Aloe vera is a popular plant known for its healing properties. It’s widely used in beauty products and as a natural remedy for various ailments. Some people also eat aloe vera daily for its potential health benefits. But what really happens if you make aloe vera a part of your regular diet?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that belongs to the Asphodelaceae family. It’s commonly grown in tropical regions around the world. The gel inside the leaves is rich in nutrients and contains active compounds like polysaccharides, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals.
For centuries, aloe vera gel has been used topically to treat wounds, burns, and skin conditions. When ingested, it may provide health benefits, but more research is still needed to fully understand its effects.
This article will explore some of the key findings on what can happen when you eat aloe vera daily.
Aloe vera is made up of water, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is an overview of the main nutrients found in aloe vera gel (per 100 grams):
Aloe vera is a low-calorie food with little fat or protein. It provides small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can contribute to your daily nutrient intake.
Research suggests aloe vera may provide the following benefits when consumed regularly:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Aloe vera contains antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. These compounds help fight free radicals and oxidative stress.
|Vitamin C||Boosts immunity, supports collagen production|
|Vitamin E||Protects cell membranes, acts as antioxidant|
|Beta-carotene||Gets converted to vitamin A, supports vision and cell growth|
2. May Improve Digestion
Some research indicates that aloe vera juice can help improve digestion and relieve constipation. Compounds like polysaccharides in aloe may have a soothing effect on the digestive lining.
One study found that aloe helped reduce symptoms of acid reflux. More studies are still needed to confirm these digestive benefits.
3. Contains Vitamins and Minerals
Aloe vera provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, B12, folic acid, and zinc. Consuming it daily can help contribute to your recommended daily intake for these nutrients.
4. May Lower Blood Sugar
Some evidence shows aloe vera may lower blood sugar levels. Aloe contains compounds that may improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose metabolism.
But more research is needed, especially in humans. Talk to your doctor before taking aloe for blood sugar control.
5. May Have Detoxification Potential
Some preliminary studies suggest aloe vera may help remove toxins from the body and protect the liver. More research is still needed to confirm these possible detox benefits.
Possible Side Effects
Aloe vera juice is likely safe for most people when consumed in moderation. But there are some potential side effects to be aware of:
- May cause diarrhea or abdominal cramps, especially when taken in large amounts.
- The laxative effect may cause potassium levels to fall too low.
- May interact with certain medications like diuretics and insulin.
- Unpurified juice may contain aloin, which can cause diarrhea and cramps.
- Topical application may cause redness, burning, stinging sensation.
Pregnant women should avoid oral aloe vera intake, as it may stimulate uterine contractions. If you have any medical conditions, consult your doctor before regularly consuming aloe.
There’s no standard recommended dosage for aloe vera gel or juice. Products vary in their concentration of active compounds.
Most studies use doses of 100-300mg per day. But amounts up to 1,200mg have also been used safely. It’s best to start with small doses like 2-3 ounces (60-90ml) per day.
Look for purified, decolorized aloe vera products to avoid diarrhea from the latex compounds. Also, drink lots of water and avoid ingesting aloe vera for more than 3 consecutive months.
How to Add to Your Diet
Here are some simple ways to eat aloe vera daily:
- Add aloe vera juice to smoothies, shakes, yogurt, oatmeal
- Use aloe gel cubes in beverages, water
- Blend aloe gel into dips, spreads, dressings
- Add aloe to soups, curries, gravies as a thickener
- Mix into fruit juice, coconut water, infused water
- Freeze into aloe vera popsicles for a snack
Start with 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml) at a time and gradually increase to meet your health goals.
When eaten regularly, aloe vera may provide vitamins, antioxidants, and other compounds that support digestion, immunity, blood sugar, and more. But excess intake can cause adverse effects.
Most research is preliminary and uses concentrated doses. More studies are still needed to confirm many of aloe’s benefits and ideal dosing in humans.
Talk to your doctor before making aloe vera gel or juice a part of your regular diet, especially if you take any medications or have health conditions.