Having bad breath stinks, both figuratively and literally. It’s awkward and distracting, and nothing ruins a social situation faster than realizing that everyone is trying to guess what you had for lunch that day.
Bad breath can be stem from a number of causes, but one of the biggest factors is what you eat: according to dental professionals such as Dr. Steven Lin, foods like garlic, onions, fish, and dairy products can all contribute to bad or odorous breath, especially when eaten in large quantities.
While a lot of these problems can be fixed by brushing your teeth, you might not always have the opportunity, especially if you’re on a date or in the middle of an office party.
The good news is, even if you’re not the type of person to carry a toothbrush with them at all times, there are a variety of ways to combat bad breath in a pinch.
In addition to maintaining proper dental hygiene, one of the more effective ways you can fight against consistent bad breath is by paying attention to your diet: While many foods are known to cause bad breath odors, there are just as many that you can consume to eliminate those odors as well.
Here are seven foods that can help eliminate bad breath. Who knows, maybe this list will come in handy one day. After all, life is unpredictable, and you never know when you might need to make a fresh first impression!
1. Sugar-Free Gum
You probably already knew that chewing gum helps to freshen your breath, but you might be interested in how it does this:
According to professionals such as the ones at the Smile Direct Club, sugarless gum contains xylitol, an alternative sweetener with the added benefit of inhibiting bacteria commonly found in the mouth.
The act of chewing gum also engages your salivary glands and increases saliva production, which also assists in flushing out the bacteria responsible for breath odors.
In addition to getting rid of bad breath, xylitol also helps to reduce plaque and prevents the onset of tooth decay. Talk about a win-win situation!
While many people see parsley as little more than a decorative garnish, the plant actually comes packed with a variety of health benefits, including the prevention of bad breath odors.
To cite Dr. Lin again, parsley is rich in chlorophyll, as evidenced by its bright green color, which serves as a natural cleanser and deodorizer against the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
Additionally, parsley is also known to have a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can even help to bolster your immune system against certain diseases.
Of course, it should be noted that the breath-freshening qualities that parsley has to offer are mostly temporary. Nevertheless, sprinkling some parsley flakes on a garlicky pasta dish might be just the thing you need in order to prevent an awkward first date.
3. Green Tea
A cup of tea can be a great way to relax after a long day, but did you also know that green tea can help prevent bad breath?
Specifically, green tea contains a powerful antioxidant known as catechin, which is effective at – you guessed it – eliminating the bacteria that cause bad breath.
And that’s just scratching the surface; green tea is fully loaded with health benefits as well, ranging from assisting with weight loss to reducing the risk of cancer. Move over, coffee!
With its unique taste, cinnamon is a fan favorite for dessert lovers everywhere. Now, I know what you’re thinking: does being on this list mean that cinnamon buns are healthy now? That sounds too good to be true! Well…not exactly.
While a cinnamon bun is still only about as nutritious as any other dessert, chewing on a stick of cinnamon might help to keep your breath nice and fresh.
This is because cinnamon contains an essential oil that not only eliminates bad breath but also keeps your breath smelling fresher for longer.
You can even try mixing cinnamon with honey and lemon juice to create your own homemade mouthwash!
With its abundance of protein, vitamin D, and calcium, yogurt is a healthy addition to any diet. But as it turns out, yogurt can also be very useful when it comes to preventing bad breath.
According to a study conducted by Japanese researchers, unsweetened yogurt can be highly effective when it comes to reducing hydrogen sulfide, a compound commonly responsible for causing breath odor.
Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re in the dairy aisle of your grocery store.
If you’ve ever been on a hike through the woods and needed to pack some trail mix to snack on along the way, then chances are you’re already familiar with our friend, the almond.
Almonds are high in fiber, protein, and a variety of helpful vitamins such as vitamin E and B2, making them a convenient and nutritious snack to take on the go. If that wasn’t enough, almonds can also be incredibly useful for reducing bad breath in the long term.
The nutrients found in almonds, such as calcium, have been found to help reduce tooth decay as well as strengthen the enamel of your teeth and prevent gum disease.
Not only do these benefits reduce the chances of chronic bad breath, the prevention of tooth decay and cavities means that these nuts could also potentially save you a few unwanted trips to the dentist as well. Thanks, almonds!
And now, let’s round out our list of foods that reduce bad breath with a cherry on top. With an abundance of antioxidants, cherries are certainly useful for more than just topping off a sundae.
Eating cherries also has the benefit of eliminating odors created from methyl mercaptan, a gas released by bacteria as it breaks down food in your mouth. Consider these tasty fruits as a sweet dessert alternative to not only stay healthy but also to keep your breath smelling great!