You may have seen black food items popping up all over your instagram and Facebook recently, from juices, ice cream, drink, toothpaste and even bread! It’s a trend that has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years!
The black colour comes from a natural substance called Activated charcoal! This black powder is commonly used in hospitals as treatment for poising and drug overdoses. Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. This then allows all those nasties to be flushed out of your body so you don’t reabsorb them. It is a potent way to cleanse your body of the hundreds of chemicals you are exposed to everyday.
Activated charcoal is also a great substance to take to reduce bloating and gas as it also binds to the gas causing by-products in foods that cause discomfort.
But: Activated Charcoal is not selective in what it absorbs, and will eliminate vital minerals as well as the chemicals and toxins in your body. So it is important to consume away from meals and do not consume every day! Activated Charcoal is powerful, so quality over quantity is best.
Consuming activated charcoal on a cleanse is an ideal time to do so as you are drinking lots of nutrient dense liquids to replenish your system after the charcoal has done its work. The extra hydration will also allow you to avoid getting constipated, which is a common side-effect of consuming activated charcoal.
Things to look out for are :
1. Activated Coconut Charcoal is best: food grade only. You can’t just use any old charcoal from burning anything!
2. Avoid taking either side of prescription medicines, as Activated Charcoal is so powerful it could affect your normal medications working.
3. This is a treatment you want to do once per month- as activated charcoal is not selective, and if taken daily can strip your body of essential vitamins and minerals!
4. Consume 2 hours before your meals to avoid stripping your body of all the nutrients in the foods you eat!
5. Drink lots of liquids to avoid constipation.