Every candy company has its own secret recipe, but the basis of every chewing gum is the same: a rubber base held together with resin, preservatives, oils, or waxes that keep the rubber from hardening, fillers like calcium carbonate that add texture, as well as colorants and added flavors. Some well-known artificial sweeteners include Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Mannitol, Maltitol, Sorbitol , and Xylitol. We'll discuss the benefits of Xylitol later on in the article. You can check out this post that demonstrates the process of making bubble gum.
Chewing gum dates back to ancient cultures like the Mayans, the Aztecs, and even the Ancient Greeks - long before the invention of rubber. What did our ancestors chew, then? They chewed on chicle, the raw latex resin that comes from the Sapodilla tree. The tree produces this tasteless and odorless sap to protect itself from injuries.
Reducing Stress & Boosting Memory
The one sensorial pleasure that lasts from infancy into adulthood is chewing. It calms us as much as it calms our babies! Try to think back to a time in your life when you couldn't chew solid food. How miserable was that? Chewing gum increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, which, in turn, increases brain functioning. It helps calm and sharpen the mind, as well as keeps you alert when you're sleepy.
Aiding in Oral Health & Reducing Heartburn
In addition, chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps lower the acidity in the mouth and the esophagus. This protects your tooth enamel and eases heartburn or acid reflux symptoms as long as the gum you're chewing is either sugar-free or contains Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that doesn't feed the bacteria in your mouth as processed sugar does. It prevents the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath, as research shows. The results are clear: "xylitol-containing chewing gum inhibits the increase in total salivary bacteria over a short time during which the salivary microbial composition is not affected."
And lastly, chewing gum may help you with nausea, especially if it's natural mint or ginger gum. According to WebMD, "This is especially true for motion sickness and morning sickness during pregnancy." Some studies even found that chewing gum helps with intestinal recovery after a C-section!
Now, let's address the elephant in the room: what happens when we mistakenly swallow chewing gum? This video post explains.