Foods To Eat If You Have Bad Breath

Bad breath can be an embarrassing condition leaving one feeling self-conscious in various aspects of life. From dinner dates to work meetings, bad breath is rarely deemed socially acceptable, except maybe for mornings when we've yet to reach for our toothbrush. Though it may not seem like it, knowing you have bad breath can be a good thing that leads you to take action. Some health experts suggest it's possible to still struggle with bad breath even if you're doing all the right hygienic things. If that's the case, it may be time to look at other causes or solutions, like your diet, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. And while it can help, a good strategy isn't just about avoiding certain pungent foods. In fact, one of the most common causes of bad breath is actually from the bacteria in our mouths, via WebMD. While some foods can exacerbate bad breath, others can function as natural fresheners by stimulating saliva and neutralizing pungent food odors.

Combating bad breath with food

Some spices are known for neutralizing notoriously bad breath-causing foods like garlic. These spices, also known as palate cleansers, include fennel seeds, star anise, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and grated ginger, via Medical News Today. Steeping these spices in hot water to create a tea can help reduce bad breath, particularly after pungent meals.

Additionally, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can help combat bad breath. These work by creating an environment in the mouth that prevents bacterial growth, via WebMD. Foods like bell pepper and broccoli not only prevent bacterial growth, but when eaten raw, they can have an abrasive effect that help clean teeth.

Not so surprisingly, fresh herbs like spearmint and peppermint help combat bad breath and can even impart a pleasant aroma in the same way breath mints can. But other herbs like parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and thyme can also help mask bad breath in addition to containing antimicrobial agents that can reduce bad breath-causing bacteria in the mouth, via Medical News Today.

Other great bets for fresh breath are foods rich in probiotics, like yogurt and kefir. Though probiotics are a type of bacteria, they're considered good bacteria that may reduce bad bacteria in the mouth. The key is to find yogurt without added sugar. Researchers in Japan discovered that consuming roughly 3 ounces of yogurt twice a day for six weeks reduced bad breath and lowered odor-causing sulfide compounds in the mouth, via WebMD.