Healthy Chewing Gum Alternative

by Sarah Other, Snacks and Sweets, VideosComments: 44

healthy chewing gum

When I was a kid, I loved to chew bubble gum. I remember becoming quite proficient at blowing very large bubbles at summer camp one year.  From then on, chewing bubble gum became a favorite childhood pastime of mine.

While chewing gum once in awhile is certainly not a cause for concern, chewing gum every single day as a habit definitely can be detrimental to health.  As I covered in detail in a previous post The Sticky Truth about Chewing Gum, habitual gum chewing wastes valuable digestive enzymes and can contribute over time to TMJ and other jaw problems among other issues.

Fortunately, there is a very healthy chewing gum alternative to brands laced with aspartame or GMO sugar.

Even xylitol gum should be avoided on a regular basis as xylitol is produced by the heavily industrial process called sugar hydrogenation, the long term health effects of which are unknown. Xylitol also contributes to gut imbalance/candida problems, exacerbates acid reflux, and can trigger seizures in susceptible individuals.

In addition, oral surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas contend that too much gum chewing causes jaw stress.  Dr. Sinn, a UT Southwestern oral surgeon, warns that jaw soreness, jaw “clicking” or pain in the jaw, head, or neck can be signs of TMJ syndrome and that gum chewing should be discontinued should such symptoms emerge.

Given that gum chewing is commonly used to relieve stress, Dr. Sinn suggests other methods for reducing tension such as squeezing a ball, relaxation techniques or regular exercise to avoid the risk of chronic jaw problems.

Probably the most important reason to abstain from chewing commercially made gum is that it releases mercury from dental amalgam fillings.  A Swedish study found that people with silver fillings who chew gum for 5 hours or more each day had significantly higher levels of mercury in their blood and urine than those people with silver fillings who chewed gum infrequently.

Mercury levels in the blood, urine, and breath at exhalation increased in proportion to the number of silver fillings each study participant had.

So what to chew?

In this video, I show you a healthy chewing gum alternative that we use in our home when we just want something sweet and tasty to chomp on  – honeycomb!

Have you tried chewing honeycomb before?  If not, check out the honeycomb we like to chew as I describe the benefits you get from enjoying this age old practice.  Chewing a piece of honeycomb is not only healthy, but it is good for you too because the chewing doesn’t last too long, it adds enzymes to the digestion rather than removing them and is safe for those with amalgams.

Honeycomb:  Healthy Chewing Gum Alternative

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

Comments (44)

  • antibody

    Looks so yummy,but i can’t eat too much snacks,coz i don’t want to gain weight!

    April 16th, 2015 11:40 pm Reply
  • Brandi Shaw via Facebook

    I dont chew gum, thank goodness, i have amalgam sealants so there’s less of it than in a true filling.

    August 6th, 2014 3:26 pm Reply
  • Melissa Heath via Facebook

    Stopped when my doc said chewing gum is basically tricking your body that food is coming (w/chewing, salivating, swallowing). The stomach acid & enzymes flow to aid digestion, except there is nothing to digest, leaving some with GI symptoms.

    August 6th, 2014 1:59 pm Reply
  • Eniko Pongracz via Facebook

    Store it in honey for indefinite time!

    August 6th, 2014 1:50 pm Reply
  • Juliana Oushana via Facebook

    Just came back from Greece, this is what a server from our hotel gave my kids. Old news in Europe, I think. Cool stuff. Thanks for posting.

    August 6th, 2014 10:25 am Reply
  • Hannah Maggio via Facebook

    Love this stuff!

    August 6th, 2014 9:46 am Reply
  • Luanna Smiley via Facebook

    What is the shelf life and how do you store it?

    August 6th, 2014 8:27 am Reply
  • Kat

    I have a question about Xylitol maybe you can answer. I have read about the benefits of xylitol for dental health but have also read about the health risks involved with internally ingesting it. The question is:
    I have been using it to make homemade toothpaste and have an 8 yr old son. I am wondering if I should find a different recipe for my toothpaste? Any suggestions? I have tried putting baking soda in the toothpaste but he refuses to use it. I use coconut oil, xylitol, a small amount of Diatomaceous earth and some essential oil for “flavoring”. He refuses the store bought brands with other sweeteners and I feel like I have tried them all (from orange, mint, clove, fennel) without success . I feel defeated because the more I try to make things healthy for my family the more info I learn about the ingredients and then feel hopeless in finding something that is REALLY healthy,and beneficial, as well as practical, at the same time.
    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

    June 1st, 2013 2:40 pm Reply
  • Abigail

    For those of you looking for a fresher-tasting version, chew fresh whole mint leaves! you do have to spit them out after a while and (check your teeth in the mirror for any green left behind,) but it is really a great alternative. I did it all the time as a kid!

