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Benefits of Mint Chewing Gum

by
author image Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.
Benefits of Mint Chewing Gum
A pile of mint chewing gum. Photo Credit Dmitriy Melnikov/Hemera/Getty Images

Whether you chew gum for pleasure, boredom, relaxation or fresh breath, pick mint gum to reap some nutrition and overall health benefits. Chewing mint gum may even have implications for healthy weight management and affect your appetite. Use caution when choosing certain types of mint chewing gum that contain added sugar, however.

Effects on Appetite

If you’re overweight or obese, chewing mint gum regularly may help control your appetite and reduce your overall caloric intake for effective weight loss. A study published in 2011 in the journal “Appetite” found that chewing gum for at least 45 minutes, or 15 minutes per hour for three hours, reduced volume of snack-food consumption, appetite and snack cravings -- and promoted fullness. Researchers who conducted this study conclude that chewing gum may be a beneficial tool for appetite control and effective weight loss in overweight individuals.

Cavity Protection

Chewing mint gum may help prevent you from getting cavities. A review published in 2007 in “Journal of Applied Oral Science” found that chewing sugar-free chewing gum helps reduce cavities -- possibly because people often chew gum after meals and gum chewing stimulates saliva production, which is beneficial for cavity protection. Chewing mint gum that contains added sugar, however, may not provide the same cavity-protecting benefits as sugar-free mint gums.

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Effects on Mental Health

Surprisingly, chewing mint gum regularly may even affect your mental health. A study published in 2011 in “Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health” found that chewing gum two times daily for 14 days helped study subjects reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, mental fatigue and confusion after the two-week period was complete. This has implications for healthy weight management because depression can lead to unwanted weight gain, overweight and obesity, according to PubMed Health.

Other Possible Benefits

Several other potential benefits exist when chewing mint gum. It helps keep your breath smelling fresh, which can boost self-confidence. Choosing sugar-free mint gum over sugar-containing gum helps reduce your overall caloric intake -- one stick of sugar-free gum contains just 5 calories, compared to the 11 calories found in regular chewing gum. Finally, sugar-free mint gum may help prevent you from overeating, especially if you chew sugar-free mint gum instead of eating for emotional reasons.

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References

Demand Media