Carrots make me feel balanced and beautiful. They give me a glow that resonates from the inside out, and taste delicious. When I started hunting for another earth vibe that could potentially make me glow from the inside out, I considered aloe vera.
I picked up an aloe leaf from the farmers market and decided to play in the kitchen. The Aloe Vera plant is a cactus-like plant that has leaves made of two components: latex and gel. Although there is apparently little scientific evidence of the effectiveness or safety of aloe for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, I’m taking my chances while sticking to one of my mantras: All Things in Moderation.
Under the guidelines of California Proposition 65, orally ingested non-decolorized aloe vera leaf extract has been listed by the OEHHA among “chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. To play devil’s advocate, let’s also consider the possible benefits. According to a 2008 article in the “Indian Journal of Dermatology,” aloe vera gel contains vitamins A, C and E. These are antioxidants, meaning they protect you from free radicals that are responsible for aging and can cause cancer over time. The gel also contains vitamin B-12 and folate. It hosts an array of essential minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium, sodium, copper, zinc and selenium. Its mineral content makes aloe vera beneficial for healthy cellular enzyme and metabolic activity. It also contains 20 amino acids, including 7 out of the 8 essential ones. Aloe contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, including salicylic acid, C-glucosyl chromone and an enzyme called bradykinase. Meanwhile, aloe reduces the production of acid in the body, which also prevents inflammation.
I gently remove the latex from both sides of the leaf and what’s left in the center is a slimy block of aloe vera gel. I then cut the block into small cubes, grab the rest of my ingredients, and get ready to blend.
I love the taste of frozen kiwi and pineapple together which helps cut the bitter taste of aloe. I also grabbed some dandelion leaves which also have a bitter, but earthy taste, and are a good choice for calcium, iron, fiber, Vitamins A, E and K, and powerful antioxidants including beta Carotene and lutein intake.
If you dare, check out the recipe for this Aloe Glow Smoothie:
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup aloe vera
1/3 cup dandelion leaves
2 pineapple slices (approx. 1/2 inch. thick)
6 ice cubes (2-3 if your fruit is frozen)
Blend and Enjoy!