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Chewing Gum May Boost Your Memory, Reduce Stress, and More

Ever feel guilty about your gum addiction? Don't. A simple piece of gum can wield more power than you think. While your teachers may have reprimanded you time after time to spit out your gum, they should have been more encouraging of it. Chewing gum can help boost your memory, reduce stress, and help wake you up. Why are teachers so against an innocent piece of gum again?

Gum Can Make You Smarter

Reports suggest that chewing gum can enhance memory performance. While the exact reasoning is unknown, the reasons may involve glucose delivery (i.e. a small boost of blood sugar to help your brain concentrate) and arousal mechanism (especially if you are chewing gum with a strong mint smell). Next time you need to perk your memory powers or concentration powers, try popping a piece of gum.

Stress Reducer

Chewing gum during stressful times has been found to help alertness, reduce anxiety, and reduce stress and salivary cortisol levels. If you are feeling stressed, a piece of gum can help soothe your nerves and give your mouth something to do. The methodical act of slowly chewing gum can help you concentrate on your tasks and keep a level head. Another good thing about chewing gum in a stressful situation is that you are less likely to reach for a pint of ice cream to calm your stress levels.

Wakes You Up

Another study found that chewing gum can help reduce the extent of sleepiness. The reduction in the daytime sleepiness while chewing gum might be contributed to an increased cerebral activity that comes from chewing gum or the fact that a mint flavor is especially arousing to the senses.

Health Accountability

Chewing sugar-free gum while grocery shopping has been found to reduce the amount of junk you put in your cart. This can make it easier to stick with healthy eating throughout the week. Chewing gum while you prepare dinner will also help you from consuming mindless calories. How many times do you taste your food while you cook? It is very easy to consume an extra 100-200 calories before you even sit down for dinner.

So gum may not be the next miracle drug, but chewing it does have some interesting benefits. Keep a pack of mint gum in your desk or bag whenever you need a little help, either with boosting your memory, reducing stress, or staying true to your diet.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of mike krzeszak

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