If you want to improve your memory and intellect – start chewing while you study. Put something in your mouth and masticate, be it Wrigley’s gum or a Macintosh apple, adults and kids learn faster and remember more than non-chewers.

We are talking about 3rd graders through high school, including college students.

Teachers since time immemorial have considered “chewing” a mortal sin, yet the latest scientific research proves that it is a genius-maker. Professionals and executives who try chewing discover the power of insulin, oxygen and glucose in enhancing their learning-curve.

Can you imagine learning your Power Point presentations or how to abstract your journal articles in “half” the time? Some of the research experiments included both simple and complex memory, word and picture retrieval, telephone numbers, and basic analysis. They all come easier with chewing.

Professor Andrew Scholey of the University of Northumbria, (Great Britain), a specialist in cognitive research said in March, 2002, “The participants who chewed performed (significantly) better in tests and working memory.” Our field tests duplicated Dr. Scholey’s success.

Could you use a 15% increase in long-term memory, and a shortening of your Learning-Curve?

Here’s how it works: there were three groups: one chewed gum, the second did not chew anything, and the third, put nothing in their mouth and “chewed” air.


Here’s the science behind it: chewing stimulates a faster heartbeat, which in turn causes a surge in “insulin” to our brain.


The chomping action of our jaws makes our mouth water, and fools our glands into expecting the next meal, and they release a surge of insulin. The increased heart beat increases oxygen and glucose to our brain (mind-food!), so we remember 15% better. The greater the oxygen that reaches our two hemispheres, the faster we learn and longer our retention.

When we are stressed, we take in “less” oxygen, and learning falls like a rock. Glucose is brain food, it increases our learning energy. That’s all there is to it.


There are –insulin receptors in both our left and right hemispheres that enhance learning and improve memory retrieval. The science behind it that our brain is flooded by neurotransmitters when we chew that seeks out their neuroreceptors. Consequence: our concentrate is focused and a window of opportunity is opened for effecting learning. Coda: chewing produces insulin, increases oxygen and glucose flow to our brain – all (IGNITE!) learning.

Back to the research, Dr. Scholey, who found what we chew makes no difference, just that our jaws keep working so let’s hear it for Spearmint, Juicy Fruit or Sugar-Free menthol gum. The heartbeat of the “real” chewers increased three beats per minute faster, while the “make-believe” chewers increased one-and-one-half beats.

The control group of “normals”, the non-chewers, show no improvement in memory or learning capability.


They did not chew, did not increase their heartbeat, got no surge of insulin, oxygen nor glucose. Their engine was running on fumes.

Okay – what do we take away from this latest research from our British cousins?

If you are a kid or adult and have something to learn that will requires at least thirty minutes – start off with either some gum and keep it going throughout the session, later you can switch to an apple. Chew slowly, it will reduce your stress too. One thing – spread the wealth for the commonweal – tell a kid or an exec our secret, and improve the world – one homo sapien at a time.

N.B. We discovered that “chewers” increase their reading speed up to 15%.

One last point:

Parents have been judgmental about “music” while studying, and the evidence is that those who listen to “upbeat” tunes learn more, faster and remember it longer.

Further research showed us that Baroque classical music, which incidentally has 60 beats a minute, is far and away more conducive to improved long-term memory while studying.


Our resting heart - beats at “60” too, and a relaxed body and mind learns up to 50% better. It’s no coincidence that music that copies our heart beat makes us stress-free, so we learn faster and remember it longer. Turn on the music!

CODA: If kids and adults learn better with music – and it does prove out, give “chewing a try for an additional increase in speed learning power.

We recommend you start with a stick of sugarless Spearmint – my favorite.

Would you take the next ten minutes to permit yourself to add up to 20% to your long-term memory for NUMBERS?

This is the first session: the objective is to substitute nouns for numbers.


Personal and scientific research shows that kids and adults have difficulty remembering a string of numbers, yet it is easy to remember a “story”.

Here’s the first step – if you would like to have an upward leap of up to 75%.

Learn these conversions and you will soon release your genius – really.

#1 (one) is a BUN; create a mental image of a frankfurter in a bun.
#2 (two) is a TON; see a mountain of coal.. a ton of it.
#3 (three) is a TREE; your favorite – a Cherry, Maple or Oak?
#4 (four) is a DOOR; Does it have a peep-hole?
#5 (five) is a FIFE; the musical instrument – see it?
#6 (six) is a STICK; it can look like a “bat”
#7 (seven) is HEAVEN; how does heaven look to you?
#8 (eight) is a MATE; it can be your significant-other or an Australian friend.
#9 (nine) is a SWINE; a big, fat porker.
#10 (ten) is a HEN; See Col. Sanders chase it with an ax.

Try closing your eyes and repeating it, then do it backwards. See the pictures in your mind.

That’s it for your first lesson – we are converting numbers to words for easy association later.

Question: What is #11 (eleven)?

Don’t over-think it – use what you have learned. Release your talent.

Donna Holman is a CPA in Miami, Florida, and CEO of Speedlearning Institute, affiliated with Long Island University, 8th largest college in the U.S. Visit her website at: www.speedlearning.org for more interesting stuff

Author's Bio: 

Donna Holman,CPA is a partner in a Miami, Florida accounting firm, and an educator. She is the CEO of her own company,
Speedlearning Institute, an affiliate of Long Island University, 8th largest college in the U.S. For more FREE brain-improvements, please visit her website: