Foods that help fight bad breath

There’s nothing worse than meeting someone and recognizing that your breath smells like stale coffee or worse. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is usually a result of two things, oral hygiene, and gastrointestinal health. The problem in both cases is usually bacteria. The bacteria that reside in your mouth feast on food particles, producing sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. For many people, eating a mint or a piece of gum is the solution, as it quickly hides the problem; however, the results are only temporary, and they do not work to solve the problem.

There are many causes of bad breath, but did you know that some foods can help keep your mouth fresh?

Here are few foods that help fight bad breath:


Yogurt is excellent for your digestive health, and thus is a useful bad-breath neutralizer. Eating plain, sugar-free yogurt helps lower levels of hydrogen sulfide, a compound that causes bad breath. Moreover, yogurt is rich in vitamin D, that helps reduce mouth bacteria. Be sure that you consume the right kind of yogurt, with active cultures (probiotic), not overly processed or sugar-added varieties.


Apples are the best foods to eat to keep your oral hygiene in check, because of their natural detergent properties. The polyphenols present in apples break down the smelly sulfur compounds. Apples also scrub your teeth as you eat, thus removing the leftover food particles that cause bacteria in your gums and teeth. Moreover, apples help with the production of saliva, which keeps the mouth moist and rinsed out.

Herbs and spices

Nothing says smelly breath like garlic and onions. Parsley and basil are leafy greens that have the benefit of being packed with chlorophyll, nature’s internal deodorizer. They act as a mouthwash to help reduce bad odors. The polyphenols in these herbs also break down the sulfur compounds in garlic. Some other herbs and spices that are helpful for the same reason are coriander, mint, eucalyptus, rosemary, cloves and cardamom.

Berries, melons, and citrus fruits

Vitamin C, in these fruits, creates an environment that prevents bacterial growth in your mouth. Vitamin C is not only beneficial for keeping bacteria in check, but also helps fight gum diseases and gingivitis, which can also cause bad breath. Moreover, berries, melons, and citrus fruits have a high-water content, that hydrates the mouth and keeps bacteria away.

Green tea

Studies suggest that drinking unsweetened green tea helps ward off bad breath. Green tea is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that combat the growth of bacteria and help reduce bad breath causing sulfur compounds. Moreover, green tea not only ends smelly breath, but also defends your chompers from tooth decay and against certain types of mouth cancers.


Most odor causing bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they grow well in a dry mouth. Drinking water helps wash away any pieces of food stuck in your mouth, that bacteria feed upon. Moreover, water also increases the production of saliva, that acts as a cleanser, which is crucial for cleansing the mouth of food particles and bacteria.