drink, or topping up homemade smoothies and juices. Aloe vera is what we call a functional food. In other words, it has health benefits that can enhance our wellbeing, says Simplee Aloe nutritionist Libby Limon, who lists helping to balance energy levels and supporting our immune systems among its properties.

Thought superfoods were a new concept? Throughout history, people have turned to nature in a bid to bolster their health. The Ancient Egyptians dubbed aloe vera the plant of immortality. Its probably not going to make you live forever, but it is packed with vitamins. Aloe vera, often called a miracle plant, has been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years, adds Cassandra.

Cravings, energy slumps, mood swings, tiredness... our body has lots of ways of letting us know when were consuming too much sugar. Sometimes, poor blood-sugar balance can contribute to weight gain too, often due to a diet high in carbohydrates with a lack of fibre, healthy fats and protein, notes Libby.

Aloe vera has healthy polysaccharides, which have been shown to aid blood sugar balancing, and therefore can be a great tool to help weight management alongside reducing refined carbohydrates and sugars in the diet.

Aloe vera helps to improve the bodys digestion, beating the all too common bloat which is linked to an imbalance in the digestive tract, says Libby. Aloe vera has been long known for its digestive benefits, which include anti-inflammatory properties and helping to support friendly bacteria.

Aloe vera has a special, hidden quality which allows the body to absorb vitamin C and E from other foods. The body uses vitamin C to make collagen which helps keep skin healthy and elastic, says Libby. And both vitamin C and E are antioxidants, which protect skin against damage and ageing. Beautiful glowing skin is also linked to your digestion, hormone balance and detoxification. The aloe vera inner gel also has components which help with all three of these.

On the lookout for more natural beauty products? It doesnt get much more natural than this: scoop out the gooey insides of the plant, whizz through a blender and then apply to your hair for luscious, conditioned locks, or use as a soothing, replenishing face mask.

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