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“The Miracle Plant,” “Potted Physician,” “Silent Healer,” – are some of the sobriquets that this plant has earned for itself! Not without a reason though. The rich concoction of nutrients that it offers makes it deserving for each of these titles.

  • High in Vitamins and Minerals

Aloe Vera is known to contain most vitamins including the ACE vitamins, folic acid, choline, B1, B2,B3 (niacin), B6. It is also one of the few plants that contain vitamin B12. Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe Vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.

  • High in Amino Acids and Fatty Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are about 22 amino acids that are necessary for the human body and it is said that 8 of these are essential. Estimates of the amino acids found in aloe range from 18-20 amino acids, with all 8 essential amino acids.

Aloe Vera also includes quite an impressive range of fatty acids. It is said to contain three plant sterols, which are important fatty acids- HCL cholesterol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol, and B-sitosterol. All are helpful in reducing symptoms of allergies and acid indigestion. Other fatty acids include linoleic, linolenic myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic.

  • It is an Adaptogen

Aloe Vera is well-known adaptogen. An adaptogen is something that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness. It is thought that aloe’s power as an adaptogen balances the body’s system, stimulating the defense and adaptive mechanisms of the body. This allows you an increased ability to cope with stress (physical, emotional and environmental stress like pollution)

  • Aloe Helps with Digestion

Poor digestion is related to many diseases. A properly functioning digestive tract is one of the keys and foundations of good health. Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help improve digestion. The interesting thing about taking aloe internally is that, because it is an adaptogen, it may help with either constipation or diarrhea, helping to regulate your elimination cycles in whatever way you need. It’s been a great remedy for people with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome as well as acid reflux. Aloe also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and in our gut keeping your healthy intestinal flora in balance. Aloe is also known to be a vermifuge, which means it may help to rid the body of intestinal worms.

aloe vera plant

  • Aloe Helps in Detoxification

Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, just like seaweeds and chia. The main benefits of consuming gelatinous plant foods in your diet is that these gels move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way and get eliminated through the colon. This will help in proper elimination of waste from your body and may help in the detoxification process.

  • Aloe Alkalizes the Body

Disease cannot manifest in an alkaline environment. Most people are living and subsisting on mostly acidic foods. For great health, remember the 80/20 rule – 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acidic. Aloe Vera is an alkaline forming food. It helps alkalize the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits.Aloe Vera Blossom

  • Cardiovascular Health

There haven’t been a lot of studies conducted in this but there has been some research to show that Aloe Vera extract injected into the blood, greatly multiplies the oxygen transportation and diffusion capabilities of the red blood cells.

  • Aloe Helps Boost the Immune System

The polysaccharides in Aloe Vera stimulate macrophages, which are the white blood cells of your immune system that fight against viruses.

Aloe is also an immune enhancer because of its high level of anti-oxidants, which help combat the unstable compounds known as free-radicals, contributing to the aging process. (Free radicals are a bi-product of life itself, it is a naturally occurring process but we can overload ourselves with unnecessary free radicals by living an unhealthy lifestyle).

  • Aloe Vera is great for the Skin

Aloe Vera for the skinBecause of aloe’s well known healing properties for the skin, aloe is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry. It is a known vulnerary, (meaning it helps heal wounds) and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis and even to bug bites. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver. Aloe is also an antipruritic. A substance that relieves or prevents itching. Aloe Vera is an stringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions.

Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin and fits within the general guideline: “Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat!” Aloe helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.

  • Disinfectant, Anti-biotic, Anti-microbial, Germicidal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-septic, Anti-fungal & Anti-Viral

Aloe Vera’s active ingredients are sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol which are substances that prevent the growth of disease causing microorganisms and act as a team to provide antimicrobial activity thus eliminating many internal and external infections, also active against bacteria. It also helps in relief from fungal and viral infections.

  • Aloe Helps Reduce Inflammation

Aloe Vera contains 12 substances, including B-sisterole, which can help to slow down or inhibit inflammation. this may be able to help with painful joints due to stiffness and help improve joint flexibility.