    February 4th, 2013 2:34 am Reply
  • Jennifer @ 20 something allergies and counting…down

    Sarah, you’re a genius!

    My daughter is 4.5 years old and is just getting interested in gum. We are well into healing her cavities (caused by early allergies + organic, gluten-free SAD diet) and have always steered a wide path around conventional sweets. I told her today that we’d look into making gum for her to try, but I wasn’t looking forward to that experiment. Enter honeycomb! I can’t wait to hit the farmers’ market tomorrow.

    Thanks mama.

    January 25th, 2013 10:37 pm Reply
  • Jennifer @ 20 something allergies and counting…down

    Sarah, you’re a genius!

    My daughter is 4.5 years old and is just getting interested in gum. We are well into healing her cavities (caused by early allergies + organic, gluten-free SAD diet) and have always steered a wide path around conventional sweets. I told her today that we’d look into making gum for her to try, but I wasn’t looking forward to that experiment. Enter honeycomb! I can’t wait to hit the farmers’ market tomorrow.

    Thanks mama. <3

    January 25th, 2013 10:36 pm Reply
  • meeda

    We. especially the young ones, have always ate and chewed the honeycomb and resin we call luban in Arabic (its very similar to frankincense but sweeter and less bitter than frankincense). We have done so because we are originally from Yemen, but now I can appreciate the benefits that go with it, thanks for the post!

    January 17th, 2013 3:28 pm Reply
  • taylor

    Thanks for this info. Any suggestions for a healthy “peppermint” gum alternative. I am a dance teacher and occassionally when I feel a little naseous while teaching will chew peppermint gum to help ease my stomach…Peelu…which has xylotal…..any ideas on a better alternative for such a situation? Thanks

    January 17th, 2013 9:56 am Reply
  • Erin Horn via Facebook

    I exclusively chew gum when flying to help my ears from popping and getting terribly stopped up- is the texture of honeycomb similar enough to gum to use it for this purpose? (I hope the answer is yes, so I be that weirdo with honeycomb at the airport)

    January 16th, 2013 11:46 pm Reply
  • Lyne

    I now wonder if it is the xylitol that makes me nauseated whenever I chew gum. It has the same effect on my son.

    January 16th, 2013 7:54 pm Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Destiney Marsh Fischer You can reverse the dental problems with diet and skip the gum that will cause other problems. Xylitol is unfortunately only a band-aid approach for fixing the root cause of the dental issues.

    January 16th, 2013 6:47 pm Reply
  • Ann

    Can anyone tell me who to contact to get onto ButterBuddies? I registered for it just after I joined WAP 2 months ago – I know it is a separate log-in from WAP, and I have my log-in info – I registered for ButterBuddies and got log-in info and an email from them, but could never log-in. Webmaster hasn’t replied to a couple emails, I called WAP HQ…Not having BB kills alot of the reason for joining WAP. Anyone know who to contact? I’m disappointed in the lack of response.

    January 16th, 2013 5:11 pm Reply
  • Marie Gagnon via Facebook

    I love this post! When I was young growing up in Quebec, my father was collecting fir tree sap from my grand-father’s farm. And we loved chewing on the resin, it was also very good for a soar throat.

    January 16th, 2013 4:07 pm Reply
  • Destiney Marsh Fischer via Facebook

    I chew an Xylitol gum, I had a few dental issues that it’s helping me reverse.

    January 16th, 2013 2:49 pm Reply
  • D Bundy

    Perfect timing! My son just asked me yesterday if it was okay to chew honeycomb. He hates gum, by the way, but my other son loves gum. I do remember chewing it as a girl since we kept bees. I’ll have to find a beekeeper, I guess, and ask if he/she would save it for me. Where do you get yours?

    January 16th, 2013 2:39 pm Reply
  • christine

    Several years ago I bought comb honey at a farmer’s market, really looking foward to chewing the comb. Imagine my horror when I bit into it and tasted paraffin! Many beekeepers do not allow the bees to make their own comb, instead they give them combs made with a mix of beeswax and paraffin. And of course many keepers will be dosing their hives with antibiotics. So be careful and know your source!

    January 16th, 2013 2:33 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Wow, good to know!

      January 16th, 2013 2:45 pm Reply
  • Shirley J

    I imagine you get a good dose of sucrose & fructose with the honey that comes attached to the comb. Not so good for folks with insulin resistance, NAFL, weightt issues. Seems like it would fuel the sugar cravings. I like to chew fennel seeds, typically something done by people from India. They often have a sugary coating on it but just plain old fennel seeds work just as well. They take a while to chew, clean out your mouth and breath.

