In the past few years, various scientific researchers have conducted studies on the effects that chewing gum can have on mood, memory, alertness, anxiety reduction, appetite suppression, and learning, to name a few.
Why, you ask? Well, it all began with a hunch that the simple act of chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain, which could, in turn, spark other healthful benefits.
Following are just a few of the benefits of chewing gum discovered by researchers:
A study at Cardiff University in the UK found that both alertness and intellectual performance were increased in gum-chewing subjects
Research journal New Scientist found that some aspects of memory seem to be improved by chewing gum, especially word recall
A 2011 study from Live Science found that chewing gum before taking a test improved performance, but chewing gum throughout the test did not.
Apparently, chewing gum for about 20 minutes is on par with mild exercise in terms of sending more blood to the brain. But continuing to chew after the warm-up required too much jaw-work, negating any added benefits.
This 2009 study found that chewing gum reduces anxiety, although it is unclear why.
Finally, this study conducted inTokyo suggests that prolonged gum chewing could actually reduce feelings of depression.
While it is too early to speculate why gum has these effects on people, the benefits can’t be ignored. There are few things cheaper or safer than popping a stick of gum in your mouth to achieve the benefits described above.
So go ahead and chew that gum in the office- you'll be better at your job and have the freshest breath of anyone around.