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The Calorie-Free Snack that Improves Your Mood

Date:22-06-2013 07:50:05 read:3
Category:Man-->Diseases

Chew your way through a bad mood.

Chew on this: Gum could help ease some symptoms of depression, according to a new study in the journal Appetite.

People with mild to moderate depression who chewed sugar-free gum in addition to taking daily antidepressants showed greater improvements in stomach-related problems linked to depression, including gas and loss of appetite than those who just took medication.

The results don’t surprise Andrew Smith, B.Sc. Ph.D., who researches gum’s effects at Cardiff University (though he wasn’t involved in this study). After all, previous findings show similar benefits after abdominal surgery.

Why? The mere act of mastication jumpstarts the digestion process, the Turkish researchers note. Gut hormones surge and nerve impulses spark your stomach into motion, stimulating your appetite and, um, keeping things moving.

Despite the positive results, your psychiatrist won’t be writing you a prescription for Trident to boost your mood anytime soon. For one thing, the study didn’t show what happens when you chew gum without taking antidepressants, Smith points out.

But reaching for a stick when you feel tense or anxious could prevent you from dropping down in the dumps to begin with, he notes. “Chewing is a rhythmic activity—like chanting or controlling the pattern of breathing—and that reduces stress,” he says. Chomping also releases muscle tension and stimulates the secretion of compounds called neuropeptides, which both help your body digest food and calm you down.

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    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013