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7 Foods That You Didn’t Know Naturally Fight Bad Breath

Photo by Daniela via Unsplash

Sometimes when we realize our breath isn’t the freshest, it’s too late: we’re not in a position to brush our teeth, rinse with mouthwash, or pop a piece of gum. Sometimes, even if only rarely, we need to MacGyver our situation and reach for the nearest food item that can do the job temporarily. (Preferably, you’re in the produce aisle of a grocery store when the realization happens). Here are 7 foods that naturally fight bad breath. Eat up! For everyone’s sake.

Yogurt

Researchers from Tsurumi University found “the levels of volatile sulfide compounds, namely, hydrogen sulfide, decreased in 80% of the volunteers after six weeks. Further, the plaque and gingival indices in the yoghurt-eating volunteers were significantly lower than in the non-yoghurt eating group with bad breath.”

Apples & Lettuce

In their raw form, both of these foods “decreased the concentration of volatiles in breath by 50 percent or more” after eating garlic, compared to the control (water) for the first 30 minutes, according to researchers from the Ohio State University. Plus, apples naturally reduce plaque, which can lead to bad breath.

Cloves

Chewing on cloves can be just as effective as chewing on a stick of gum. And it will last a lot longer.

Parsley

Did you ever wonder why parsley is often the garnish du jour of certain foods? Especially garlic-laden ones like pasta? It’s because it can temporarily freshen your breath. When you chew on parsley sprigs, the freshening oils are released and your breath becomes magical. Fresh basil, rosemary, and cilantro work, too.

Lemon 

That strong citrus flavor that makes most people pucker is the same thing that jumpstarts saliva flow, which destroys odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Berries

Berries and other fruits high in antioxidants help ward off bacteria that causes bad breath.

Cinnamon

According to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, “…an essential oil from this spice can kill oral bacteria, including germs responsible for a chemical that imparts the rotten-egg smell to the breath. But one doesn’t have to suck on a cinnamon stick to knock out the offending microbes. Chewing a stick of gum will do.”

Tags: fruithacks
Julien Perry: Julien began her food media career more than a decade ago in Seattle as the restaurant reporter for one of the city's top newsradio stations, KOMO. Since then, she's been a columnist for Seattle Weekly, the Editor of Eater Seattle, the Wine & Dine Editor of Seattle Business Magazine and the Food & Dining Editor of Seattle Magazine. She has also contributed to Food & Wine, the Food Network and CBS Radio in NYC.Julien is also the co-founder of two Seattle-based start-ups: A dinner series called The One Night Only Project and an online chef-for-hire marketplace called Chefodex. As The Fresh Toast's Food + Drink Editor, Julien continues to spend her days writing about food and drink trends across the country.