ALOE VERA JUICE

Photo by LUHUANFENG/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by LUHUANFENG/iStock / Getty Images
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This past December I found myself suffering from symptoms of a self-diagnosed winter body. A term I use to describe a sluggish digestive system, puffy eyelids and general bloating. A winter body would make a bikini body cringe. (Thank goodness for boxy sweaters!) At the recommendation of my acupuncturist, I began drinking aloe juice before bed. But before I sing its praises, I want you to know that there is conflicting information regarding the benefits and research has been inconclusive thus far. That said, I am officially hooked.

Aloe juice is thought to aid in digestion, relieve constipation, reduce inflammation, and cleanse the body of toxins. I have found that drinking 2-4 ounces at bedtime has been a beneficial addition to my routine. Digestion has improved and I feel less bloated. I like to think that the juice has beauty benefits as well. Just as aloe juice is used topically to moisturize and sooth burns, it works internally to help repair skin. Think increased collagen production and faster cell regeneration thanks to high levels of amino acids, including 7 out of 8 essentials, and fatty acids.

Before you purchase your first bottle, I must warn you that aloe juice can be an acquired taste. My first experience was less than pleasant! I found the drink nearly intolerable with a biting aftertaste. But I tried a couple brands and finally found one that I don't mind at all: Pure Whole Leaf Aloe Juice from Lakewood Organic. This juice contains just two ingredients, aloe juice and lemon juice, free of any artificial preservatives. Look for Lakewood Organic aloe juice at Whole Foods and other specialty markets. A 32oz bottle will cost under $10. Enjoy!