Chewing Gum Can Help Your Brain Function More Efficiently

by Unbelievable Facts12 years ago
Picture Chewing Gum Can Help Your Brain Function More Efficiently

Chewing gum is a common, mindless activity that many engage in while working, driving, or sitting in class. You may chew gum to freshen your breath or satisfy a sweet craving, but have you ever considered its effects on your body? Surprisingly, chewing gum can positively impact your health and even help prevent certain conditions from developing.

Cognitive Benefits of Chewing Gum:

  1. Enhancing Concentration: Instead of relying on caffeine to wake up and feel alert, try chewing gum. Studies show that chewing gum can boost brain activity and improve concentration for about 20 minutes, enough to prepare you for the day.
  2. Waking Up with Mint Gum: If you’re feeling sleepy, chew mint-flavored gum. Researchers at Coventry University found that people who chew mint gum feel less sleepy and appear more awake.
  3. Increasing Blood Flow to the Brain: Chewing gum can increase blood flow to the brain by 25-40%, resulting in more oxygen delivery. This enhances memory efficiency, with short-term memory improving by up to 35%.
  4. Improving Attention and Mood: Chewing gum can increase attention span, quicken reaction time, and elevate mood. Studies found that students who chew gum during tests score higher than their non-gum chewing peers and are more attentive in class.

Effects on Appetite:

  1. Suppressing Appetite: A Louisiana State University study found that those who chewed gum after lunch experienced fewer food cravings later in the day and were less likely to consume high-calorie snacks.
  2. Reducing Sweet Cravings: Chewing gum can also decrease cravings for sweets, even for those who chew sugar-free gum.

Health Benefits for the Rest of the Body:

  1. Preventing Tooth Decay: While regular brushing is essential, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals can also help prevent tooth decay. Gum stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away bacteria.
  2. Preventing Acid Reflux: Increased saliva production can help prevent acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. Saliva can neutralize stomach acid, and swallowing saliva stimulates muscle wall contractions, aiding digestion.
  3. Aiding Intestinal Recovery Post-Surgery: Chewing gum can speed up intestinal recovery after abdominal surgery, such as colon removal. Patients who chewed gum post-surgery experienced faster gas passage and bowel movements, resulting in earlier hospital discharge.

The next time you crave a high-calorie snack or a cup of coffee, opt for a stick of gum instead. You’ll not only save calories but also benefit from the surprisingly positive effects chewing gum can have on your health.

[Sources:ADA, Wired Magazine, CNN, PubMed, PubMed, Prevention]

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Picture Chewing Gum Can Help Your Brain Function More Efficiently
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