The benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an incredibly versatile plant for your health. Its benefits can help you externally and internally. The plant is high in vitamins such as A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Aloe is also high in those essential amino and fatty acids. Here are just five active ways this powerhouse plant can improve your health:

  • Aloe aids digestion—the soothing juice found within the leaf is an adaptogen, which means it can help with either constipation or diarrhea, regulating your elimination cycles. It is also beneficial for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux, and decreases the amount of bad bacteria in your gut thus balancing your flora.

 

  • Aloe alkalizes the system—making sure the body is alkalized if one of the best things you can do for your body to avoid acidic digestion and prevent disease. Disease is more prone in acidic conditions.

 

  • Aloe is an external disinfectant—its active ingredients are sulfur, salicylic acid, lupeol, cinnamic acid, phenol, and urea nitrogen. They all protect against bacteria, and are antimicrobial thus fighting off infections externally and internally. Great for healing scrapes, cuts, and soothing burns. It is also really hydrating for your skin as it is made of 90% water.

 

  • Aloe helps boost the immune system—with its rich antioxidant content and polysaccharides, aloe vera juice can help stimulate macrophages (white blood cells that fight off viruses) and thus prevent illness and promote wellbeing.

 

  • Aloe is anti-inflammatory—aloe contains B-sisterole which can slow down or prevent inflammation, helping with joint stiffness and pain, and can promote joint flexibility.

 

You can buy aloe vera juice at the store, or buy a plant and make your own! It’s an added boost to your cooking, smoothies, or on its own. And don’t forget about its amazing skin benefits. Having a plant in the kitchen is great for any emergencies (cuts, scrapes etc.), especially with children around.

 

LiveWell!

 

Mood Lifting Foods

With the shorter, colder, and darker days just around the corner, this time of year can be a depressing one for a lot of people. In addition, more and more studies show that depression and the stress that comes with it is becoming one of the greatest dangers to our health in the US. And when the blues kick in, it is easy to reach for the comfort foods such as chips and cookies, but they have a negative effect on our brains making us sluggish, fatigued, and generally just down. There is a beacon of hope though as the following foods can actually lift our moods in a healthy and satisfying way.

  • Bananas—Luckily we can buy these mood-boosters all year long here in the US. Bananas are a great source of tryptophan which can aid relaxation and boost happiness. They are also high in carbohydrates that increase the production of serotonin. For a delicious treat to kick a craving and boost your mood, try my Banana Pudding from The Goddess of Raw Foods.
  • Walnuts—Another food with tryptophan along with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B6 make the walnut a great mood-booster. They are also a good source of folate which studies have linked to happiness and easing anger
  • Cacao—Raw cacao can do wonders for your health and happiness. Rich in tryptophan, it aids production of serotonin. Plus, it is one of the most antioxidant-dense foods—even more so than blueberries.  If you’re more in the mood for a chocolatey dessert rather than banana, try my Live Chocolate Mouse.
  • Avocado—Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, avocados are generally good for brain healthy and mood-boosting. They are also high in folate, reducing anger and depression.
  • Spirulina—This blue-green algae is rich in antioxidants, chlorophyll, and fatty acids omega 3 and 6 which promote brain health and boost your energy and mood. This superfood can be consumed in powder form in water or your juices and smoothies for a boost to your day.

Stay healthy and happy!