Chew on This
If you look under any park bench or on any public sidewalk, it is easy to believe that the average person annually chews through about 0.6 pounds of gum. The popularity of gum can be attributed to numerous factors, such as its enjoyable taste and its ability to freshen breath. Flavors of gum range from winter-mint and spearmint to cotton candy and pineapple. If you consider yourself a gum connoisseur, make sure to choose gum that is sugar-free. Recent research suggests chewing sugar-free gum may provide health benefits for both the mind and body.
Sugar-free gum …
– Promotes oral health by stimulating the production of saliva, which helps to reduce plaque and fight cavities. It can also help re-mineralize enamel to strengthen teeth while reducing and preventing stains on tooth enamel.
– Assists with weight management by aiding in appetite control and helping to avoid “mindless munching.” Gum can be a low-calorie substitute for high-calorie snacks.
– Increases focus, concentration and alertness. Research shows that chewing gum increases heart rate and blood flow to the brain, which may improve the ability to learn, retain, and retrieve information.
– Reduces tension to help you cope with daily stresses such as waiting in line at the dining hall or driving in traffic.
-If you happen to get gum in your hair, knead a small amount of peanut butter between your fingers and the gum can then be easily removed.
–Gum does not stay in the stomach for seven years if swallowed. Instead, the undigested gum moves through the digestive system and out of the body through bowel movements.
-The import or possession of flavored chewing gum is prohibited in Singapore.
Chew Your Way to a Healthier You!
Revised By: Morgan Blonder Reviewed By: Peggy Policastro, MS RD– Department of Nutritional Sciences
References: International Chewing Gum Association. Available at: http://www.gumassociation.org/default.aspx. Accessed on Nov. 12 2012. Imfeld. T. Chewing Gum – Facts and Fiction: A Review of Gum-Chewing and Oral Health. Critical Reviews in Oral Biology and Medicine. 1999; 104: 10, 405-419