Adding activated charcoal to food on occasion may help you eliminate harmful toxins. Chef V discusses simple ways you can add it to food, drinks and even for hygiene.
“Eat a rainbow of foods.”
No doubt you’ve heard this nutritional maxim from diet therapists such as myself.
If you’re not familiar with this dietary advice, it simply means that you should eat a wide variety of vegetables and some fruit to ensure you’re getting a ton of antioxidants in your diet. So while green veggies are super healthy, you might also want to include purple carrots and cabbage, blueberries, yellow squash, red bell peppers, etc…
Eat foods with black color
But there’s one color in food that’s not typically thought of in healthy diets: black.
Sure, you might be thinking “eggplant.” But name a few other foods that are black in color. Quick, you have 10 seconds.
I’ll tell you about one ingredient that you can have fun with every once in a while. It’s not so much a food as it is a supplement. It’s….activated charcoal.
Now, I’ve already written a post about why activated charcoal is good for you and what it’s used for. (Check it out here.) However, I’ll give you the Cliffs-Notes version….
Activated charcoal is a powerful detox agent. Many hospitals keep it in stock in case a patient swallows poison. It basically acts like a stomach pump and neutralizes toxins.
One thing I didn’t mention in the other post I wrote about activated charcoal is where it comes from. It’s a byproduct of ash from coconut shells. Wood and plant materials are also sources of activated charcoal. No, charcoal is not something you’ll find in the produce aisle at your supermarket. Rather, charcoal pills or powder are sold at health food or vitamin stores.
Adding activated charcoal to food
I love adding activated charcoal to food. There are a couple reasons why. First and foremost, it can really help you kickstart a cleanse. Say you’re off the healthy bandwagon and eating lots of fast food and sugary snacks. And you know it’s time to purge some of those toxins because you just don’t feel good.
Well, in addition to avoiding fast food, sugary snack foods, gluten, caffeine and alcohol for a few days, you can also add a little activated charcoal powder to your meals or drinks like no-sugar lemonade. Adding activated charcoal to your meals will help remove stored toxins from your body. (When you do a Chef V cleanse or 21 day detox, you’ll get pre- and post-cleanse instructions.)
The second reason I like adding activated charcoal is simply for aesthetics. Meals, drinks, or treats like ice cream look artistically beautiful by adding black color.
And adding activated charcoal to food is easy. To try it out, I recommend sprinkling some charcoal powder and mixing it into any number of dishes. Let’s start with an simple one. Like my famous guacamole recipe:
Easy Guacamole With Activated Charcoal (serves 4)
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ small jalapeño, stems removed and finely diced
- ¼ cup chopped white onion
- 1 tbsp activated charcoal
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. With a masher (or fork), mash the ingredients together until the guacamole becomes the consistency you crave: smooth or chunky.
Adding activated charcoal to cocktails
Detox and retox at the same time! That’s right, you can enjoy a killer craft cocktail with activated charcoal. It goes without saying that if you have a few martinis, you will be drunk. Now amount of charcoal is going to prevent a hangover. However, adding some charcoal from time to time may help prevent toxic overload in the liver.
Best uses for activated charcoal
For example, you can add a tiny bit of it to your toothpaste. This will help pull bad bacteria from your mouth. Moreover, you can also use activated charcoal for skin. I sometimes apply some to a face mask. I simply stir a dime-size amount into the mix. The charcoal provides extra extraction power. Acne is an indication of bad bacteria seeping out the pores. But internally, acne can also indicate a sluggish detoxification system. Charcoal, in effect, acts like a roto-rooter, flushing (more accurately: binding) out toxins from your system.
How often should you add activated charcoal in food and drinks?
Not everyday. Because charcoal is a binding agent, it can also attach to beneficial nutrients, not just harmful toxins. And if you take medication, it’s probably best to both limit charcoal intake as well as not ingest it within a few hours of your meds. That’s because charcoal can render a medication ineffective.
Use charcoal sparingly. Especially as an ingredient in food and drink recipes. However, you can use it more often as part of your skin care routine.