We have all mercilessly popped chewing gum in all colours, shapes and sizes when we were children. But, if that was a habit you haven’t gotten rid of yet, Purva Indulkar gives you the pros and cons that you need to remember
The University of Reading recently concluded in a study that one of the most bizarre benefits of chewing gum is if a song has gotten stuck in your head, popping gum can make it stop! Who would’ve thought that your secret stash would one day help rid our brains of Iggy Azalea. But, chewing gum also contains ingredients that can adversely impact your dental hygiene.
- It improves memory According to psychologists, chewing gum improves memory and enhances cognitive powers. As you chew, the activity in a part of your brain known as the hippocampus, increases. This is also the region of your brain that is responsible for storing information and recalling it when necessary.
- It reduces symptoms of stress If patting your heart and saying ‘All is well’ is too filmy for you, just pop a chewing gum when you are stressed. The act of chewing gives you an outlet to effectively release nervous energy, frustration and irritation.
- It helps to manage weight While one serving of gum has 5-10 calories, the process of chewing it helps you loose 11 calories.
- It increases wakefulness For sleeping beauties who are forced to work a morning shift, chewing gum is a better bet than coffee to keep you alert. Chewing stimulates your nerves, activating the region of your brain attached to arousal, while also increasing blood flow.
- It may increase your junk food intake If you pop sugar-free gum when you are craving something delicious, it may distract you from your hunger. But, the minty flavour in most chewing gum makes fruits and vegetables taste bitter, naturally making you pick potato wafers and candy over healthy meals.
- It may cause gastrointestinal problems Chewing gum tells your body to prepare itself to digest food. So, the body secretes the necessary enzymes and acids. But, they have no food to digest, causing an overproduction of stomach acid, which results in bloating.
- It causes tooth damage Though sugar-free gums have xylitol that fights cavities, they still contain acidic flavours and preservatives that can cause dental erosion. This process can literally dissolve your teeth over time.
- It contain sheep products Chewing gum contains lanolin, a waxy substance that is derived from sheep’s wool. Although it’s not particularly harmful, it’s not appetising either.