Build your salad - without a side of bad breath
SUMMARY: Salads are super healthy and great for the warm months ahead, but some ingredients can quickly cause bad breath.
Posted: June 3, 2013
When you are trying to stay healthy, it's very likely that you will try to incorporate salads into your daily meal plan. Salads are often chock full of vitamins, low in fat and keep you full for hours, but it is possible that the ingredients you are adding are causing you bad breath. Sometimes, even healthy food can have negative side effects, but if you follow this list of items that are good or bad for your breath, you won't have to worry about stinking up the room later.
Yes to… spinach
Leafy greens are a must-have in salads, but they are not all created equal. Arugula, kale and romaine all have great benefits for the body, but spinach has vitamins that actually protect your mouth! Spinach contains antioxidants, vitamins C, K and A, calcium, protein and fiber, all of which can directly or inadvertently affect your mouth. Fiber helps the body digest foods, and in turn fights bad breath that would otherwise be created by gases that are let out through the mouth. Have you ever noticed how spinach almost sticks to the teeth while you're eating it? While that might seem like a bad thing, it is actually protecting the teeth by leaving a film coating over the enamel.
No to… croutons
Crunchy, toasted bread slathered with garlic, spices and butter seems like the perfect addition to a pile of greens, but croutons won't be so great for your breath. Croutons are a bad breath food because although they can be coated with different seasonings, they are usually garlicky or have other strong flavors to make them distinctive. Unfortunately, that means the smell is also going to be strong out on your breath. Additionally, bread is known to stick around on the teeth and attract bacteria that cause bad breath.
Yes to… apples
Some people love adding fruits to their salad, and apples are a perfect crunchy additive that can replace croutons. Apples are not only incredibly healthy, the texture of this fruit helps to clean the teeth. The crisp and lightly abrasive nature of apples gets rid of built-up plaque.
No to… onions
Loading on a heaping pile of red onion to a salad makes it super flavorful and yummy, but it is going to have some lasting negative effects in your mouth. The pungent, strong scent of onions seem to last hours on the breath, even after brushing and rinsing, so it's best to keep onion out of your salad recipes.
Yes to… avocado
Recently, avocados have been receiving so much praise for their rich flavor, high content of healthy fats and abundance of vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a superfood that are good for your overall body, including heart, immune, blood and nervous system health, and they can be effective at treating halitosis.
Maybe to… cheese
You may want to carefully choose the kind of cheese you sprinkle on top of your salad, as some can be super stinky. When you're trying to avoid halitosis, it's a good rule of thumb to stay away from aged Parmesan, blue cheese or any otherwise pungent dairy product. To keep your mouth fresh, stick to cheeses like feta, mozzarella or a light Swiss. These delicious cheeses won't do as much damage to your breath.
What are the best kinds of dressing?
Ranch, Caesar and thousand island dressings are favored by many, but these creamy and strong-scented toppings don't do much for good breath. If you are trying to treat halitosis with your summer salad, try a fresh citrus or simple oil-based dressing that won't leave a strong aftertaste in your mouth for hours. A zesty ginger dressing can also be good, as long as it isn't creamy.