Limes

Ease the Pain of Acid Reflux by Chewing Gum

When you think of acid reflux, does the merry jingle of bubblegum pink Pepto Bismol pop into mind? If you suffer from acid reflux, chances are, “merry” is not how you think of it. It is certainly not merry to live with the painful and often debilitating symptoms of GERD or acid reflux. However, some people living with acid reflux are able to ease their painful symptoms by chewing gum.

Folks suffering from acid reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease/GERD) experience harmful stomach acids flowing back into their esophagus, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause a variety of symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Burning sensations in the throat and chest
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Permanent damage to the esophagus

In fact, according to some medical experts, like Dr. Mark Hyman, acid reflux is the third most expensive condition, behind heart disease and diabetes. And with estimates that 20% of Americans live with GERD today, that means 1 in 5 people reading this blog feel that burn, in more ways than one.

While there are plenty of medications that can help treat acid reflux, some turn to more natural options. Lifestyle changes like avoiding trigger foods, sleeping at an incline, and even chewing gum can help ease the painful symptoms. That’s right – I said chewing gum!

The health benefits of chewing gum have been known for some time; many studies have demonstrated that chewing gum can help improve memory, focus, and reaction time, as well as reduce stress, and anxiety, too. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which alkalizes the acids in your mouth. That alkaline saliva washes down your esophagus, easing irritation, and into your stomach, neutralizing the acids there, too.

But you don’t want to chew just any gum. Most conventional gums are chock full of unhealthy sugars and synthetic ingredients that can be more harmful to your health than good.

Patrick suffers from acid reflux, and he shared his experiences using all-natural chewing gum to help manage his condition:

 

Over the years I’ve been experiencing acid reflux on a consistent basis after eating, resulting in my dependence on heartburn medication. Later I found that chewing gum was a great alternative to my heartburn medication. While I was thrilled with how simply chewing gum was a healthier alternative to pharmaceutical medicine in helping resolve my condition, I was disappointed to learn about the unhealthy chemicals in many mainstream chewing gums out there. With a little research I found a few healthy alternative brands that do not use synthetic chemicals. Which was great news, but as I did more research I also learned about the environmental impact of chewing gum manufacturing. As I continued to search, I eventually came across Glee Gum. Which seems to be a win, win, win, solution for me. A healthy and natural chewing gum to help with my acid reflux, while maintaining sustainable environmental practices, and at a reasonable price. -Patrick, Glee Gum customer

 

Stick with a natural sugar-free chewing gum that will prevent (instead of incite) tooth decay, like Glee Gum sweetened with xylitol, which gives the added benefit of additional PH neutralization, saliva stimulation, and protection against tooth decay. Plus, it’s safe for people who have diabetes and those who follow the keto diet, too, since xylitol is shown to have negligible effects on glucose levels.

So the next time your esophagus is feeling a little acidic, grab a few pieces of Glee Sugar-Free chewing gum and show that acid you mean business!

Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit with Ingredients

How to Make Your Own Chocolate, Gummies, and Chewing Gum During Social Distancing

Traditional skills like baking bread, knitting, and gardening seem to be making a comeback. Many people are looking for productive activities to do while at home practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Why not make your own candy, too? Glee Gum’s educational, tasty Make Your Own Candy Kits will teach you how to make your own chocolate, gummies, and chewing gum.

We rounded up some of our favorite bloggers’ and YouTubers’ guides to making chocolate, gummy candy, and chewing gum in the list below.

 

Make Your Own Chocolate Kit

 

You may love chocolate, but do you know the history of this decadent dessert? Combining chemistry, world culture, history, and pure deliciousness, the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit is perfect for a kids’ homeschool project, grown-up date night, or family activity.

The Hayes family making chocolate

The Hayes family enjoyed completing the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit with loved ones – via video call, due to social distancing.

Make Your Own Gummies

 

Sweet, chewy gummy candy is a kid-favorite. A lot of gummy candy you find at the store is made with animal gelatin, but did you know that the great gummy texture can also be made with carrageenan from seaweed? Your family can find out all about it with the Make Your Own Gummies Kit, plus the lesson plan, if you want to learn even more!

Soaking seaweedSoaking seaweed is just one step in vegan-gummy making! Photo by Fun Learning Life.

Make Your Own Chewing Gum

 

If you’re a fan of Glee Gum, you will LOVE making your own chewing gum using our all-natural chicle chewing gum base. If you make your own chewing gum, you can choose your own flavors. The blogs and videos below are full of great ideas for creating your own custom chewing gum.

