What is your reason to chew gum? Is it to lose weight, beat bad breath, to overcome your sweet craving or just chew on it when you are sitting idle?? I have seen people who never get bored of chewing gums! If you are one of those, then you'll be surprised to know these facts.
The chemical menthol, which gives chewing gum its minty flavor, is crucial in altering eating behaviors. It increases the desire for salty chips, sugary drinks, and candies. Its minty fresh flavor makes fruits and vegetables taste bitter, reducing your appetite for "healthy food."
Side effects of chewing gum
1. Menthol can provide a cold or numbing sensation in the mouth, which some people enjoy. Excessive menthol consumption can cause irritation, pain, and redness in the mouth and throat, especially in people with the sensitive throat.
2. Gum chewing might also cause stomach issues. After chewing gum for an extended amount of time, some persons feel abdominal discomfort, bloating, and can cause diarrhea. Gum can stimulate the intestines to contract and squeeze food through the digestive system faster adding to digestive problems.
3. Gum chewing can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and TMJ disorder. Chewing gum requires a lot of jaw movement, which can cause strain in the jaw muscles and joints.
4. Some chewing gums include sugar, which can result in cavities and tooth decay. People who are concerned about their tooth health should choose sugar-free gum. It is crucial to note that sugar-free gum still contains artificial sweeteners, which might have serious health effects.
Harmful ingredients that chewing gum contains
Most chewing gums contain several chemicals when consumed in large quantities, which can be dangerous. The following are some of the most harmful ingredients discovered in chewing gum:
- Aspartame: This artificial sweetener is associated with various health issues, including migraines, seizures, and cancer.
- Sorbitol: Sugar alcohol is used as a sweetener in chewing gum, but in large amounts, it can cause digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
- BHT: This synthetic antioxidant is to keep chewing gum fresh and flavorful, but it is related to many health issues, including cancer and endocrine disruption.
- Titanium dioxide: Even though this common food additive is used to whiten chewing gum, it is related to some health issues, including respiratory irritation, skin irritation, and organ system toxicity.
- Artificial colors and flavors: Many chewing gums contain artificial colors and flavors, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. These chemicals have been linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and cancer, among other health problems.
It's crucial to remember that the majority of chewing gum products contain small traces of these dangerous substances, yet moderate use is generally regarded as harmless. However, you should consult your doctor or another qualified health professional if you have any concerns regarding the components of chewing gum.
Healthy alternatives to chewing gum
Crunchy food like sunflower seeds will help you sate your urge for something to chew.
Crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers help keep your tongue busy while also supplying fiber and water.
Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea might assist to relax you and give you a comforting feeling in your mouth.
Drinking water can help you breathe more clearly and encourage the production of saliva, both of which are beneficial for overall health.
Make your next cup of tea or glass of water with ginger. If you're feeling brave and enjoy a lot of heat, chew on some fresh ginger. Put a Ginger mint in your mouth instead and let the spiciness balance out whatever is going on inside you.
Mints without added sugar can help you maintain alertness and keep your breath fresh.
The bottom line
It is not recommended to consume chewing gum regularly. The majority of chewing gums contain artificial sweeteners and other harmful compounds. Swallowing gum can lead to digestive problems, as it is not easily digestible and can cause blockages in the digestive system.
However, chewing gum can have some benefits for dental health, such as promoting saliva production, which helps neutralize plaque acids and remineralize the teeth.
Chewing gum may have some benefits, but it should not be consumed as a regular food item and should be used in moderation.