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Benefits of chewing gum

 Three benefits of  chewing gum (Photo: iStock)

Chewing gum packages line, the shelves next to check-out counters and our local street vendors so it's easy to get your favourite flavour of a pellet into your mouth without being mindful of its components.

While these may pose both dangers and benefits to your health, today, we will stick to the positive side of chewing gum.

Improves oral health

Chewing gum stimulates both mechanical and taste receptors increasing your saliva production, a key component of good oral health. A healthy flow of saliva helps wash away harmful food particles, thus reducing plaque, strengthening the teeth, protecting the teeth from decay and promoting a better-smelling mouth.

Gives a good mental boost

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), regular gum chewing improves the levels of anxiety, mood and fatigue. Some studies have reported that chewing gum increases blood to the brain by 25-40 per cent. Continuous chewing also activates the hippocampus, the part of your brain crucial to memory and learning. Chewing gum boosts memory, increases focus and enhances alertness, leading to better concentration. It is an inexpensive and effective way to help relieve anxiety and manage stress.

3. Helps your digestive system

Chewing gum offers excellent digestive health benefits. One study concluded that chewing gum suppresses appetite, especially the desire for sweets and reduces snack intake. It may help reduce hunger and cravings, increase feelings of fullness and help you eat less. Additionally, it may also help burn slightly more calories per day. However, it is unclear whether these effects result in long-term weight loss. Chewing gum can even combat nausea. Do you get motion sick? Try chewing gum; it eases acid build-up. The best part is it may also work for pregnant women fighting morning sickness.

While chewing gum has all these benefits, gum containing sugar can damage teeth. If you do decide to chew gum, opt for sugar-free varieties and choose wisely.

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