Need a quick stress buster? Try chewing (sugarless) gum, suggests a small Japanese study in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research.
Participants worked on math problems for 30 minutes to increase their stress levels, after which they either chewed gum for varying amounts of time (treatment group) or just rested (control group). Saliva samples were taken both before the math task and at multiple intervals after to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The result? Chewing gum for 10 to 15 minutes was associated with a significant drop in cortisol levels.
A study from Wrigley a couple of years ago in the journal Appetite similarly linked gum chewing to stress reduction. The current study, however, had no ties to gum manufacturers.