Putting on too much weight (overweight or obese) poses a problem for you, but being too thin for your build (or underweight) is just as risky.  The weight of a person says so much about his/her body.  Obesity has its complicating consequences and increases the risks of having and dying from heart diseases, hypertension, and diabetes.

 

Being obese means you're consuming too much than your body needs, hence, it stores them in different parts of your body including in fatty tissues, blood, liver, etc.  Over time, your body will react to the build up of substances, which would cause it to become upset and overridden. 

 

Basic Mass Index

One tool to help you determine whether you are on your ideal weight is the Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator.  The BMI helps evaluate your weight and assists doctors in determining the ideal weight for you vis-à-vi your height, lays out plans and how to accomplish them.

 

BMI is not intended for pregnant and nursing women as well as children below the age 18.  A healthy BMI is between 18.5 kg/m2 to 25 kg/m2.  Anywhere below that is considered underweight, while a BMI between 25 kg/m2 and 30 kg/m2 is overweight.  If your BMI is 30 kg/m2 or higher, then you are considered obese, and extreme obesity is a BMI above 40 kg/m2.

 

A Diet and Health Study by the NIH-AARP in 1995-96, conducted on 527,265 male and female participants aged 50-71 years old at enrollment, and whose BMI were obtained, concluded that people in their midlife with excess body weight face an increased risk of death sooner whether their issue is obesity or simply overweight

 

The study, which spanned 10 years with close monitoring of the participants, gave this result: 61,317 of the participants (42,173 men and 19,144 women) died, and experts came up with the analysis that the risk of death increased for both men and women (in all ages) in the highest and lowest BMI categories, regardless of racial group and ethnicity.

 

Waist circumference

Another tool doctors and dietitians use to evaluate a person's weight is through waist circumference.  This tool is especially helpful for people whose BMI is classified as overweight.  Extra fats around the waist and a BMI above 25 are predictors of impending health problems.  Doctor's obtain this information in order to predict the serious health problems associated with obesity.  Experts say a pear-shaped silhouette is better than having an apple-shaped silhouette.  And this would still hold true even if your BMI is within the normal range.

 

The correct measurement of your waist is to measure it just above your hipbones.  The greater your waist measurement, the greater your health risks.  Women whose waistline is above 35 inches and 40 inches for men, face an increased risk for health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol level in blood, hypertension, and heart disease. 

 

Try to seek the help of a medical practitioner if you are overweight or obese, as indicated in your BMI.  Your doctor can help you design a fitness plan that is realistic in your situation. 

 

 

 

It is common knowledge that diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer are the leading causes of death in the 21st century.  In a 2003 data in the United States alone, heart disease ranks the first leading cause of death followed by cancer, stroke, accidents and diabetes. 

 

Over the years, scientists have been looking for answers on what the modern lifestyle has to do with the prevalence of the said diseases.  Research has shown that those living in highly-urbanized countries were more susceptible to acquiring these diseases than the indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world whose diet consists mainly of greens and whose living is far less complex and stress-free.

 

Noticeably, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes (whether hereditary or not) are greatly triggered by the type of food and lifestyle most people in Western societies have.  Foods that are high in fat, although they taste better, will take a toll on one's health later on in life if not right away.

 

Try to assess your daily diet in particular.  Unless you've become conscious about your health, you probably have been consuming fried, preserved, and fast foods.  Do you remember the last time you had five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day?  If so, then lucky you, because the bulk of the diet in the West is a far cry from what experts call natural and nutritious.

 

However, don't feel upset about this reality.  You can be in control of your life in order to prevent acquiring and dying from the leading diseases by changing your lifestyle and diet to improve not only your physical, but emotional well-being as well.

 

 

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes can be prevented with a combination of diet, exercise, and the right attitude.  The guide to living a healthy lifestyle is not coined on how drastic you want the changes to happen but it is based on a gradual process.

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