What It Is:
Activated charcoal has hit the wellness scene pretty hard over the past several months, even though it's been around for ages (i.e. since the Ancient Egyptians days). Since then, it's mostly been used in the ER for stomach pumping because of its amazing absorption abilities. It's made by heating up things such as nut or coconut shells or wood to super high temperatures until they're so effin' lit (as the kids say) that they turn to ash. The surface area of the ash is treated again with more super high temps until it becomes porous. Once other materials are absorbed by those pores, it's then considered to be activated.
Why It's Hot:
Activated charcoal is used both in the kitchen and cosmetically (we'll save for another blog, but we're fans of this, too!). When it's ingested, it's said to help flush toxins from the body, cleanse your digestive system and to decrease bloating. Amazing, right?! BUUUTT it's not something you should do all the time since if you do it too often, you're going to absorb some of the nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Also, just like it absorbs toxins, it can also absorb medications, making them not as effective.
We Tried It And Here's What Happened:
I ordered a bag of activated charcoal on Amazon for about $15 and I decided to incorporate it into my usual acai bowl. BTW- the activated charcoal powder is super messy so handle carefully. It's probably best to keep in a sealed tupperware container vs a ziploc bag (learn from my mistakes) or you'll end up with black chalk-like stains everywhere. It's easy to clean, but a tiny little speck of powder goes a long way-- it's just more annoying than anything. I tossed a couple of tablespoons in with my normal acai ingredients and blended per usual. The finished product was definitely black (which takes some getting used to), however, it's completely odorless and flavorless! To my surprise, despite the mess of the powder, once blended, it didn't stain my teeth or the bowl.
I continued to make a bowl every day for the next week to see if I could see any changes. After a couple of days, I definitely noticed I wasn't as bloated and even less bloated than my non-bloated days-- if that makes any sense. I honestly felt really clean from the inside out!!! I can only assume this was from the toxins being flushed from my body. I only consumed the bowl for a week straight for the sake of this blog post so that I could notice any changes more obviously, but now I'm only doing it a couple of times a week and I still notice the lighter feeling.If you want to try it out, here's my go to recipe. Enjoy!
Activated Charcoal Acai Bowl Recipe*:
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk
1 frozen pouch of unsweetened acai
1 Cup frozen kale or spinach
1/2 Cup frozen berries
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons activated charcoal powder
1 teaspoon turmeric power
Blend together until thick (but thoroughly blended) and top with your faves. My bowl usually has granola by our fave granola brand, Purely Elizabeth, coconut flakes, goji berries and a touch of organic, local honey. So good!
*Just kidding, I usually don't measure anything! But if I did, it would probably be similar to this. Use your creative license to make your bowl to your liking :-)
Category: recipes, wellness trends