You can also read about how our founder, Deborah Schimberg, was inspired to create Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kits — and later, Glee Gum — in this blog on Fairtrade America.

 

Lucky Penny’s video about our Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit is one of our favorites!

Have you tried one of our candy kits to make your own chocolate, gummies, or chewing gum? Tag us in your pictures on Instagram @glee.gum for a chance to be featured on our page!

World-Autism-Awareness-Day-1

How Chewing Gum May Help People With Autism or Sensory Differences

With World Autism Awareness Day taking place on April 2, we wanted to talk about how chewing gum helps some people who have sensory differences, such as many of our friends with autism spectrum disorder.

While the full spectrum encompasses a wide and varying range of behaviors and conditions, many people who are autistic are over- or under-sensitive to sensory input, such as how things taste, smell, look, or feel.

Some people with autism find chewing to be soothing, because it provides a sensory input. According to the British National Autistic Society, “chewing and biting provide sensory input to the proprioceptive system, which regulates what different parts of the body are doing at different times.” However, this can be an issue when a child chews on or eats non-edible items.

Because chewing gum has been found to reduce anxiety, increase focus, reduce fidgeting, reduce biting and chewing behaviors, as well as other benefits, it is often used as a tool for kids with sensory conditions. Chewing gum can provide sensory input and offer an outlet for the desire to chew.

The great thing about sugar-free chewing gum is that you can chew as much as you want without worrying about tooth decay. Especially when you use gums with natural cavity-preventing sweeteners like xylitol. That’s what makes our Sugar-Free Glee Gum so sweet: not only is it all-natural, plastic-free, allergy- & keto-friendly, but it is also sweetened with xylitol for the added oral health benefits.

Do you find that chewing gum helps you in some way? Feel free to share your story with us by commenting on this blog post, or by emailing info@gleegum.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Young child in winter coat looking up outside and smiling a very wide, toothy smile.

Candies That Don’t Cause Cavities–Too Sweet to Be True?

Candy and cavities are often thought to go hand-in-hand, tooth-in-tooth. According to the CDC, tooth decay (also known as dental cavities) is the most common chronic disease in children and teens. With February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we thought we’d help answer an important question: Are there any candies that don’t cause cavities?

Sugar, which is used in most candy, lowers the PH in your mouth to an acidic level, thus breaking down the enamel on your teeth. Bacteria consume the sugars left behind in the mouth and the acid that results wears away at children’s teeth. So, in some cases, candy and other sugary treats can be contributing culprits in children’s cavities.

With our children in mind, Glee Gum offers a line of sugar-free natural chewing gum and Glee Tarts, both sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in most plant material. Over 25 years of testing suggest that using xylitol reduces tooth decay rates. It works by keeping the PH of the saliva in your mouth alkaline, where it should be.

Glee’s xylitol-sweetened tarts and gum mean that your kids can enjoy candy without the cavities! With all of its dental benefits, xylitol gives your smile a boost, too.

Chewing xylitol gum or enjoying tasty Glee Tarts are components of a well-rounded, healthy dental routine for children. Kids should be encouraged to floss and brush their teeth regularly to promote healthy dental hygiene.

Glee Gum makes 5 delicious xylitol sweetened gum flavors, including kid-friendly, fruity flavors like Watermelon, Bubblegum, and Lemon-Lime. Your kids are sure to love Glee Tarts too! Every box includes fruity pineapple, passion fruit, Meyer Lemon, and cherry flavors, all sweetened with natural xylitol to promote dental health. So your kids can have sweet, tasty candy, not cavities!

Sugar-Free-Glee-Gum

I Have PKU—What Gum Can I Chew?

If you are one of the thousands of people living with Phenylketonuria, known as “PKU” for short, there’s a chance you have a hard time finding gum to chew. PKU is a hereditary disease that affects the body’s ability to metabolize Phenylalanine (Phe), an amino acid that serves as the building block for proteins. People who have PKU must follow a strict diet, including cutting out artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Since most gum has aspartame, what gum can people with PKU chew?

Without the ability to metabolize Phe, it builds up in the body and, if untreated, can eventually lead to musty-smelling breath, urine, or body odor, seizures, tremors, stunted growth, irreversible brain damage, learning impairments, memory loss, behavioral problems, and more. A diagnosis of PKU is certainly life altering, and means there is a long road of strict diet and lifestyle management ahead. 

For someone with PKU, the best way to manage it, and prevent Phe from building up in their body, is to cut high-protein foods out of their diet. This strict diet should be followed for life, and research shows that those with PKU who do, can live relatively symptom-free. PKU diets are heavy on fruits and vegetables, low-protein grains, and healthy fats, like those found in avocados. Protein-rich foods like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, beans/legumes, and nuts must be avoided.

