There's someone I really admire at the gym that I see every week. She's beautiful, she's smart and always has perfect form doing all the exercises… and then I saw her doing something which inspired me to share this habit I never ever do.
I used to think this habit was helping my health but I was wrong.
What was she doing? She was CHEWING GUM.
I used to be addicted to chewing gum too. I was led to believe if I chewed gum, I would reach less for sugary substances and it would help me maintain my weight. But after giving up this habit years ago, I've never been more healthy or had better digestion and here's why:
First of all, gums are full of artificial sweeteners that actually promote weight gain. Artificial sweeteners work against your body. When you chew something sweet – even when it has no calories – your brain is tricked into wanting more calories because your body is not getting enough energy (i.e. calories) to be satisfied. So you keep craving sweets, eating sweets, and gaining weight. This is why a lot of people never reach their full health potential or weight loss goals, because they are constantly being pushed around by these chemical artificial sweeteners that trick the brain and body.
Just take a look at the other questionable ingredients in popular gum products:
Eclipse Spearmint Gum: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Maltitol, Glycerol, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Acacia, Soy Lecithin, Aspartame, Color (Titanium Dioxide), Acesulfame K, Carnauba Wax, BHT.
Orbit Cinnamon Sugar-free Gum: Sorbitol, Gum Base, Glycerol, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Aspartame, Mannitol, Acesulfame K, Soy Lecithin, Colors (Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6), Xylitol, BHT.
Wrigley's Doublemint Gum: Sugar, Gum Base, Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Glycerol, Aspartame, Gum Arabic, Soy Lecithin, Acesulfame K, Color (Titanium Dioxide), BHT.
The second big reason I don't chew gum is because it messes with the body's ability to produce digestive enzymes, a critical substance that helps you get all the nutrition from food you need into your bloodstream. This even goes for gum that doesn't have controversial ingredients…
You see, every time you chew gum, you send signals to your brain that you are chewing actual food. Your body gets ready to digest food by creating the digestive enzymes your brain thinks you need. Now imagine doing this all the time and every day by chewing gum that isn't real food. You're tricking your body to produce digestive enzymes when they really don't need to. Over time your digestive organs become overtaxed and stop producing the amount of enzymes they once did.
Not to mention, chewing gum always made me feel bloated. No thanks!
What if you could chew something that was GOOD for you, freshened your breath and helped you digest food without the threat of reducing your natural digestive enzymes? You can! Try chewing on fennel seeds. It's amazing what chewing on a little seed can do. I keep a little bottle of fennel seeds in my purse.
I like to chew some after a big meal. Fennel seeds smell like licorice and taste a little bit like it too. I chew about a ½ tsp and it's just enough to get my mouth instantly fresh and clean. By the way, you don't spit these seeds out like you would gum, you swallow them because they are food.
Chewing on fennel seed has been used for many years in Asia for medicinal purposes. Fennel seed is shown to prevent gas, heartburn, bloating and upset stomach, freshen your breath, improve eyesight, relieve hypertension, and help coughs and bronchitis.
I hope you ditch the gum and give fennel seeds a try! The next time someone asks you if you'd like a piece of gum, what are you going to say?
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