The ingredient used to create most black foods is activated charcoal, a trend which has swept over the world – the darker, the better. Activated charcoal is generally used as a potent natural treatment to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out, essentially cleansing the system. Often added to a number of local products, the ingredient is quite popular in the Mother City, but was recently banned in New York due to possible health risks.

Recent attention has been brought to the lesser-known side effects of ingesting activated charcoal over a long period of time. Activated charcoal acts like a sponge for chemicals and liquids in general and no studies or information are readily available to inform people of the side effects that could be brought about from frequent ingestion of something with such a high level of absorption.

Activated charcoal does not discriminate in what it absorbs, because of this it can also absorb the nutrients of some foods ingested with it and steal the nutrients meant for your body, as well as cause dehydration.

In this way activated charcoal can also reduce the effectiveness of medications such as oral contraceptives and cause unforeseen issues following over ingestion or necessary treatments it interferes with.

In New York City, the inclusion of activated charcoal in any food or drink products has been completely banned, “Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to use activated charcoal in food because it is prohibited by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive or food coloring agent,” says spokesperson for The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Carolina Rodriguez.

Popular activated charcoal products in the Mother City:

#WIN a beautifully hand-crafted Kuro-bo carafe worth R900 when you buy a @kurobocharcoal charcoal stick this weekend. Did you know? The glass used to make the Kuro-Bo carafe is made up of discarded soft drink bottles and jars collected by Swazi communities, preventing those items from ending up in landfills. Each beautiful carafe is uniquely designed in an organic shape, allowing a stick of Kuro-Bo charcoal filter in and out easily. Kuro-Bo Activated Charcoal is the first and only 100% #plasticfree, natural and recyclable water filter in Africa. Rated by our customers as “one of the best products available,” the activated charcoal stick filters water for up to three months at only R235 per stick. And the stick and packaging are 100% recyclable. To enter: 1) Simply add a Kuro-Bo Charcoal Filter stick to your basket and check out/purchase before the end of the weekend* Link to shop in Bio 2) Comment your name and surname, #done 3) Tag a friend Competition ends Sunday 16 July ’17 at midnight. T&C’s Apply. #win #plasticfreejuly #purewater #activatedcharcoal #waterfilter #competition #dontmissout

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Benefits and uses of activated charcoal:

– Treats overdoses or ingestions of poisonous things

– Can be used to whiten teeth

– Reduces bloating and treats bile flow problems during pregnancy

– Cleaning mould

– Water filtration

 

Affects of activated charcoal:

– Interferes with absorption of nutrients

– Reduces effectiveness of medication

– Constipation

– Blockage of the intestinal tract

– Dehydration

– Regurgitation into lungs following intestinal blockages

 

 

Picture: Instagram/innaturale_it

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Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.