Follow This New Tip to Alleviate Garlic Breath

Posted 11/08/2016 | By HealthCorps

A new study published in the September 2016 issue of Journal of Food Science found that garlic lovers who suffer with garlic breath can reduce breath odor by eating a raw apple or lettuce.

If you’re a garlic lover or just like to occasionally indulge in garlic-enhanced foods, you know that your breath after eating can be quite odiferous.  Bad breath or halitosis from garlic can linger for hours.  You can try brushing your teeth (hard to do when you’re on the move), chewing mint gum, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash, and still, the garlic odor in your mouth can persist.

In this study, researchers from Ohio State University gave participants three grams of garlic cloves to chew for 25 seconds.  Immediately after, the subjects were divided into several groups and given either water, raw juiced or heated apples, raw or heated lettuces or green tea.  Breath levels for volatiles were analyzed by mass spectrometry.

The groups that used raw apple and raw lettuce were found to have decreased volatiles in the breath by as much as 50% or more, compared to the water “control” group.  Apple juice also helped to reduce odor levels, but not quite as effectively as raw apple or lettuce.  Mint leaves and mint juice were also found to be effective, though not quite as effective as the raw apple and lettuce.  Heated apple and lettuce performed decently, but not as well.  Green tea did not work at all.

How do the raw apple and lettuce reduce garlic breath?  Enzymes in raw foods help to destroy the strong, lingering odors from foods, and phenolic compounds in raw and cooked foods help to destroy the volatiles responsible for the lingering breath odor.  Raw foods beat heated foods because they do both.

 Some other quick food tips:

  • Always buy nuts in the shells. Shelling nuts help to slow down your feeding pace.
  • Use plain zero fat Greek yogurt instead of cream as a base for dressings and dips or as a tangier alternative to (full fat) sour cream.
  • Drink a full glass of water between alcoholic drinks to limit those “sneaky” liquid calories.
  • Turn your cheat day around by simply going back to your balanced, healthy eating plan the next day. Don’t skimp on calories to “make up” for your cheat day.  It can end up making you feel deprived and lead to binging.
  • Adding pureed fruit like prunes or apple butter can moisten certain baked dishes and reduce fat content


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