Did you know that there are actually health benefits to chewing gum? That’s right, the next time you grab a piece of gum, you can feel good knowing that you’re doing your mind and body good! Chewing gum might seem like such an insignificant thing but doing so can do things like help boost your brain power and improve your dental health! Keep reading for seven great and surprising benefits to chewing gum!
One of my favorite benefits to chewing gum is that it can help you with concentration. Chewing gum increases blood flow, which results in increased oxygen to the brain, which helps your memory. Studies have found that the act of chewing gum stimulates the hippocampus, which helps regulate memory and can increase short-term memory up to 35%!
If you go in to work or school dragging butt, consider chewing gum to wake you up! Chewing mint-flavored gum has been found to help you look and feel more awake. Studies done at Coventry University found that those who chewed gum showed a significant decline in feelings of lethargy and appeared more alert. The next time you have an early morning meeting or class, don’t forget to take some gum along!
3. Reduce Cravings
A common reason to chew gum is to curb your appetite or reduce cravings for sweets and it really works! Louisiana State University conducted a study that showed that chewing gum helps reduce your cravings for sweets. Now that we have awesome flavored gum like mint chocolate chip, strawberry shortcake or root beer float, it’s easier than ever to satisfy our sweet tooth by chewing gum!
4. Protect Your Teeth
You know how we’ve always been told to brush our teeth after every meal? I don’t know about you, but I’m not that disciplined. Luckily we can do the next best thing and chew some gum instead! The American Dental Association suggests chewing gum after your meal to help increase saliva production and wash away bacteria in your mouth.
5. Stress Reduction
The next time you’re feeling stressed and tense, try chewing gum. There are lots of healthy ways to relieve stress, but if you’re pressed for time and can’t get out for some air, chew a stick of gum instead. A study in Japan found that chewing gum relieved feelings of anxiety and found lower levels of cortisol in saliva than those who didn’t chew gum!
6. Improved Performance
The same study in Japan also found that chewing gum resulted in a substantial boost in total performance of multi-tasking activities. And the UK’s Cardiff University also found that chewing gum increased intellectual performance. Who would’ve thought that gum could be such a brain booster?!
7. Improved Digestion
Need another reason to chew gum? According to Fitday, chewing gum with xylitol right before or after a meal can help digestion. Chewing gum helps create more saliva, which then builds up more acid in your stomach and helps you digest food better than without the gum. Other studies have shown that chewing helps prevent acid reflux as well.
There are lots of great reasons to chew gum, whether it’s just to freshen your breath or to quell boredom, but now we know there more powerful reasons to chew gum! Have you ever experienced these benefits from chewing gum for yourself?