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Beat Garlic Breath

Apples, Lettuce and Mint Leaves Can Help Deodorize Breath 

What’s the best way to cure a case of garlic breath? A stick of gum may be the obvious answer, but research published in the Journal of Food Science finds a fresh apple or simple salad may do the trick just as well—with nutrients to boot! 

Scientists from Ohio State University tested how well iceberg lettuce, Fuji apples, and spearmint leaves tamed bad breath after a garlic-heavy meal. Volunteers chewed fresh garlic for 25 seconds and then consumed one of the following: raw, cooked or juiced apples; raw or cooked lettuce; fresh or juiced mint leaves; green tea; or water as a control. Scientists measured the levels of breath volatiles (AKA smelliness) for the next hour. 

All foods but green tea helped a little, but some were better than others. Compared to water, raw apple, raw lettuce and mint leaves lowered the concentration of breath volatiles by 50% or more in the following 30 minutes. Researchers suspect this has to do with the levels of phenolic compounds and polyphenol oxidase (PPO, an enzyme that causes browning) in the foods. These compounds likely interacted with the volatile compounds in garlic helping to tame bad breath. DNN readers know these same phenolic compounds also benefit health

Bad breath aside, there are plenty of reasons to go heavy on the garlic. We’ve seen how garlic can help promote heart health, prevent bone loss, support immune function, and lower risk of stroke. Garlic breath may not be the most pleasant side effect, especially on upcoming Valentine’s Day, but we say it’s worth the odor for promoting your health. 

This Valentine’s Day, serve your loved ones our Garlic Ginger Fish with Fresh Vegetables …you just may want to add a salad or fresh apple to the menu!

Published February 1, 2017

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