Do you have any idea what the nutritional value of a pencil could be? According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), the nutritional value of 12 sharpened pencils is as follows. It contains 7 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of protein. In short, people who like to chew pencils for pleasure do not get much nutritional value.
When you think about it, a pencil doesn’t seem like the healthiest thing to eat. However, we all probably have an image of that kid in our class who would chew on one during class. Although less, there are nutritional benefits to eating pencils, but not enough to rely on them as your primary food source. Here’s the breakdown of what a pencil contains. Why you should and shouldn’t eat them, and some alternatives you can try instead.
A History of a Pencil
The word pencil comes from pencile, meaning small stick. The etymology of pencil has been traced back to the Latin pincerna meaning artist’s brush. It was later referred to as a paintbrush used for drawing on manuscripts. The term was first used for marking instruments in the late 13th century but only became common by the 16th century.
Basically, a pencil is an art medium or a writing implement. It is madeof a narrow, solid pigment core inside a protective casing. Mechanical pencils have more standardized casings than their predecessors, making them safer and more reliable. A pencil’s casing may be graphite, clay, metal, composite material, or wood. Pencils create an easily erasable mark due to their distinct combination of hardness and softness.
How It’s Made
Pencils are made of wood, clay, and composite material. Now, the question arises how much nutrition is there really in wood? Simply put, they don’t have any real nutrition, which doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy. They do offer some benefits as long as you’re eating pencils responsibly
For example, pencils can be good for your teeth because they help clean your teeth as you chew on them. This is especially true for colored pencils, which contain dyes that can act like natural toothpaste when chewed. Pencils also provide some calcium and vitamin D. Therefore, there is a perception that chewing on pencils can improve your health.
However, it’s important to note that pencil-eating during pregnancy may be harmful to babies. Moreover, they pose potential damage to tiny babies; they can cause choking hazards or other complications such as intestinal blockages.
Besides eating wood pencils, some people prefer eating slate pencils. However, there are no such benefits to eating slate pencils as well. To satisfy the cravings of pencil eaters, edible slate pencils have recently been produced. Although they are harmful to health, their advantages are yet to be explained.
Following are some of the benefits of eating slate/ chalk pencils.
● Slate pencils have calcium, which makes our bones strong. It also helps remove enamel from teeth.
● People with calcium deficiency may tend to eat edible chalks and pencils. However, they should always seek medical advice before going for this option.
● Moreover, there is calcium carbonate. Thus, eating pencils may reduce heartburns.
Pencil Eating Disadvantages
If you are still wondering can we eat pencils during pregnancy or otherwise, consider the following harmful effects of eating pencils.
- Eating pencils during pregnancy can cause malnutrition in your unborn child. Moreover, the presence of hazardous elements such as lead and carbon can also affect your baby’s health.
- During pregnancy, your body needs a high level of hemoglobin. If you eat pencils during this crucial time, the hemoglobin level in your body drops, posing health risks.
- Eating pencils can also damage your mouth. Significantly if you eat slate pencils or chalks, it damages the inner lining of the mouth.
Lets Sum Up!
Thus, after analyzing how pencils are made, we can easily conclude that eating pencils is not a healthy activity. Although people get a handful of benefits, yet the damages it cause outset those advantages. Therefore, one should avoid eating pencils, and try to go for healthy eating options.