Do you love chewing gum? Well you’re not alone. The average Brit chews between 120 to 130 pieces of gum each year and, according to Just One Ocean, it is estimated that over five years, over 1 million metric tonnes of chewing gum will be produced and chewed by consumers.
But aside from keeping your breath smelling minty fresh, did you know that there are several different benefits of chewing gum? Research shows that chewing gum can actually help with digestion, stress and even brain function. Continue reading to find out the five main chewing gum benefits for your body.
The main benefits of chewing gum
Boosts brain function
In a society that is relying on tech more and more, it is easy to become distracted by our technological devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops. Numerous studies have found that one of the main benefits of chewing gum can help you to concentrate more, as well as improving various aspects of brain function, including alertness, memory, understanding and decision-making.
Interestingly, in one study in particular, people who chewed gum during tests performed 24% better in short-term memory tests and 36% in long-term memory tests.
Another chewing gum benefit is that it can reduce stress due to the act of chewing, as it allows your brain to focus on chewing, rather than over-thinking about something. This is said to happen as the act of chewing has been directly linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
In fact, a study of university students found that those who regularly chewed chewing gum over two weeks decreased feelings of stress, compared to those who didn’t.
A further benefit of chewing gum can be a useful tool to curb eating cravings because it allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming any extra calories which can affect your diet. It is said that chewing gum can diminish any cravings, thus preventing you from overeating or snacking, which is one of the main perpetrators for putting on weight.
Even though it won’t help you shed any weight on its own, there is also some evidence that chewing gum increases your metabolic rate, making it work faster and preventing you from putting on weight.
Prevents tooth decay
There is a myth that chewing gum can be likened to sweets due to the sugar content found in them, thus causing tooth decay. However, this isn’t entirely true. Some types of chewing gum are perfectly fine for your teeth – particularly sugar-free varieties – and you can enjoy many chewing gum benefits.
Several studies have found that chewing gums sweetened with sugar substitutes, such as xylitol, are more effective than other sugar-free gums at preventing tooth decay. This is because xylitol prevents the growth of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath – sometimes reducing bad bacteria by up to 75% – without coating teeth in sugar and adding to the issue.
Please note that chewing gum is not a substitute for regularly brushing with a toothpaste – this is the best way to prevent plaque, tartar build-up, cavities and bad breath. Instead, chewing gum acts as a helpful addition to your oral hygiene routine.
Another benefit of chewing gum is that it helps to increase saliva flow, as it helps to stimulate the glands to produce more saliva. This is a great way to wash away any leftover food and remove bacteria from your mouth that has built-up over the course of the day.
This is great if you a prone to getting a dry mouth due to an inadequate flow of salvia. Therefore, this is why some doctors may recommend chewing gum as a way to counteract side effects of medications, or some oral issues.
While there are many benefits to chewing gum, there are also instances when it can prove to be quite annoying. When gum gets in your hair one way or another, it can be difficult to get it out. If you’d like to know how to get chewing gum out of your hair without damaging your locks, check out our blog post on this subject.
Take a look through our range of plant-based chewing gum. We stock both Peppermint and Spearmint to keep your breath fresh, as well as other fun flavours, including Lemon and Cinnamon!