Top 5 Benefits of Chewing Gum

History tells us that chewing gum has been a favorite pastime of people for thousands of years. In fact, the Greeks used to chew masticha, their version of the gum, made out of the resin from the mastic tree. The Mayans also made use of the sap of the sapodilla tree and made their own gum. But it was only in 1871 that a man named Thomas Adams patented a machine that produces the chewing gum we know today.

So why exactly do we chew gum, apart from the fact that it gives us something to do when we are bored? What benefits do we derive from chewing on gum? Here are 5 ways chewing gum can help you:

1. Chewing gum helps you manage your weight

A standard gum contains about 5 to 10 calories per serving. This is really low compared to other popular snack choices. Popping a piece of gum keeps you occupied and will thus stop you from eating food with higher calorie content. It suppresses your appetite, so that by the time you finish chewing, you will not be as hungry as you were before you opened a pack of gum.

2. It is a great stress reliever

Have you ever been stuck in heavy traffic? Have you ever experienced being in a ridiculously long line in a grocery store? Sometimes, in these situations, people get stressed simply because they are not doing anything except to wait for their turn. They begin to worry about the time they are wasting; they become very edgy and unable to keep still.

When you find yourself in a similar situation, chew a piece of gum and you will realize that you are chewing your worries away. This is because chewing is a physical activity where you are able to channel your frustrations.

3. It encourages you to focus

Often, athletes and soldiers are given gum to help improve their concentration and stay in the game. Also, various studies point out that gum improves memory. Those who continuously chewed gum throughout a battery of memory tests scored better than the non-gum eaters. This is why students are encouraged to chew gum whenever they are studying or taking their exams.

4. It is a great travel aid

Those who are not habitual plane travelers can find relief from ear irritation in the form of chewing gum. This is because the effects of changing air pressure are dampened by chewing gum. Also, a number of people say that chewing game reduces episodes of motion sickness.

5. It can be customized to suit various needs

Because chewing gum is a versatile product, it can made in such a way that it caters to the different needs of consumers. For instance, there are chewing gums with caffeine, so as to prevent drowsiness and give a jolt of energy to those who need it. There are also chewing gum substitutes for smoking, flavored with nicotine to help wean smokers from their nasty and self-destructive habit. Sugarless gum is also widely available, helping those with diabetes get their daily sweet fix without the guilt.