Strawberry Lemonade Detox Smoothie

Two bright pink smoothies in cocktail glasses, with lemon twists and heart and star sprinkles.

Being trained as a neuroscientist, I thought I had it all figured out about the brain. And I thought that surely it didn’t have the ability to undergo detoxification. So learning that the brain does in fact have its own dedicated garbage disposal system (upon discovery of the glymphatic system in 2013) was quite literally mind-blowing. I like to build brain detoxification into the NeuroTrition Rx of every client who has, or is at risk of getting, neurological disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s as well as clients who have had a traumatic brain injury like concussion or stroke.

New research is showing us that we can harness the power of our glymphatic system to flush out toxins directly implicated in brain disease development and progression. Science says there are a few key nutrients that people whose glymphatic system is impaired are deficient in, such as omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Scientists are also learning that foods that help us sleep can also help, because the glymphatic system is largely disengaged when we are awake - and does its cleaning duties while we sleep. Based on this research, we started with tart cherry juice because it is a wonderful natural source of tryptophan and melatonin! We then carefully curated the other ingredients, namely beets, avocado, cucumber, green apple, lemon juice, and flaxseed to meet the nutritional demands of brain detoxification. We love the brain around here but are always thinking about your other detoxification organs too. And with water as the base, this ultra-hydrating smoothie is sure to help your liver, kidneys and intestines flush out toxins too.

Two bright pink smoothies in cocktail glasses, with lemon twists and heart and star sprinkles.

Strawberry Lemonade Detox Smoothie
Yield: 2 cups
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 0 minutes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) organic unsweetened tart cherry juice
  • 1/3 cup (45 grams) fresh raw beet, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) frozen avocado chunks
  • 1/3 cup (60 grams) chopped cucumber
  • 1 medium green apple (120 grams), cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 and 1/4 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp flax seeds*

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp fresh sea moss or 1/2-1 tsp fresh spirulina**
  1. Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour it into your favourite smoothie cup and enjoy!

* If you’ve added flax seeds to your smoothies before, you might have noticed that they can change the texture of your smoothie if you let it sit a bit too long. To prevent it from taking on a gelatinous consistency we recommend enjoying this smoothie immediately after blending it. While best when enjoyed right away, this smoothie could still be frozen into popsicle molds for a brain-boosting frozen treat.

** We love flaxseed as a source of ALA omega-3 fat! However, if you’re into the research on fats for brain detox, it appears to be marine-based EPA and DHA omega-3’s that can optimize our glymphatic system (basically the brain’s version of our lymphatic system). You can add sea moss or spirulina to get a hefty dose of these brain detoxifying fats, but it will change the colour of this smoothie to green!

Brainy Bites

Tart Cherry Juice:

  • A randomized, double-blind, crossover study in older adults with insomnia showed that tart cherry juice reduced insomnia severity (minutes awake after sleep onset).


  • Beets are a prebiotic food! Compounds in them, like pectin and pectic-oligosaccharides, have been shown to positively affect gut microbe types and activity, and to promote the growth and metabolism of the “good gut bugs.”


  • Despite the added fat and calories, the good fats and antioxidants in avocado are shown to curb the inflammation and vascular (eg. blood vessel) effects of hamburger patties (translation: add them to your burgers, sandwiches, etc.).
  • Avocado oil is shown to improve functioning of mitochondria (ie. our cellular powerhouses that produce our energy molecule ATP) and reduce free radical damage.
  1. de Olivieri, S. P.A., do Nascimento, H.M.A., Sampaio, K.B., & de Souza, E. L. 2021. A review on bioactive compounds of beet ( Beta vulgaris L. subsp. vulgaris) with special emphasis on their beneficial effects on gut microbiota and gastrointestinal health. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 61(12), 2022-2033.
  2. Li Z, Wong A, Henning S.M., Zhang, Y., Jones, A., Zerlin, A., Thames, G., Bowerman, S., Tseng, C.H., & Heber D. (2013). Hass avocado modulates postprandial vascular reactivity and postprandial inflammatory responses to a hamburger meal in healthy volunteers. Food & Function, 4(3), 384-391.
  3. Ortiz-Avila, O., Esquivel-Martínez, M., Olmos-Orizaba, B.E., Saavedra-Molina, A., Rodriguez-Orozco, A.R., & Cortés-Rojo, C. (2015). Avocado Oil Improves Mitochondrial Function and Decreases Oxidative Stress in Brain of Diabetic Rats. Journal of Diabetes Research. (in press).
  4. Pieterse, Z., Jerling, J.C., Oosthuizen, W., Kruger, H.S., Hanekom, S.M., Smuts, C.M., & Schutte, A.E.. (2005). Substitution of high monounsaturated fatty acid avocado for mixed dietary fats during an energy-restricted diet: effects on weight loss, serum lipids, fibrinogen, and vascular function. Nutrition, 21(1), 67-75.
  5. Pigeon, W.R., Carr, M., Gorman, C. & Perlis, M.L. 2010. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food, 13(3), 579-583.

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