10 natural ways to make ‘onion breath’ go away

I’ll bet you didn’t know how good onions are for you.

Did you know that they are right up there with green tea and red grapes for their polyphenol content?  That’s right. Research shows that onions (especially red onions) are more powerful at fighting inflammation than a lot of ‘healthy’ vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

And onions can help make quick work of a summer cold. They’re rich in flavonoids and vitamin C to boost your immune system — and quercetin which acts as an antihistamine and relieves nasal congestion

There’s only one problem with this magnificent but underrated vegetable.

To put it bluntly, they make your breath smell bad — really bad — for hours at a time.

Here’s an explanation of why, along with ten natural ways you can take care of that problem —because no one should give up the benefits of eating onions…

Why onions make your breath smell bad

There are actually two ways that onions can give you “onion breath.”

The first happens when you eat an onion. Chewing it releases its sulfur compounds, which mix with the bacteria in your mouth. That’s why you can smell onion in your breath right after eating.

But why does it last so long? That has to do with digestion. When you digest an onion, those sulfur compounds get absorbed into your bloodstream. They make their way to your lungs, where they are released as a foul odor every time you exhale.

Here are ten ways to deal with onion breath. Some are “emergency,” after-meal methods, while others are preventive measures, taking into account the fact that the sulfur from an onion stays in your bloodstream long after you’ve digested it.

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10 natural ways to deal with onion breath

1. Drink green tea. Drinking green tea several times a day can really minimize bad breath when you do eat onions. Ironically, green tea is rich in polyphenols, just as onions are. But these polyphenols work like antioxidants, killing the sulfurous compounds in raw onions. However, you can drink too much green tea and experience adverse effects. Try blending berries — also very high in polyphenols — into a smoothie or drink mix for similar benefits.

2. Lemons. Rinse your mouth with lemon water two or three times a day, or just after eating raw onions. A tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water can help neutralize onion breath. Also, the citric acid in lemon juice can kill other bacteria that also cause bad breath. Just be sure and rinse your mouth with water afterward, so the acidic lemon juice doesn’t erode your tooth enamel.

3. Mustard sauce. This one is more of an emergency measure. Swishing mustard sauce in your mouth for a minute can help mask the onion smell.

4. Chew on some cardamom. Among its many health benefits, this Indian spice is well-known as a digestive aid. If you like the taste, chew on a whole cardamom pod and your onion breath will soon be gone.

5. Apples. The natural enzymes in an apple break down the sulfur compounds in onions and eliminating the cause of onion breath.

6. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar seems to have a million-and-one health benefits. Now you can add neutralizing onion breath to the list. Just rinse your mouth with apple cider vinegar and water to neutralize the odor.

7. Baking soda. Rinsing your mouth with baking soda dissolved in water will neutralize the smell of onions and, as a bonus, will help control the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

8. Drink milk. The fat content in milk neutralizes the sulfur in onions. Milk is also a natural mouth rinse.

9. Mint. Chewing on mint leaves will get rid of onion breath. The chlorophyll in the leaves helps freshen your breath and mask onion odor. Alternatively, breath mints and chewing gum will do the job. Just be sure and go for the sugar-free kind, especially if this is your go-to method.

10. Brush your teeth. If all else fails, brush your teeth with plenty of toothpaste right after eating onions.

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Sources:

10 Quick Ways Get Rid of Onion Breath — Carefree Dental

10 Health Benefits of Cardamom, Backed by Science — Healthline

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Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.