Is charcoal the new goji berry?

Charcoal has recently been touted as a superfood, which means it’s packed with health benefits that normal food may not contain.

Similar to goji berries, it’s been regarded as the cure-all for a range of ailments from a sluggish digestion to whitening teeth, but what actually is this black powder?

Charcoal is leading the charge in the world of trending health, as a powerful supplement. It’s been given a thumbs up from health guru’s, but can adding charcoal to your daily supplement regime really bring you health benefits?

According to some experts, activated charcoal improves organ function and cures bad breath. It’s also been claimed to cure jet-lag, and be the hangover cure many of us have been searching for. In fact, charcoal’s number one claim is that it supports a detox program, which makes sense given the black powder absorbs toxins and eliminates them from the body efficiently. This is why it’s been used in hospitals for many years as the treatment of drug overdose, alcohol and food poisoning and to stop diarrhea – it absorbs everything in its path.

Charcoal can be powerful and if not moderated, can absorb things in the body that we may not want absorbed. For example, people using prescription medication, charcoal could potentially absorb the meds, putting those people at risk.

Unlike goji berries, charcoal is not a superfood. In fact it is not a food at all……….

Charcoal does not appear in the Food Standards Code. Vegetable carbon (153) is approved for use in food as a food colour. This is the only avenue for adding “charcoal” to a food. Activated carbon can be used as a filtering aid but not as a food ingredient.

No health claims are permitted for Vegetable carbon (153) and at the levels used as a colour, it would not have any of the health benefits experts are claiming.

Black crackers will not deliver any health benefits but they are certainly a fun and funky addition to your cheese platter.  So, if you are after health benefits, the aisle of your local pharmacy is the place for you.

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