Studies have found that chewing gum can enhance both alertness and intellectual performance. It can also impact some parts of the human memory, including immediate and delayed recall.
Now researchers have reported that chewing gum could have a positive impact on mental wellbeing too. According to a study conducted in Melbourne, Australia; chewing gum could help to eradicate negative moods and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol .
The study asked 40 participants with an average age of 21 to perform a multi-tasking exercise . Participants were asked previously to complete a self-report measurement of their mood, levels of anxiety and stress; they also gave saliva samples which indicated cotrisol levels. Each participant completed the process twice once with chewing gum and once without.
It was reported that when the task was completed while chewing gum, participants were significantly more alert, reported a reduced level of both stress and anxiety and had significantly lower amounts of stress hormone cortisol in their saliva sample.
The mechanisms underlying the effect of chewing gum are relatively unknown; it has previously been hypothesised that, increased or enhanced blood flow around the brain may be responsible.
This research indicated that in the run up to an important exam or presentation, it may be possible to decrease anxiety and symptoms of stress while simultaneously freshening one’s breath!