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.
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.
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.
- Appetite: Effects of Chewing Gum on Short-Term Appetite Regulation in Moderately Restrained Eaters
- Journal of Applied Oral Science: Sugar-Free Chewing Gum and Dental Caries: A Systematic Review
- Clinical Practice and Epidemiolgy in Mental Health: Effect of Regular Gum Chewing on Levels of Anxiety, Mood and Fatigue in Healthy Young Adults
- PubMed Health: Major Depression
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Chewing Gum, Sugarless
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Chewing Gum