Can you eat gum when sick?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat gum when sick, what does chewing gum contain, what happens if I eat or swallow my gum, what are the effects of gum when sick and what are your best options for gum. 

Can you eat gum when sick?

Yes, if you eat or chew gum when you are sick saliva production increases and may help you to feel better with nausea and abdominal discomfort. Gum reduces the amount of acid in your esophagus which can help reduce heartburn and reflux. 

What happens if I eat chewing gum?

The body can’t digest gum. If you eat or swallow gum it will pass your digestive system, intact, and will come out in your stool about 40 hours later. 

If you swallow large quantities of gum, they block your digestive system. 

What are the effects of chewing gum on abdominal discomfort and nausea?

There are several studies on the area but nothing is clear yet. Ginger or peppermint gum can soothe an upset stomach. Mint and ginger are natural remedies that have been used for a long time. 

Also, chewing gum promotes more saliva in your mouth that helps balance acids in your esophagus, easing symptoms of acid reflux. It can help with Gastroesophageal reflux disease and laryngopharyngeal reflux. 

What are the benefits of eating or chewing gum?

  • Reduce Hunger
  • Minimally affects insulin
  • Oral health 
  • Reduce nausea
  • Reduce heartburn
  • Burning calories
  • Lessen depression
  • Fight drowsiness

Reduce Hunger

It has been proven that chewing gum reduces hunger and reduces the intake of food in your next meal. Also, it has been proven that chewing gum for 30 minutes while fasting stabilizes a hormone that controls hunger. 

Minimally affects insulin

Some studies prove that chewing gum when fasting doesn’t affect insulin. 

Oral Health 

According to Sage, it has been proven that xylitol lowers the incidence of bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

Control food cravings

By chewing gum, you can control those food cravings. The simple act of chewing gum may help your body to reduce food cravings and lead to weight loss.

Reduce nausea

If you eat chewing gum that contains stevia, it may help to reduce nausea or abdominal discomfort. Stevia has been linked to reducing nausea. 

Reduce heartburn

When you chew gum, your saliva production increases and helps to reduce heartburn. 

Burning calories

Your body burns 11 calories per hour that you chew gum. 

Lessen depression

Studies showed that chewing gum twice a day reduced anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Fight Drowsiness

Mint flavor gum can help fight drowsiness.

How does eating gum affect your health?

The main concern with eating or chewing gum is that if you are using gum that contains sugar it may lead to tooth decay. Sucrose promotes an environment for bacteria to grow in your mouth. This can affect your teeth and oral health in the long run. 

What are my best options for gum?

I recommend that you choose sugar-free options. Look for sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, stevia, or aspartame in the ingredients. Aspartame and sodium cyclamate are controversial to health. They have been linked to different heart problems. 

Choose a brand that is sealed with approval from the American Dental Association. Brands approved are sugar-free options and have less risk of interfering with your dental health. 

Some brands you can find are 

  • Extra
  • Trident
  • Airways
  • Center Fresh

What does chewing gum contain?

They may vary from brand to brand. Chewing gum usually contains

Gum base 

It may include any of the following synthetic substances:

  • Butadiene-styrene rubber
  • Isobutylene-isoprene copolymer
  • Paraffin
  • Petroleum wax
  • Petroleum wax synthetic
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyisobutylene polyvinyl acetate

Sweeteners

  • Sugar
  • dextrose
  • glucose/corn syrup
  • erythritol
  • isomalt
  • xylitol
  • maltitol
  • mannitol
  • sorbitol 
  • lactitol

Softeners

  • Glycerine

Flavorings

  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Lemon or any fruit alternatives

Polyol Coating

It is the outer shell created due to water-absorbent powder to maintain the quality and extend the shelf life. 

Here is an example of the nutrition value of a typical sugar-free gum vs normal gum

1 stickSugar-freeNorma gum
Calories2 calories6 calories
Fat0 grams0 g
Saturated fat0 grams0 g
Trans Fats0 g0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 g
Sodium0 mg0 g
Carbohydrates1 g1.9 g
Dietary Fiber0 g0 g
Sugar0 g0.9 g
Protein 0 g

Conclusion

This article answered the questions: can you eat gum when sick, what does chewing gum contain, what happens if I eat or swallow my gum, what are the effects of gum when sick, and what are your best options for gum. 

Citation 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058446

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/swallow-gum.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26818376/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.