Little hack to combat lack of chewing (Mastic Gum)

Hey guys,

I don’t know if this has been discussed before but I have noticed that consumption of Huel has meant a reduction in chewing, and over time - jaw strength.

Last month I discovered Mastic gum (from the Greek Island of Chios). It’s many times stronger than standard gum and 100% sugar-free.

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed not only an improvement in Jaw strength but also definition/tone.

Additional benefits are:

  • Contains antioxidants
  • Is anti-inflammatory
  • Has antibacterial properties
  • Has antifungal properties
  • Can help digestion
  • Can help kill H Pylori bacteria
  • Improves dental health and freshens breath
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More info here https://sibosurvivor.com/mastic-gum-benefits/ :slightly_smiling_face:

Mmm I am very interested in this kind of products. Do you know other alternatives in europe?

Sure! I went for this one that I found on eBay : Mastic Tears

There is also this alternative if you prefer a flavoured version (haven’t tried myself) https://www.rockjaw.co.uk

What is the difference to other sugar-free gum?

I’m really interested you’ve experienced this, in what ways are you assessing your jaw strength, where are you finding it’s an issue for you? I ask because we are exercising our jaw muscles all the time - even just by talking. I personally don’t think it’s an issue for 100% Huel and less so for 50% Huel but I’d love to hear more about your experiences?

Presume it’s a tougher gum, so is more of a workout for those jaw muscles.

Many many times stronger! It also had health benefits that is not present in regular gum (see above).

Hey Tim,

I would strongly recommend having a read of James Nestor’s Book Breath (in particular the chapter on chewing), I think you will find it very interesting. :slightly_smiling_face:

A few facts from it;

  • 90% of the population now have some form of malocclusion since switching to softer diets (compared to our ancestors)
    -The more we chew and engage the masseter muscle the more stem cells are released, stronger bones, improved tone, and pronounced airways.

If I’m honest I hadn’t really thought about this issue too much until reading the above. It’s more of an issue with our diets in general (as opposed to singling out Huel!). I have been chewing Mastic for over a month now and have definitely noticed a change in my jaw tone, as well as the force i can bite down with…

Interestingly (or not) I automatically chew my Huel shakes, even though there is no necessity to do so.

Hi @jacobd

I’ve not read that book, but I have looked at a bunch of books/articles on orthotropics and orthodontics.

It’s true that softer diets may have contributed to oral malocclusion; however, it’s more relevant in respect of food texture during weaning and early years’ diets and, even more so, to hold one’s mouth in the correct position.

In Jaws, Kahn also spoke about the prevalence of malocclusion, but not at the 90% level. She also emphasised the relevance is in kids - why they need to chew.

The majority of foods in the west are softer foods anyway. I’m not sure how one could measure one’s jaw strength. There are orthotropic measures of occlusion, but jaw strength is really hard to assess in adults, especially over short periods.

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Hey James, thanks very much for your insight and the link to the Jaws book.

In the Breath, it is indeed noted that the majority of the foods in the West are softer (thus contributing to the problem!). I’m just saying that I have personally noticed changes in the short time I have been following the methods in the book; I also fast 16 hours most days, so It keeps me occupied!

Cheers,

J

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As an aside my wife is always commenting on how strong my chomping is. I can chew a marshmallow and make it crunch like I am eating crisps. I used to grind my teeth in my sleep and wake up with aching jaws. Had to wear a brace at night as a kid as was grinding down my incisors. Luckily I don’t do it anymore as I’d just be gummy.

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Just like me even down to wearing a brace at night as a kid. The one time my jaw locked for hours and my Dad took me to A+E but when I eventually got called in to see the Doc my Jaw decided to unlock :confused:

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How many of you are using chewing gum on a regular basis? Do you think it helps to reduce appetite? And what do you think about aspartame in chewing gums? Really that bad or harmless?

The danger posed by lack of chewing has been overblown and is wholly unfounded.

I don’t chew gum. I used to long ago, before Huel.

It can help, but appetite control is all in your head anyway.

I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners in general. If you get a gum, get some unflavored one, to help wean you off all the sweet tastes.

Regular chewing gum becomes unflavoured after 3 minutes anyway :rofl:

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I always thought that chewing gum increased appetite rather than decreased it because it stimulates the saliva production that makes your stomach is getting some food…and then it doesn’t.

That was often my impression, too. The presence of sweet flavour seems to activate cravings that would not have been there otherwise. If you use gum to fight appetite it usually gets worse. It is weird that there are so many articles on the web promoting it as a weight loss tool. Maybe it does curb appetite in some people, but I doubt that this is the majority. I just wonder how they got the idea that this should be the case…

I’ve never really looked into this properly so I’ve had a bit of a deep-dive for you guys.

The research suggests a tiny effect towards reducing energy intake, by tiny I mean about 35kcal in one study.

One study found the amount of food eaten was reduced by 10% in people who were restricting their intake but there are also several studies showing no effect at all e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4.

So if you feel chewing gum works for you go for it, if not that’s fine too.

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Interesting Dan, not how I perceived it until now. I’m not fully convinced it works for me, but I mainly chew it after meals - good when I don’t have toothbrush to hand. I do like to chew gum now and again, but find it doesn’t make me hungry after a while if I chew it on an empty stomach. My favourite brands are Blockhead and Chewsy. Both relatively expensive compared to stuff like Wrigleys, but better quality. The later does lose flavour quickly and has a chewing texture different to others. Neither use aspartame. Blockhead has vitamin enriched and CBD infused varieties.