It also means no additives like yeast, wheatgerm & gelatin, or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, because they all contain high levels of Phe. Aspartame especially poses a problem for people with PKU because it is found in many foods today that are thought to be healthy and labeled “sugar-free,” “diet,” “light,” “reduced-calorie,” etc. But the consumption of aspartame by someone with PKU will most likely NOT be healthy, and to have the same effect on them as eating beef or peanut butter.

That doesn’t mean that someone with PKU will be devoid of occasional gum-chewing. There are other sweeteners that contain no protein, like xylitol, a naturally-occurring carbohydrate found in the fibrous parts of plants, which can be consumed without worry of a Phe build up.

Xylitol also has the added benefit of having tooth-decay prevention properties and having a low glycemic index, making it ideal for diabetics and those following a ketogenic diet, too! And lucky for those with PKU, Glee Gum offers a line of natural plant-based chewing gums.

The products in Glee’s line of gum are sweetened with either cane sugar or xylitol harvested from birch and beech trees, allergy-friendly, junk-free, and safe for those with food allergies or diet restrictions. It’s just another way that Glee helps you Change What You Chew. Click here to shop Glee now.

From-Tree-to-Glee-Website-Banner

Bubble Babble! Fun Facts for National Bubblegum Day

Animation by Riley Thompson for Glee Gum.

February 7 is National Bubblegum Day, and we want to help you celebrate with some fun facts about bubblegum! While you may think you know all there is to know about bubblegum, chew on these little tidbits–they may surprise you! Here are some fun facts about bubblegum in honor of National Bubblegum Day.

Q: How did bubblegum get its iconic pink color?

A: In the early 1900s, The Fleer Corporation created the first bubblegum to hit the market. At the time, chewing gums were an unappealing grey. The company added food coloring to the gum in the only color available.

Q: What is the world record for the most bubblegum bubbles blown at the same time?

A: In 2014 at the opening of the Cal Ripkin World Series, 721 people made the world record for blowing the most bubblegum bubbles at the same time. On July 11, 2018, that record was broken at the Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey, where 881 people gathered to help Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals raise awareness for a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Q: What really happens if you swallow bubblegum?

A: Contrary to rumors of intestines sticking together or that swallowed gum stays in your body for seven years, gum will only stay in your system for a few days. Most gum base is made out of a synthetic, proprietary formula–totally not digestible. Glee Gum is made with an all-natural chicle gum base, but we still don’t recommend you swallow it. Gum base isn’t meant to be digested!

Q: What is the biggest bubblegum bubble ever blown?

A: In Alabama on April 24, 2004, Chad Fell blew a bubble a whopping 20 inches in size–that’s bigger than a regulation size basketball!

Q: Is it illegal to chew bubblegum anywhere?

A: Yes! In January of 1992, chewing gum was banned in Signapore to help uphold the country’s reputation for being pristine, and to help alleviate major issues with chewing gum being stuck on the door sensors and cracks on trains, which caused many issues in functioning and service. In March of 2004, however, they lifted the ban so that gums with a medical or therapeutic benefit were allowed–i.e. sugar-free gums for dental care or nicotine gums for smoking cessation.

Q: What’s the most amount of bubblegum bubbles blown in a minute?

A: How many bubblegum bubbles can you blow in a minute? If you can blow more than 15, you will beat Michael Amato of New Jersey, who set the current world record in 2014.

Q: Is it true that in 2012, London spent three months cleaning gum off its streets to prepare for the Olympic games?

A: Yes! And they spent between 1-2 pounds per piece to clean up over 300,000 pieces! But that’s nothing–on average, it can cost the city of London up to 10 million pounds to clean chewing gum off the streets each year!

Q: What is the weirdest bubblegum bubble that’s been blown?

A: In 2000, Joyce Samuels of KY set the world record for blowing the largest bubblegum bubble… with her nose! That’s right, Joyce blew a whopping 11 inch bubble using only the power of her nose. She said she started doing this to amuse her kids and ended up amusing the world.

For more Gleeful tidbits about gum, check out our fun facts page! While you’re at it, find out more about what makes bubblegum so special.

Join the celebration for National Bubblegum Day by chewing on some Glee Gum. We have both all-natural, xylitol-sweetened Sugar-Free Bubblegum and cane-sugar sweetened Classic Bubblegum flavors. Both are designed to give you the nostalgic bubblegum taste and be good for the planet, too!

Happy National Bubblegum Day!