Mentos are just sweets and candies. So, is there any relationship between these minty treats of candies and health? You should know that everything we put into our mouth has effects on our health and mentos is not exempted. There has been many myths and rumors about how harmful mentos are especially when combined with diets like soda or when eaten in excess. Well, mentos are not really bad like the myths project then to be, there are some benefits you can get from them.
WHAT ARE MENTOS?
Mentos are mint flavored candies that are available in stores and vending machines. They are so popular and come in a flat spheroids. The inside of these candies are soft and chewy while the outside is slightly hard. Mentos have varieties of taste and flavor like mint, cinnamon, strawberries, green apples, orange and mixed fruits.
Other flavors include lemon, grape, wintergreen, grapefruit, peach, plum, spearmint, strawberry yogurt, lemon yogurt, pineapple (pine fresh), red apple, currant and two versions of black licorice flavored mentos. There are varieties of mentos that are sugarless, these can easily be found in large supermarkets; there are also mentos chewing gum that comes in different flavors.
You may ask if mentos have nutritional value, well they have. A roll of mentos contains 14 mint spheroids while a smaller version known as mini mentos contain 4 to 6 spheroids per roll.
The nutritional value for the original mentos candy is;
- Calories 10 per serving
- Carbohydrates 2.5 grams
- Sugar 2 grams
- Fats and sodium have just a negligible amounts
Mini mentos contain
- Calories 40 per serving
- Carbohydrates 10 grams
- Sugar More than 7 grams
WHAT ARE MENTOS MADE WITH?
1. Mint Mentos
Mint mentos are made with sugar, wheat glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, rice starch, gum arabic, sucrose esters of fatty acids, gellan gum and natural flavors. There are no sugar substitute or flavour additive compounds in mint flavoured mentos. People with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should not take mint mentos to avoid reactions.
2. Fruit Mentos
Fruit mentos have a fruity and sweet taste. It is made with ingredients like sugar, wheat glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, citric acid, rice starch, gum arabic, gellan gum, sucrose esters of fatty acids, natural and artificial flavors; carmine, paprika oleoresin, beta-carotene and beetroot red as colors; and carnauba wax and beeswax, as glazing agents. Just like mint mentos, people who have celiac disease should not take fruit mentos to because they are made with wheat syrup.
3. Cool Mint Sugar Free Mentos
This variety does not contain sugar, they are made with sugar substitutes. Sugarless mentos are made with ingredients like isomalt, maltitol syrup, mannitol, hydrogenated coconut oil, polydextrose, sorbitol, gelatin, gum arabic, mono- and diglycerides of edible fatty acids, sucralose, sucrose esters of fatty acids, dextrin, natural and artificial flavors, titanium dioxide, as a color; and carnauba wax and beeswax, as glazing agents. Cool mint sugar-free mentos can be consumed by people who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease.
4. Sour Green Apple Mentos
Sour green apple mentos had a sour taste that is not felt in other fruits mentos as it contains tartaric acid that causes the sourness. Ingredients for making sour green apple mentos are sugar, glucose syrup, gum arabic, hydrogenated coconut oil, malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, manioc starch, artificial flavors, gellan gum, sucrose esters of fatty acids; yellow 5, lake blue 1 and blue 1, as artificial colors; and carnauba wax and shellac, as glazing agents.
Mentos may be used to keep the mouth busy, reduce bad breath but there are some health benefits of these candies.
Some of these benefits are:
1. Keeping The Teeth Healthy
According to an article by the American Dental Association in 2021, chewing gum can reduce the risk of having teeth cavities. Mentos have gum that are sugarless, chewing them 20 minutes after eating will prevent bacteria and acid from feeding on leftover food in the mouth. Apart from preventing cavities, chewing gum will cause more saliva to be produced. Saliva has calcium and phosphate that can keep the enamel healthy and stronger.
2. Burning Calories
Chewing a roll of candy or a stick of gum for an hour can help you burn 11 calories but when you chew for several hours, you are burning 50 calories. Imagine how much you can shred off in a month.
