Eating slate pencil? Here are its benefits and side effects
Slate pencils are common in the classroom, as well as staple stationery found in homes too. But besides its obvious use, did you know that it is also often craved as a snack? Perhaps you or your friends have at some point, chipped off a piece of chalk or slate pencil and devoured it with longing. But is eating slate pencil healthy? Is there any slate pencil eating benefits and side effects? Let’s find out.
Eating slate pencil
Slate pencil is made from shale with added elements, such as clay minerals and mud. While there are no benefits or advantages as such of eating slate pencils, one cannot ignore that many people crave them. Recently edible chalk was put up for sale on a popular shopping site, receiving much chagrin from consumers. Primarily people with a compulsive habit of eating slate pencils or chalk have pica – an eating disorder. However, eating a bit of chalk may not necessarily have any major side effects. But consulting and checking with your doctor is the first and best solution.
Slate Pencil Eating Benefits
There are no verified or authenticated advantages of eating slate pencils. Yet, considering the ingredients of chalk, one can list a few possible slate pencil eating benefits if eating it in moderation. Again, always check with your physician.
Chalk contains calcium that can help in strengthening bones and teeth.
Slate pencils also contain magnesium which can help in phosphorus metabolism.
Another ingredient of chalk, calcium carbonate may aid in relieving heartburn.
Side effects of eating slate pencil
Eating chalk has, in fact, quite a few side effects. It also is indicative of certain deficiencies or behaviours that need correction. For example, it is observed that a person with calcium deficiency might crave chalk or slate pencils.
Some of the other side effects of eating slate pencil include:
No appetite: After eating chalk, there may be no appetite for other foods. This leads to a lessened consumption of healthy and nutritious intake by the body.
Feeling mildly dizzy: A side effect of eating slate pencil is feeling dizzy. A slight sense of light-headedness and unsteadiness are common too.
Irritation: Getting irritated and frustrated is another side effect of eating chalk.
Losing focus: One can also find it hard to focus or concentrate on something fully. The mind seems disturbed and not alert too after the consumption of chalk.
Damages mouth: Slate pencil is insoluble in water. Chewing on it can damage the inner areas of the mouth and also impact the taste buds, tongue, and sensitivity to taste, temperature, etc.
Bowel obstruction and constipation: Since chalk is not edible, it disturbs the digestion process leading to dysfunctional bowel movement and constipation.
Eating slate pencils during pregnancy
While eating chalk itself can lead to some side effects, consuming it during pregnancy must be avoided. It is common to have cravings during pregnancy. However, eating slate pencils is not recommended. Some of the effects of eating chalk during pregnancy are:
Vomiting and pain
Stomach and abdominal pains and vomiting can be caused by eating chalk during pregnancy.
The health of the unborn child
The unborn child can be malnourished if the pregnant mother consumes large doses of chalk. Besides, harmful elements in chalk, such as carbon and lead can also negatively impact the baby’s health.
Reduces haemoglobin levels
Keeping a check on haemoglobin is important during pregnancy. Eating slate pencils can lead to a fall in haemoglobin levels.
Potential diseases from eating chalk
Eating chalk can lead to several diseases or illnesses. Some of these include:
Abdominal or stomach parasites
How to stop eating pencil slate?
If you are suffering from a constant urge to munch on chalk or know of someone else who does, then here are some tips that can help you stop. However, seeing a doctor is on top of the list, there are few conscious ways in which one can also get rid of the habit.
Try your best to stop yourself from eating chalk. Put your best efforts into self-constraint and control your urges.
Distract and engage yourself in doing something else when the craving begins. Listen to music, read a book or go for walk to help your mind wander.
You can also try eating nuts or other healthy foods to allow the urge to pass.
Try to find out the cause of the craving. Is there a deficiency, mental health issues, or just plain boredom that is leading to the consumption of slate pencils?
Include calcium, vitamins, and minerals in your daily diet. Foods such as fish, milk, walnuts, green vegetables, etc. can help to maintain a balance.
Drink lots of water to avoid constipation. Also, exercising or doing yoga can help to divert your mind and keep calm.