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7 Unexpected Benefits and Usage of Aloe Vera

7 Unexpected Benefits and Usage of Aloe Vera

When people hear about aloe, they often will think immediately of the bottle of green gel that gets brought out every time someone has a sunburn.  While aloe is indeed a fantastic topical aid, treating red and peeling skin isn’t the only purpose this incredible plant serves.

Having been used medicinally for thousands of years, aloe can be traced back to ancient Egypt where pictures of the plant appear on pyramids and alongside the Pharaohs buried within.  Due to it’s ability to remedy so many maladies, aloe was once referred to as “the plant of immortality”.  To this day the plant is often grown, purchased, and used to treat a wide variety of issues.

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Let’s take a look at seven scientifically based benefits that this gift from nature can provide.

1. Aloe Vera Provides Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties

Aloe contains a family of substances known as polyphenols which are converted into powerful antioxidants for the body.  For this reason, more and more people are adding aloe vera juice to their occasional diet.  Thought to help rid the digestive tract of toxins and impurities, the juice, which looks and tastes just like water, can be purchased at most health food stores.  Drinking just a cup of the juice can provide a powerful punch of antioxidants to the human body which can help fight off harmful bacteria.

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2.  Aloe Vera Juice Reduces Plaque

Don’t enjoy swishing with the powerful and chemically laden mouthwashes on the market?  Opt for a mouthful of aloe vera juice instead.  It may taste like water, but according to dental studies, aloe vera juice has reaped the same benefits of some of the strongest brands of mouthwash on the market.

The antibacterial properties of aloe kill off Steptococcus mutans and Candida albicans that are found in the mouth and can lead to plaque and tartar if not treated. The alkalizing properties of the plant are beneficial to prevent hair loss. Aloe vera can help to bring the scalp and hair’s pH to a more desirable level and free the skin from extensive sebum, which can suffocate hair follicles, causing thinning and brittleness of hair.

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3. Aloe Vera Can Relieve Canker Sores

The next time you have a painful canker sore in your mouth, instead of reaching for a tube of dental medicine that often doesn’t bring lasting relief, try an aloe patch instead.  In a study performed on 180 people with recurrent mouth ulcers, the aloe patch was proven to effectively reduce the size and symptoms of the sores.  If you don’t have a patch on hand, rubbing the plant’s gel directly on the sore will yield the same results.

4. Aloe Vera Provides Quick Relief to Burns

The FDA approved aloe vera as a powerful burn ointment back in 1959 and while many people use it for sunburns, they often forget about aloe when they obtain burns of another nature.  Compared to conventional medicine, studies have shown time and time again that aloe reduces the healing time of burns by up to 9 days.  Bypass the pharmaceuticals and reach for the aloe gel for fast relief when treating burns.

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5. Aloe Vera Improves the Efficiency of The Cardiovascular System

This powerful plant has the ability to reduce blood pressure by oxygenating the blood and helps reduce cholesterol due to its rich choline content.  Aloe has properties that allow for more efficient dilation of the blood vessels.  Whether taken in liquid or capsule form, or even applied topically, using aloe on a regular basis gives an extra boost to your hard working cardiovascular system.

6. Aloe Vera Can Be Used as a Regular Part of Your Skin Routine

Whether treating acne or attempting to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, aloe can help restore your skin’s vitality and improve the look and luster of your body’s largest organ. Used often for it’s soothing properties, aloe can be applied on sensitive or inflamed patches of skin, and can be applied after shaving to treat bumps or ingrown hairs. Due to it’s high water content, aloe can also be used to rehydrate skin, which will result in a glowing and radiant complexion. Even if you do not apply it directly, you can purchase lotion with aloe added to it.

7. Aloe Vera Helps Increase Vitamin Absorption

In a study conducted by the University of California’s Davis Medical Center, aloe vera was proven to help the body absorb vitamin C and B12. In this day and age, with food genetically modified and altered, often times our bodies cannot fully absorb the nutrients we ingest.  This can lead to malnutrition, which in turn leads to a host of bodily ailments and diseases. Using Aloe to increase absorption of important vitamins such as vitamin C and B12 can help the body function more efficiently and prevent malabsorption.

Sometimes nature’s miracles aren’t in test tubes or fancy bottles lining the pharmacy, but growing in our yards or in pots on a window sill.  Aloe vera is such a versatile and powerful plant that it has withstood vigorous testing by the FDA and proven time and time again that it is in a league of its own when it comes to medicine.  Whether you choose to grow your own plant or simply purchase it in the bottled form, aloe vera should be a part of your garden, grocery list, and regular routine.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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