Food containing charcoal as an ingredient is the latest craze for both social media and food addicts. These unique looking foods possess that familiar black color as a result of ingredients made from oak, bamboo, and coconut shells. The porous characteristics of the compound in these foods enable it trap in harmful chemicals and eradicate them from the body.
Such functionality as propelled activated charcoal to the stage for its numerous health benefits. It can be extremely beneficial on the body and aids in relieving bloating and gas.
For those with indigestion or individuals suffering from drug/alcohol/chemical poisoning, the compound can be utilized for quick treatment and to curb further health complications. It’s never recommended to overuse the compound since doing so can lead to dehydration, lessen the effectiveness of ingested medication, and minimizing the efficacy of vitamins and minerals.
Activated charcoal is basically a grounded black powder made from a combination of coconut shells, saw dust, coal, bone char, and peat.
A charcoal becomes “activated” when it’s processed at extremely high temperatures. Such temperatures would force an internal change in the structure thereby minimizing pore size, and dramatically increasing its surface area. This makes the charcoal more porous than ordinary charcoal.
People shouldn’t confuse activated charcoal with the ones used in a summer cookout. Even though both come from the same base materials, traditional charcoals aren’t “activated” at high temperatures. In addition, traditional charcoal has added substances that are dangerous for human consumption.
How It Functions
Activated charcoal functions by trapping in harmful chemicals within the gut, which prevents them from being absorbed in the body. The porous texture of charcoal contains a negative charge, which triggers the attraction of positively charged molecules like chemicals and gases. This makes it possible for toxins to be trapped and eliminated from the gut.
Since activated charcoal can’t be absorbed in the body, it’s capable of carrying harmful chemical to the surface and excreted out of the body in the form of feces.
Reasons for Taking Charcoal
There are a number of reasons why people have taken activated charcoal. One of them is to help manage a drug/chemical overdose or poisoning.
When utilized in conjunction with other treatments, activated charcoal is effective in addressing acute poisoning. However, it has its limitations in certain cases. The compound is rendered ineffective against cyanide, lithium, and iron-based tablets. Charcoal is never recommended for chemicals with high acids or bases.
When one is poisoned, one shouldn’t start second guessing. Contact the local poison control center right away. If none is available, head straight to the emergency room. Activated charcoal should be used immediately.
There are important uses of the compound including treatment of abnormal bile flow (in pregnant women), curbing gas, reducing bad cholesterol levels, and curing hangovers. Early studies done on activated charcoal in treating abnormal bile flow in pregnancy is severely limited. Further studies are required to prove its effectiveness and safety.
It’s still not clear as to whether or not charcoal can help in improving cholesterol and gas. This is due to some inconsistencies seen in research studies. As for dealing with hangovers, there’s little evidence that prove its efficacy.
In treating a poisoned individual, the compound is quickly mixed with liquid. Once thoroughly mixed, the drink can be given directly to the mouth or via a tube where it reacts immediately in the stomach.
Supplements and Regulation
Avoid using activated charcoal as a supplement if one is under a prescribed medication. The compound may lead to reduced absorption of meds.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States do allow the regulation of dietary supplements. Thing is, they see them as “foods” rather than over-the-counter or prescription meds. Unlike manufacturers that produced OTC or prescription drugs, those that make health supplements will need to indicate that their products are effective or safe to consume before introducing to the market.
One should inform their doctor of the supplement they’ll be taking regardless if it’s organic or lab-altered. This way, the doctor can double check and see if there are any possible side effects or negative drug interactions with meds, supplements, or herbs. The doctor will inform one if the charcoal-based product to be taken may or may not be dangerous.
Places Serving Charcoal Food
According to food and activated charcoal lovers, here are some places in the United States that serve the awesome black-colored ingredient in their dishes. Take note, these charcoal-based foods are completely safe to consume.
This restaurant offers whole wheat charcoal that are freshly made from the kitchen. One of their dishes involves a rolled combined with minty chutney, a layer of delicious cream, sprinkled cabbage, and dark chicken tikkas. This gives the dish that smoky flavor while the black appearance of the food makes for an exotic look.
The concept of seeing something completely different offers customers a unique dish to order. It will intrigue them in trying things out. Benefits of activated charcoal are so hyped that gives the food a different and interesting taste. According to the restaurant, the dishes served are perfect for anyone who loves spicy food.
2.Chicks & Friends
Activated charcoal is a cool ingredient found in baking goods and other recipes all throughout Asia. It gives off that distinct and unique look in baking products.
Bread made from this restaurant involves the addition of activated charcoal. The taste is somewhat similar to whole wheat bread. The only difference is that the crust is a little heavier or harder than what’s seen in ordinary bread.
Its chicken, which is crunchy and juicy, makes their charcoal-based “Zinger Burger” a delight in every bite.
This American delivery kitchen recommends visitors to give their “Black 01” drink a try. The beverage contains activated charcoal, which is said to have an amazing detox effect. It also contains mineral water, honey, lime, salt, and lemon.
The taste is very much similar to lemonade but has the added sweetness of honey rather than sugar.
One should keep take note that detoxing shouldn’t be utilized all the time. Concentration should be made in eating healthy foods as part of living an overall healthy lifestyle —- without requiring any detox.
This U.S-based dessert parlor provides delicious ice cream. It’s an unusual yet delicious dessert that customers have quickly become fond of. Their “Black Chocolate Monster” ice cream with carbon-based cone is one of their highest selling products for the past few years. It offers a mixture of rich texture with great taste.
Cherry is included on top of the Black Chocolate Monster along with chocolate chips and a spread of Nutella. It’ll one to go for second and third helpings.
A Short-Term Option
Activated charcoal is becoming a trend that has changed the minds of naysayers and first timers. With so many people believing in this black-colored wonder, giving any legit charcoal-based dish or dessert a go shouldn’t hurt.