The Heavy Metal, Green Detox Smoothie is a smoothie like no other! While recently attending a weekend health and wellness retreat, I learned about the specific power of chlorella (a green algae that grows in fresh water sources and is traditionally used for both nutritional supplements and medicinal purposes) and cilantro, when paired together. Let's just consider them to be a "POWER COUPLE"!
Whether you realize it or not, the human body is regularly exposed to heavy metals, such as aluminum, cadmium and mercury.[i] Consider, for a moment, all of the chemical ingredients in most personal care products, including that of aluminum in conventional antiperspirants that are designed to prevent your body from detoxing itself. These metals have the ability to embed themselves within our nervous system and bones, gradually accumulating over time.[ii]
Fortunately, chlorella and cilantro, in combination with one another, “chelate” heavy metals within the body. Let me explain! Chelating agents bind to heavy metal, toxic ions in the body, facilitating their excretion from the body.[iii] Chlorella and cilantro act as strong chelators, once ingested into the body. They need to be consumed in combination with one another because cilantro has great ability to mobilize/move around such toxins in our body, but without the chlorella to help facilitate excretion, cilantro has the potential to just retoxify the body. Chlorella serves as an intestinal absorbing agent, to prevent such retoxification of the body. According to my source noted below, heavy metal chelation using chlorella and cilantro has the ability to NATURALLY remove approx. 74% of mercury, 87% of lead and 91% of mercury within 42 consecutive days; it is recommended that your magnesium levels are high prior to using a chelation program such as this, as magnesium lends itself to relaxed muscles and arteries to facilitate easier excretion of toxins - always consult your health-care practitioner as needed.[iv]
There are various “Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie” recipes available on the web. Full credit for both learning the above-noted information and trying such a smoothie recipe goes to raw food blogger Crystal Bonnet in Edmonton, Alberta - you can check out her blog at Error! Hyperlink reference not valid., as she was the raw, vegan chef who facilitated the meals at the weekend health and wellness retreat I previously spoke about. She has a comprehensive smoothie recipe of this type on her blog. After some research, I’ve examined a few variations, merging ingredients and portion sizes based on my own preferences.
Here is my take!
Ingredients (Makes 1 pint, or approx. 2 cups):
1-1.5 cups coconut water
2 cups spinach
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. chlorella powder (approx. 4-5 "broken-cell", powdered capsules - see images below)(the capsules easily break in half so that the contents may be extracted)
1 frozen banana
2-3 tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Juice of 1 lime (approx. 2 tbsp.)
*Other variations of this recipe include the use of various fruit choices, including apple, mango, kiwi and pineapple – you can mix it up! The smoothie will remain alkaline if the vegetable volume is at least double that of the fruit volume.
*This smoothie is balanced with carbohydrate and dietary fiber (greens, banana), a complete protein (hulled hemp seeds) and a healthy, saturated fat (coconut oil).
*A “complete” protein contains all essential amino acids that the body must attain via our diet.
*If chlorella is a new ingredient to you, you may certainly start with ¼ or ½ of a teaspoon and work up to 1 teaspoon. You certainly don’t taste it as a dominant flavour, considering all of the other ingredients and proportions it is being blended with, but you may ease into that ingredient using your own discretion.
To assist, the image below shows you the brand/type I have purchased from my local health food store:
*Certified, Organic Chlorella (deep green, broken-cell, 300 capsules)
*The reverse side of the container provides numerous details, so please do your due diligence prior to purchasing and consuming, in consideration of your own health and dietary needs.
The "Cautions and Warnings" noted indicate:
"Consult a health-care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant of breast-feeding; if you have a liver or kidney disease; if you have been instructed to follow a low-protein diet; or if you are taking blood thinners. Discontinue use and consult a health-care practitioner if diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal cramping persists or worsen. My cause discolouration of feces/stool."
Key Nutritional Benefits of Chlorella:
High in amino acids; ideal for vegetarians, in acquiring adequate plant-based protein
Repairs the body’s detoxification process (highly effective in ridding the body of undesired substances)
Restores healthy gut flora (yes, please!)
Possesses the most absorbable forms of Vitamins B6 and B12
Repairs nervous system and damaged neurons
Assists with the intake of fish oil and other fatty acids
Improves glutathione – a “master antioxidant”[v]
Key Nutritional Benefits of Cilantro:
High in iron and magnesium to fight anemia (low red blood cell count)
Highly effective in binding to and mobilizing toxic ions in the body
Fights off urinary tract infections
Protects the liver, contributing to liver health
Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, promoting HDL (good) cholesterol
Effective bulking agent for the digestive tract (adds fiber)
Can help prevent gas and bloating
Can help to reduce feelings of nausea[vi]
Green smoothies are my favourite smoothies, and this one, let me tell you, is so incredibly fresh and cleansing. I feel amazing as I drink it, and even more amazing afterwards! It’s so incredibly invigorating, especially starting the day in this way!
Enjoy! Let me know what you think!
[i]-[vi] Natural Society: Transform Your Health Naturally. Retrieved February 28, 2016 from http://naturalsociety.com/proper-heavy-metal-chelation-cilantro-chlorella/