Get your garlic fix without garlic breath

Garlic is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Did you know it can wipe out unhealthy bacteria in your gut, clear out plaque build-up in your arteries and make you flu-proof?

It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help prevent cancer and arthritis. It’s amazing stuff to say the least. But you know what’s not so amazing? Your breath after you indulge in your favorite garlicky dish.

Luckily, there’s a simple solution that allows you to continue enjoying garlic’s delicious taste and remarkable health benefits without causing you to clear out a room with your breath.

Researchers at Ohio State University recently discovered a few foods that have an incredible ability to neutralize your garlic breath…

In a recent study, researchers gave study participants three grams of soft neck garlic cloves to chew for 25 seconds. To verify that participants had garlic breath bad enough make a vampire cower, researchers tested their breath for several compounds that are known to cause garlic breath: diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, allyl methyl disulfide and allyl methyl sulfide.

Next, researchers gave study participants one of several foods to see which food neutralized garlic breath the best. They tried raw, juiced or heated apple, raw or heated lettuce, raw or juiced mint leaves, or green tea. And here’s what they found:

Raw apple and raw lettuce reduced the number of garlic breath-causing compounds by an astounding 50 percent. And, not surprisingly, mint leaves were even more effective at reducing all of the compounds that cause garlic breath. Heated apple, heated lettuce, apple juice and mint juice all reduced these compounds too, but not as well as raw apple, raw lettuce or mint leaves. Green tea, on the other hand, didn’t do anything to make garlic breath more bearable.

So the solution to your garlic breath could be as simple as eating a piece of apple, lettuce or a sprig of mint after your next garlicky meal.

And you know what else? Raw apple, raw lettuce and mint leaves are all very good for you in their own right. Apples are filled with antioxidants and fiber. Lettuce contains a long list of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. And mint leaves soothe inflammation in your stomach and promote healthy digestion. So you’re helping your health two-fold every time you follow up a garlicky meal with one of these three breath savers.

Sources:
  1. “Garlic: Health Benefits, Therapeutic Benefits.” Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  2. Rita Mirondo et al. Deodorization of Garlic Breath by Foods, and the Role of Polyphenol Oxidase and Phenolic Compounds, Journal of Food Science (2016).
  3. “Apples: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.” Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  4. “Health Benefits of Lettuce.” Organic Facts. https://www.organicfacts.net. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  5. “Health Benefits of Mint.” Organic Facts. https://www.organicfacts.net. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.