Foods to eat and avoid to prevent bad breath

Breath is an intrinsic part of personal hygiene, and it is indicative of a lot of health issues. But did you know that you may unknowingly be eating certain foods that can cause unpleasant breath?

Mac Singh, a dietician and co-founder of Fitelo fitness app, says the medical term for bad breath is ‘halitosis’. “While good dental hygiene is the first step in having fresh breath, the knowledge of which foods cause bad breath, and which foods mitigate it can also help to keep the unpleasant effect at bay,” he says.

Here is a guide shared by the expert.

Food that cause bad breath

* The first two food items are onion and garlic. They have a high amount of sulphur, which leads to an undesirable effect immediately after consumption. Sulphur gets absorbed into our body’s bloodstream and is released when we exhale, which leads to bad breath.

* The next food item is cheese. It contains amino acids that interact with naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth to produce sulphur compounds. In a final reaction, hydrogen sulphide can be produced, which is known to have an extremely unpleasant smell.

Cheese contains amino acids that interact with naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth to produce sulphur compounds. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

* The next items to be cautious of are beverages like coffee and alcohol. Both tend to dehydrate one’s mouth, allowing foul-smelling bacteria to grow. Since alcohol stays in the body’s bloodstream for extended amounts of time, its effects last for a longer time.

* Next on the list of foods to avoid for bad breath is high levels of sugar. It leads to an increase in the level of candida yeast in the mouth. An increase in sugar consumption can be identified by a white tongue, which is a sign that one may need to look into one’s diet and dental habits.

Singh says there is an equivalent list of foods and beverages that can help to keep bad breath away.

* The first item is green tea. It provides antioxidants, has natural compounds that fight bad breath, and also keeps hydration levels high, making it the best bet against bad breath.

* The consumption of mint leaves and parsley also helps one achieve fresh breath. Both these herbs contain natural chemicals that work as bad-breath remedies. These ingredients can easily be adapted into salad dressings, parathas, garnishes, and main dishes.

bad breath, foods that cause bad breath, foods to avoid for bad breath, foods to eat to prevent bad breath, oral hygiene, dental health, indian express news Mint leaves and parsley help one achieve fresh breath. (Photo: Pixabay)

* The next natural ingredient that one should know about is the spice clove. Cloves are antibacterial. One can chew whole pieces of cloves or make them into a tea to consume easily after meals to get instant fresh breath.

* Fermented foods like yoghurt and kimchi help rebalance the good bacteria in one’s mouth. While they may not produce an immediate result, they tend to work over a longer period and have been proven to be extremely effective in fighting bad breath.

“One should also adopt a good dental hygiene routine, including brushing teeth twice a day, using mouthwash, and flossing when needed. Since bad breath can also be a sign of cavities, gum disease, or a more serious underlying problem, in case one experiences it even after making recommended dietary and dental changes, they should visit a dentist,” the expert concludes.

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