3. Losing Weight
A study by the University of Liverpool in 2007 showed that chewing gum can make you lose appetite and reduce your cravings for sweets and snacks, this will help you to eat responsibly. According to the study, participants who chewed gum burned 36 calories more than those who did not chew gum. This may look like nothing but losing 36 calories every day is a good start in a weight loss journey.
4. Improving Memory
The more you chew gum or candy, you increase how blood flow to the brain, this is very helpful nd can have lots of effects in the brain including improving the memory. Research has shown that chewing gum can increase brain memory by up to 35 percent, however, you should not chew for long hours as doing this can reduce the short term memory.
5. Reducing Depression
Research has proven that chewing gum two times in a day for 2 weeks can reduce the effects of depression, fatigue, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Chewing gum or candy is one of the activities that can be done to improve mental health and reduce mental illnesses.
6. Improving Digestive System
The digestive system needs to be working well so that foods can be easily digested. According to the National Library of Medicine, chewing gum can stimulate the secretion of gastric acid and digestive enzymes, this will help to improve digestion and make the digestion of food easier and effective.
7. Reducing Nervousness
It is not uncommon to feel nervous or anxious before an exam, meeting or interview, so chewing gum or candy can help. Gum and candy can relieve nervousness and anxiety.
8. Relieving stress
According to an article by the Journal of Clinical and Translational Research in 2016, chewing candy and gum can increase how oxygen flows to the brain while reducing how the stress hormone is produced in the blood. This makes it easier for stress to be reduced and regulated.
9 Reducing Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a digestive disease that causes stomach acid to irritate the food lining and allows food contents to go back up to the esophagus. To lower the acid level and reduce reflux, you can chew gum or candy especially after eating.
10. Fighting Drowsiness
One of the well known benefits of chewing gum is that it helps to fight sleep. If you are struggling with sleep while working, you can chew mint mentos to fight against the sleep.
11. Calming The Throat
Anything with mint flavor is known to have soothing effects on the throat. Chewing gum can calm the throat when you have cough, sore throat or gastroesophageal reflux.
12. Getting Rid Of Nausea
If you are experiencing morning sickness, motion sickness or stomach upset, you can chew sugarless mint gum. This is a natural remedy to relieve nauseous feeling. Do not chew candies but chew a stick of gum.
14. Eliminating Bad Breath
It is a well known fact that chewing gum or eating mint flavored candies will help to eliminate bad breath for few hours. Most people go for mentos when they want to mask bad or foul smell from their mouth but you should know that this will only eliminate the breath for few hours, it does not treat the bacteria that causes the foul smell.
ARE MENTOS BAD FOR THE HEALTH?
One of the benefits of mentos is the shredding of calories but do not forget that these candies contain calories. For every one ounce bag, there are roughly 500 calories which is almost as many as two hamburgers combined which is 520 calories. Eating excess of mentos means gaining more weight and this may not be the result you want for yourself. Eating mentos when pregnant is not advised because these candies and gums are made with artificial colours and sugars, these ingredients may be harmful to your unborn baby.
Mentos contains sugar and this is not healthy for diabetic patients as too much sugar will increase their sugar level and may lead to other serious health conditions. Another bad effect mentos have on health is that they can cause tooth pains and cavities. They are sweets that can stuck to the teeth while bacteria feed in them however they are not harmful if they only stay in the mouth for a short period of time. If you do not brush your teeth after eating mentos, you may be inviting cavities and tooth decay.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SWALLOW 40 MENTOS?
There is no risk if you swallow 40 or large amounts of mentos, the natural acid from the body will break them down before they can cause harm in the body. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to swallow large amounts of mentos as you may experience abdominal cramps, and vomiting. You can also experience irritation around your mouth and you stand a risk of having teeth decay.
Mentos are not harmful to the health, there are benefits they give to the body when used in moderation. Mentos can help to relieve nausea, depression, stress and anxiety, improve digestion but when use in excess, they can cause tooth decay and cavities, increase calories intake and may be harmful to diabetic patients and pregnant women.