Chewing gum has been with us since the Stone Age as it has been around for centuries now (the ancient civilizations like Aztec talk about chewing gums). Over the years, there has been a lot of curiosity as to whether chewing gum is good for the body or if we should stay away from it. This curiosity has led to studies to see what effects chewing gums have.

As early as in 1939, Leta Hollingsworth did some detailed studies and came up with linkages between chewing gum and cognitive functions. From helping with hunger management, memory alertness, improved learning and anxiety, chewing gum does have health benefits on the body. Below are some benefits of chewing gum according to Lybrate and Healthline.

MASTICATION-INDUCED AROUSAL: Mastication which is chewing in layman terms helps with the production of certain chemicals in the brain that promotes blood flow and improves performance. There have been studies that confirm improved performance if the gum is chewed before a test although it has no significant result if chewed during the test.

REDUCED CORTISOL LEVELS: People who chew gum have been found to handle anxiety and depression better as gum has been shown to stimulate the ventral part of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for causing depression. Studies have actually shown a relationship between chewing gum and improved focus, productivity, efficiency and improved professionalism. When a survey was conducted at the end of the day, gum chewers reported higher levels of happiness being at the job with reduced fatigue and stress.

INCREASE SALIVA FLOW: Chewing gum after a meal increases saliva flow. This helps wash away harmful sugars and food debris, both of which feed bacteria in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal could help keep your teeth healthy and prevent bad breath.

PREVENTS EAR INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN: Some studies have suggested that gum containing xylitol could prevent middle ear infections in children.

HELPS WITH LOSING WEIGHT: Chewing gum could be a helpful tool for those trying to slim down. One study even found that people who chewed gum were less likely to snack on healthy snacks.

HELPS YOUR GUT RECOVER AFTER SURGERY: Studies have shown that chewing gum after an operation could speed up recovery time.

It is important to note that what sort of gum you are chewing also decides the effect it has. The texture, flavour and density are some of the parameters that need to be considered also.

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