    January 16th, 2013 2:25 pm Reply
  • Rochel

    Is this ‘allowed’ on GAPS? My husband LOVED chewing gum before he started GAPS, and misses it a lot-it always helped with his food cravings. He would be thrilled to have another option!

    January 16th, 2013 2:15 pm Reply
  • Linda Tarisha Graham via Facebook

    With a new new 6-wk-old baby and a toddler at home, I recently found myself chewing gum as a stress reliever!!? (Really don’t know how that came about cause i’m not a smoker!!!) The flavor of the orange ‘5’ gum just calms me; and Everytime I pop one in my mouth, I think about how ba this is for my stomach…but I do it anyway out of frustration! :/

    January 16th, 2013 2:14 pm Reply
  • Cecile Cates Gegg via Facebook

    My Mom used to buy this for us when we were young, and I loved it so. Didn’t realize that you could actually swallow it after the honey was all chewed out. I think I’ll be trying this again!

    January 16th, 2013 1:42 pm Reply
  • maria arroyo


    January 16th, 2013 12:51 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Smart meters are anything but smart as they emit constant radiation within close range to our bodies. I just attended a very troubling lecture on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation exposure which has spiked dramatically due to cell towers, cell phones, cordless home phones and smart meters.

      Here’s one resource that gives information on how to deal with your utility company to opt out (see her various articles on the subject):

      Check out the information on EMFs on this website:

      Share these two position papers of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine with your utility company and neighbors:

      I also encourage people to write a letter of concern to their local freebie neighborhood newspapers (and include some of the info above) so it can get published and spread the word about the threat of smart meters.

      January 16th, 2013 2:02 pm Reply
      • Beth

        But wait! There’s more!

        I just discovered an excellent short video on Smart meters and a PDF on how to opt out:

        Here’s an interesting bit of info from the PDF –
        “The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified radio frequency
        radiation as a possible carcinogen, putting it in the same class as lead and DDT.”

        (Gotta go get some honeycomb now – yum.)

        January 16th, 2013 2:43 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Maria, check back shortly for a reply I posted with some good info on how to handle this situation. It includes some links so it needs to be approved by Sarah first.

      January 16th, 2013 2:17 pm Reply
      • Beth

        Thanks, Sarah!

        January 16th, 2013 2:18 pm Reply
        • maria arroyo


          January 16th, 2013 3:29 pm Reply
  • Jeffrey Joseph via Facebook

    I am chewing gum as I am reading this! I don’t chew alot of gum though!

    January 16th, 2013 12:48 pm Reply
  • Amy Renee Guenst via Facebook

    mmmm honeycomb…..thanks again!!:)

    January 16th, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
  • Maria Abada via Facebook

    I learned a lot on this post!

    January 16th, 2013 12:17 pm Reply
  • Allison Fenbert Throckmorton via Facebook

    What about xylitol in toothpaste? What do you use for toothpaste Sarah? Even Earthpaste has xylitol in it…and I thought I was doing good!

    January 16th, 2013 12:14 pm Reply
  • An Organic Wife via Facebook

    This is also a good idea if you feel the need to snack in front of the tv.

    January 16th, 2013 12:01 pm Reply
  • Ann Dickinson Degenhard via Facebook

    Apparently we are ahead of the game on this one. After tending our bees, my daughter loves to chew “honey gum”

    January 16th, 2013 11:58 am Reply
  • DaeRae

    What a great idea! And so simple!! Now I’ve got to buy some honey with the comb intact!!!
    Thanks for the great idea.

    January 16th, 2013 11:52 am Reply
  • Nancy Kirgan via Facebook

    Alot of gum contains some latex…I know b/c I am allergic.

    January 16th, 2013 11:46 am Reply
  • Elizabeth Anne via Facebook

    It is terrible for your jaw!

    January 16th, 2013 11:36 am Reply
  • Brittany Barefoot Ramos via Facebook

    Since I gave up sugar and artificial sweeteners, gum is the one thing I miss the most. Thanks for the suggestion!

    January 16th, 2013 11:33 am Reply
  • Mia

    This is very helpful info because I use to chew gum a lot I had to stop due to upset stomach and sugar content in regular gum.

    January 16th, 2013 12:28 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The great thing is that the honeycomb completely dissolves and you swallow it bit by tiny bit within about 15-20 minutes so you don’t chew too long contributing to those TMJ and jaw issues that chomping on gum constantly can lead to over time. Chewing on honeycomb has a built in safety mechanism so to speak so you don’t absentmindedly end up chewing longer than is healthy for your jaw.

      January 16th, 2013 12:31 pm Reply

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