Halitosis, or bad breath as it is commonly known, is a condition where foul odor is exhaled during breathing. This condition is mainly caused by bacteria that are inside the mouth and bacteria that reside in the digestive tract.
Two basic causes for the occurrence of these bacteria is dental hygiene that is poor and a gastrointestinal tract that is unhealthy. Another reason why foul odor is exhaled during breathing is an uncleaned tongue. Although proper dental hygiene (brushing, flossing) is one of the best ways to get rid of the odor, there are also kinds of food that help reduce or even eliminate bad breath.
Yogurt contains probiotics (good bacteria) that aid in digestion. Aside from this ability, probiotics also reduce the build-up of sulfite inside the mouth. When choosing fortified yogurt, it would be better to choose the sugar-free variety, as well as those that do not have artificial flavourings. Yogurt that has been fortified, especially with vitamin D, are recommended for preventing bad breath. Vitamin D is a potent substance that creates an environment that is unfavorable for bacteria to grow. Vitamin D-fortified yogurt that are low in fat are recommended for those who have halitosis.
Crunchy, Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber-rich vegetables and fruits are some of the best foods that prevent halitosis. Apples, pears, carrots and cucumbers are some examples of these types of foods. These foods help produce saliva, which helps prevent the buildup of plaque. Crunchy and fiber-rich foods also keep the mouth moist and clean, keeping bacteria that cause bad breath at bay.
Spices and Herbs
Various spices and herbs help fight bad breath. Rosemary, cardamom, parsley, spearmint and eucalyptus are examples of these spices and herbs. Chewing raw cardamom or parsley sprigs help reduce halitosis. According to studies, the chlorophyll that is found in parsley acts as a deodorant and mitigates the odor in one's breath. Although cinnamon does not mask breath odor, it does help decrease the build-up of anaerobic bacteria inside the mouth.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Foods that are abundant sources of vitamin C are also great for preventing bad breath. These types of food make an environment that prevents odor-causing bacteria to grow. The vitamin C in these foods helps in curbing the growth of bacteria in the gums and thus prevents the occurrence of gum problems or gingivitis. Also, foods that are rich in vitamin C help clean out food particles that are stuck between teeth. Examples of vitamin C rich foods are broccoli, lemons, berries, oranges and melons.
Other food and beverages that help reduce bad breath include water, dairy products and green tea.