Chances are, you probably have a pack of gum in your bag or purse right now. But while it’s something that we tend to pop into our mouths simply to freshen breath after meals or on the go, chewing gum actually has so many more benefits than that! If you’re a gum chewer (or need an excuse to start), here are some of the positive effects of chewing gum that you should probably know about.
1. It combats nausea
If you’re prone to nausea, motion sickness or morning sickness, then carrying a pack of gum with you will help soothe your stomach. While peppermint gum will work, research suggests that herbal gums such as ginger work even better to soothe nausea, and don’t come with any side effects.
2. It helps you lose weight
Chewing gum can help curb snack cravings and stop you from overeating. Have a stick of gum when you feel like having a sweet snack, and chew gum after a meal to prevent you from needing dessert. Over time, all the saved calories will add up and help you lose weight!
3. It improves concentration and memory
Studies have shown that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain and in turn boosts mental performance. If you often have trouble with concentration, memory and reaction time, chewing some gum could actually help boost your cognitive functions by 25-40%
4. It makes you more alert
If you need an extra dose of energy throughout the day, don’t reach for a cup of coffee, reach for a stick of gum instead. The repetitive action of chewing gum and moving your jaw actually helps combat drowsiness and in turn will make you feel more awake and alert.
5. It aids acid reflux
Acid reflux is an uncomfortable sensation that some people experience if they’ve overeaten or lie down just after eating. By chewing gum, your saliva becomes more alkaline and you swallow more often. This can help combat acid reflux by neutralising and soothing your stomach and oesophagus.
6. It helps against ear pain on flights
You know that terrible feeling in your ears when you fly? Chewing a stick of gum could actually help alleviate all that pain and pressure. Chewing gum causes you to swallow more, and this is known to help equalise the pressure in your ears. This is one of the best effects of chewing gum!
7. It combats stress and anxiety
If you’re a bit fidgety in stressful situations, keep some chewing gum in your bag to chew on when you get anxious. Rather than shaking your leg or biting your nails, chewing some gum will be totally effective at calming your nerves, as it helps to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol.
8. It improves digestion
Chewing gum can help improve digestion by stimulating your digestive system. As mentioned, chewing gum stimulates saliva and makes you swallow more, but it also makes swallowing a lot easier. This helps to quickly activate the digestive system, and make sure that you never end a meal feeling super bloated or full. This is one of the really interetsing effects of chewing gum!
9. It helps fight cold symptoms
If you’ve ever dealt with a cold, you know that it often comes with unsightly phlegm and mucus. While you could go and purchase a tub of Vick’s Vapour Rub, a stick of gum could work just as well. The minty flavours of chewing gum can help get rid of all the nasty side effects of having a cold.
10. It promotes overall oral health
You probably already know that chewing gum helps freshen breath, as that’s the main reason why people use it. However, dentists actually approve chewing sugar-free gum as it kills bacteria in the mouth, prevents cavities and strengthens your tooth enamel. Win!
What do you think of the positive effects of chewing gum? Let us know in the comments!
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Current student at University of St Andrews, Scotland. Obsessed with anything related to beauty, skin care and finding the perfect pair of jeans. Instagram: @rachelmarieabreu