Chewing Gum Helps Brain Activity

pete gamlen
pete gamlen / pete gamlen

All these years after your teacher took away your candy in school, a growing pile of evidence suggests that gum chewing actually improves concentration. A 2013 study published in The British Journal of Psychology showed that people complete memory exercises quicker and more accurately while they’re chewing gum. The positive effect was particularly noticeable as laborious tasks dragged on. (It’s because chewing may increase the flow of oxygen and glucose to the brain.) Other studies have credited gum chewing with reducing stress and improving test performance—leaving us to wonder why Hubba Bubba hasn’t come out with an SAT flavor yet.

This story appeared in the December 2014 issue of mental_floss magazine. To subscribe, click here.