I Hate to Burst your bubble…. But I think its time we know the real truth about the world of chewing gum.
As children, we are taught the “art” of blowing bubbles with a piece of “bubblicious” Seems almost like a childhood pastime or hobby to be honest…… But, if you were to give that same child a piece of a rubber tire to chew on, wouldn’t seem so much fun.
Some use chewing gum to avoid smoking cigarettes or to control their anxiety, others use it as breath fresheners, whereas other’s just use it as an activity to do while bored.
So what’s the deal with this $30 blillion dollar industry and what about the orbit’s, wrigley’s, tridents that we just pick up casually at the checkout registers….
Here’s the scoop:
Chewing gum was first made from “chicle”, which is the sap that comes from the Sapodilla Tree (which is a native tree to Central America.) You would consider it to be a form of rubber, similar to a rubberband consistency. Chicle hardens and softens with different temperatures. If you put it in a colder climate, it becomes hard and if you put in your mouth, it loosens and softens.
This is all cool, except when chemists learned how to replace chicle with synthetic rubber that has the same qualities. This gum base is then mixed with “sugar” or “aspartame” so that when we chew the rubber in our mouth, it releases the different flavors we love…. Peppermint, fruit, cinnamon, etc etc.
So to Clarify, you are chewing on manmade rubber, chemicals and artificial sweeteners.
Ingredients of Chewing Gum:
- Gum Base –. In this goes plastic, glue, and paraffin wax (byproduct of petroleum).. these are not the technical terms but I am simplifying it.
- Aspartame – Toxic rat poison that is used in all diet products. (please read the post “Don’t do Diet”)
- Hydrogenated Coconut Oil and Starch – this is done to add shelf life to a product. This is what also creates Transfats.
- Color – Artificial food coloring are made from petroleum and titanium dioxide. (We need to make the rubber look appealing, don’t we!!)
- Sorbitol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, – sugar alcohols that are altered to become categorized as “sugar free.” And plus these names just sound like bad news!
So if we are basically chewing on… “a stick of gum” (which I have heard by many to be referred to as a “stick of cancer”)…………. then what is all this talk about it helping us with digestion, digestive enzymes and not to mention “helping our teeth”?
From what I understand there are a few schools of thought regarding these theories:
FACT: Chewing on something, naturally gets your enzymes to start working. Enzymes are necessary to digest food and absorb nutrients from the food.
So some theories say….. that since the stomach thinks you are putting something into it, but you really not physically putting anything …. You are tricking it! ( the “food” or the “gum” stays in your mouth.) But because of this, the stomach, pancreas, and other organs get the secretion of enzymes working for something that never reaches it.
Other theories say that since you are using up your digestive enzymes, maybe your next meal will not be able to be digested properly. For those who have digestion problems, chewing gum is most certainly going to create problems for you in the longrun.
Others say that it might be helpful after meals as with the increase of enzymes triggers the digestion and therefore helps with the process as well as heartburn and reflux.
And then there is also, this one……. Because you spend so much time chewing and chomping, you are taking in extra air. Extra air creates gas which causes belching and bloating… Sufferers of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can have flare-ups after chewing gum because of the excess air swallowed while chewing. This can put pressure on the intestine and cause cramping and bloating.
But rest assured, there is nothing natural about chewing a piece of plastic and chemicals, that tastes good because it has some aspartame on it.
Some dentists recommend sugar free gum, According to the American Dental Association:
“The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva to your mouth. And saliva is a natural enemy of bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. So, if you chew gum after a meal, the increased saliva you produce from chewing gum will actually help to neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. This is only true when chewing sugar-free gum, however. When you chew gum that contains sugar, the acid in the food you eat will eat away at your tooth enamel, creating the perfect environment for tooth decay to start. “
Whereas the Brittish Dental Journal published the exact opposite thing:
They found there was an ‘unrecognised risk of acidic flavouring in sugar-free candies and beverages.’
This makes absolutely no sense to me…… Most of the sugar-free chewing gum on the market is sweetened with aspartame, which has been linked to cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, tinnitus and birth defects. The rest of the gum out there is usually sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, which in addition to a number of health issues (obesity, diabetes, cancer), is also one of the main causes of tooth decay.
Some other interesting facts about chewing gum:
Oral Surgeons say that you put uneceesary stress on your jaw when you chew gum, It tightens your jaw and could lead to a lifetime of pain.
Dentists also say that If you have silver fillings in your teeth, you should definitely avoid gum as it realeases mercury from the silver fillings and studies show that those who had silver fillings in their teeth, and chew gum for more than few hours in a day, showed a higher mercury level in their blood. Also do not chew gum when you are pregnant and if you have siliver fillings in your teeth, the fetus can also feel the repercussions of that.
- Also , if you tend to have bad breath, you should start checking your digestive system, This is usually a sign that there is something wrong. Gum does nothing but mask it for a few hours.
- Gum is mostly used to relieve stress, so you should try other reducing your tension by squeezing a ball, relaxation techniques or regular exercise, meidtiation of yoga.
Bottom Line is that you should think of an alternative to gum and not chew a piece of plastic with a lot of colors and articiial flavors in it! Try to steer clear of chewing gum, use alternatives like a drop of peppermint oil or organic biodegradable chewing gum that is now becoming more and more available!
Remember, be conscious of everything around you!