Sugar-free gum could lower cortisol levels and reduce stress

Biting your nails or chewing on pen lids due to stress? Sugar-free gum could be the answer

‘Stress Awareness Month’ is coming up in April and with so many people feeling extra stressed due to the impact of the pandemic, chewing sugar-free gum could be a cost effective way of managing stress.

The pocket-sized gum has been reported to boost moods, help sustain attention and reduce stress as the methodical act of chewing promotes blood flow to the brain, reducing salivary cortisol levels – the body’s primary stress hormone.

Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva flow which helps to wash away bacteria, viruses and toxins in the mouth, nasopharynx and upper GI tract. Saliva also flushes out acid produced by plaque bacteria and the sugars in food and drink, which if left to accumulate, results in the weakening of tooth enamel. 

Saliva contains some specific antimicrobial molecules, both antibacterial and antiviral, and since chewing sugar-free gum increases the flow of saliva as well as the rate of clearance of bacteria, viruses and toxins, the raised exposure to antimicrobial substance provides chewers with an indirect health benefit boosting the immune system.

Not only a quick fix for freshening your breath, and a proven stress and anxiety-buster, sugar-free gum also aids cognitive performance, which includes multiple mental abilities such as problem solving, decision making and attention. With remote working set to become a permanent fixture post-pandemic, sugar-free gum can help you stay focused and alert whilst working from home.

For those struggling with the increased Zoom fatigue, the results of various studies also indicate that chewing sugar-free gum can alleviate daytime tiredness and keep chewers alert, thus improving productivity and worker performance.

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