Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on June 2, 2016
The foods we eat affect our breath. Garlic and onions, known for their infection-fighting properties, have many health benefits. However, these healing vegetables can also leave the mouth with a distinctive, pungent odour. Cheese is another culprit, capable of creating sour breath after one bite. But what are the best foods to help fight bad breath? Here are five top foods that can help keep your mouth odour free.
Water: A sip of water can quench the thirst, but also dislodge particles and eliminate odour-causing bacteria from the mouth. Water also stimulates the production of saliva, the mouth’s natural cleansing agent.
Black and Green Tea: The bacteria-destroying polyphenols found in tea can help promote fresher breath. Green tea extracts have been shown to prevent oral bacteria from proliferating.
Parsley and Basil: These greens contain powerful substances called polyphenols, which can help break down odour-causing sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds, found in foods like garlic, onions and other foods in the allium family, are what make us cover our mouths after that to-die-for pasta dish.
Apples: Apples help break down odorous sulfur compounds and increase saliva production. Eating an apple after lunch can help refresh the breath and give a tasty finish to your meal.
Cherries: These sweet treats can help neutralize methyl mercaptan, another foul-smelling, gaseous byproduct of bacteria. While cherries contain health-promoting anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants), they can also stain the teeth. So eat them in moderation if you have concerns about maintaining a sparkling white smile.
The road to great-smelling breath starts with great habits, from the inside out. A healthy, well-balanced diet will keep the digestive system and internal organs working properly and efficiently. Excellent oral hygiene helps ensure that bacteria do not have the opportunity to grow and create infections. So, grab a bottle of water and a handful of cherries and give your breath a break!