You’ve likely used aloe vera to soothe a sunburn. You might even have one growing in your home. Now buzz is growing around the humble houseplant for a whole new reason: More and more people are using aloe vera juice to speed weight loss. And top docs are impressed too, noting it’s particularly helpful for those who want to get leaner and healthier but feel too tired for big changes. The powerful little trick to try: “Take a daily shot of aloe vera juice,” suggests integrative medicine specialist Vincent Pedre, MD. Intrigued? Read on to learn how you can use aloe vera juice to help heal GI issues that secretly drive both fatigue and stubborn weight gain.
Why aloe vera juice is good for weight loss
Studies on aloe show it may help people double or even triple their weight loss. There are a couple reasons for this, but here’s an important one: Aloe vera is really good at improving blood sugar control. One analysis found that a daily dose of aloe can help lower fasting blood sugar by 46.6 mg/dL and A1c by 1.05% in 14 weeks or less — which is on par with prescription blood sugar medications like metformin.
Aloe works this anti-diabetes magic by helping prevent some of the carbs we eat from becoming blood sugar and reducing the sugar our gut absorbs, according to lead researcher Sachin A. Shah, PharmD. And as blood sugar comes down, so do levels of the hormone insulin. That’s important because excess insulin can block stored fat from being burned. Experts say lowering blood sugar also helps kill hunger, lower cravings and more. (Click through for more on the blood sugar benefits of aloe.)
How aloe heals your gut to shrink your waist
The main focus for Dr. Pedre, author of Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Eliminate Pain, is on gastrointesitinal health, and that’s why aloe got his attention. But let’s back up a bit first. Turns out, about 80% of us have gut problems that make us prone to getting sick and gaining weight — even though most of us don’t realize. Why are so many impacted? Look to all the processed food we eat these days. Dr. Pedre says it’s full of cheap oils and other irritating ingredients that gradually damage and cause microscopic tears in our delicate gut lining. “Pesticide residue, antibiotics, stress and hormonal fluctuations are also factors,” notes Dr. Pedre.
Once your gut becomes “leaky,” food particles, bacteria and toxins can escape into the bloodstream, and that may lead to widespread inflammation and sometimes triggers the body to attack its own healthy tissue. “Leaky gut causes or worsens many issues we don’t associate with the gut: fatigue, rashes, headaches, joint aches, mental fog, anxiety, even diabetes and cancer,” Dr. Pedre says. “And it’s probably the biggest reason for weight gain that people don’t know about.” (Click through for more about leaky gut and swaps that can help heal.)
Luckily, aloe — which has been used as a remedy for thousands of years — is an easy way to begin reversing the problem. “Aloe helps soothe and repair the gut lining,” says the doc. Credit goes to the plant’s 75 active compounds, shown to do things like help reduce swelling, repair injured tissue, fight infection and numb pain. It’s a barrage of benefits so powerful, tests reveals aloe can cut heartburn by 71% in four weeks. And preliminary evidence suggests it may quickly reduce gut ‘leaks’ by 52%. The result: Aloe helps boost energy as it primes the body to burn fat with ease.
How much aloe vera juice to drink daily
This quick-fix drink is delicious, refreshing and good for you.
- 2 Tbs. aloe vera juice
- ½ cups cubed watermelon
- 2 cups coconut water
- Blitz aloe juice and remaining ingredients in a blender with ice to taste
2. Aloe-Kissed Chia Cups
Kiwi adds the just-right amount of sweetness — experiment swapping in your favorite fruits.
- 3 Tbs. chia
- 1 cup nut milk
- ¾ cup kiwi
- 1 Tbs. aloe juice or gel
- optional allulose or stevia to taste
- Blitz all ingredients in a blender and divide between two ramekins. Cover and chill. Garnish with more fruit, if you like.
For more on what aloe can do for you, check out these articles:
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
Copyright 2023 A360 Media
This story was originally published August 13, 2023, 10:45 AM.