You might be wondering, why are we using activated charcoal in a smoothie recipe? Isn’t that used for poison victims? It’s true. It’s so powerful that in hospitals they often use large amounts of activated charcoal to help people who’ve ingested something harmful. But in much smaller amounts, charcoal is a great detoxant for regular (NON-poisoning!) use. It pulls toxins from our digestive tract, including chemicals that we ingest (not on purpose, but inevitably in our polluted and chemical-laden world).
So in small amounts, charcoal can be a great tool for pulling toxins out of the digestive tract. Some people even bring capsules of charcoal with them while traveling or eating out at a restaurant in case they get exposed to something that may make them sick or not feel their best.
Keep in mind though, that charcoal is REALLY good at absorbing things from the GI tract—so take it 2–3 hours away from any medication (don’t take medications 90 minutes before and 90 minutes after ingesting activated charcoal). Check with your healthcare provider if you’re unsure.
This smoothie also contains the powerfully detoxifying cauliflower. A cruciferous veggie, it’s great for estrogen detox. Since we’re exposed to so many estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our environment that can mess with our own hormones, cruciferous veggies like cauliflower are great at pulling those out of the system and helping to restore hormonal balance. This refreshing smoothie is the perfect balance of detoxifying, healthy ingredients!
NOTE: If you get constipated after taking charcoal, it’s probably best not to take it. It does constipate some people.
- 2 cups frozen cauliflower chunks
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
- 2 tablespoons collagen peptides
- 4 drops liquid stevia
- Fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)
- Place the frozen cauliflower chunks, almond milk, activated charcoal, collagen peptides, and liquid stevia in a high-speed blender. Blend well for a few minutes until you get a thick, creamy smoothie.
- Divide the smoothie evenly between two glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries if desired.
My concern with a charcoal smoothie is, won’t it absorb the nutrients in the smoothie as well a other good things you eat within that 2-3 hrs? Can it tell the difference between toxins and nutrients? I don’t think so…
That’s a good question. How are “bad” substance absorbed but not the good substances?
Hi Cheryl and Lyn,
Here’s some more info on charcoal that might be helpful: How does activated charcoal work?
Activated charcoal binds to toxins and chemicals to keep your body from absorbing them. Adsorption occurs when molecules of a substance adhere to a surface – a different process than absorption, where a substance is permeated or dissolved by another.
The porosity of activated charcoal allows many substances to become adsorbed to, or trapped in, the spaces. Essentially, activated charcoal has a negative charge that makes positive-charged toxins attach to it. When the activated charcoal is washed away or flushed out of the system, it brings the toxins and chemicals with it.
In addition to internal and topical use, activated charcoal is also commonly used in water filtration systems as it can adsorb water impurities such as pesticides, toxic waste, fluoride and other chemicals. Hope this helps.
it’s only for occasional cleansing. It’s easy to replenish nutrients but not so easy to rid of some toxins.
Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been processed in a way that is has a really, really large surface area, thus making it a great chemical adsorbant useful for emergencies when it somes to swallowing substances you shouldn’t, or more commonly used to bind the water in your colon when you’re suffering from diarrhea. In that way it can actually prevent or lessen acute toxicity and potentially even save a life and the whole woohoo-let’s-eat-charcoal trend is based on that principle, but wholly taken out of context. It’s as absurd as it sounds, like wearing glasses when your seeing is just fine, or wearing tampons all month long because occasionally you get a period. In fact, consuming activated charcoal when you don’t have a need for it or on a regular basis can even be harmful, since it doesn’t discriminate between what chemicals it binds, so vitamins, minerals and all the like will also be bound and thus lost for you. If people take it too far with this trend, they’re in for deficiencies.