What to do: Healthy foods that cause bad breath
SUMMARY: Fruits and vegetables are great for the body, but sometimes these nutrient-rich foods cause halitosis.
Posted: May 8, 2013
There are plenty of ways to combat and prevent bad breath, and one of the easiest is to maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Some of nature's best have antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that keep both the body and mouth in proper function so your breath is minty fresh all the time. But what about those fruits and veggies that cause ailments such as halitosis and canker sores? Unfortunately, some of the yummiest produce that you commonly add to dishes wreaks havoc on your mouth, but no need to fret - there are plenty of solutions to stay healthy and avoid bad breath.
Long known as a major bad breath culprit, onions are stinky and smelly - but also chock full of vitamins. Onion breath seems to hang out for hours, or even overnight, regardless of how many times you brush, floss and rinse. It just never goes away!
Because of the sulfur in onions, the pungent aroma and taste sticks around while the food is being digested. If you're eating onions, you can get rid of that smell by chewing on parsley sprigs or mint leaves following your meal. If you don't have access to these natural remedies, make sure to skip out on the onions in social settings.
"It's not good for your friends, but it is good for your health," Dr. Rui Hai Liu, a chemist at Cornell University told The New York Times regarding a report in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. "Consumer buying trends have increasingly been toward less pungent, milder onion varieties."
Researchers also found that the more powerful the flavor of onion, the higher concentration of healthy compounds it has.
Juicy, sweet pineapple is a great treat on a hot summer day, but for some, just a few pieces of the fruit can cause canker sores in the mouth. With a high acidity level, pineapple can also cause damage to the tooth enamel. However, pineapple is also very high in vitamin C and potassium, aids in digestion and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can also reduce the symptoms of gum disease, relieve sore throats, treat sinusitis and fight infections. Its strange ability to be both beneficial and damaging may stir confusion, but you can experience all the good without the bad by following each helping of pineapple with a glass of water. This will help rinse away the acid left behind in your mouth after eating. However, be careful not to brush too soon afterward because the acid makes the enamel more sensitive to an abrasive toothbrush.
While dried fruits - like raisins - contain antioxidants and vitamins, they can cause damage to your teeth and cause bad breath. The high content of sugar and sticky nature of these fruits combine to be one damaging snack. Since it's likely that there are going to be some particles left behind around your teeth or gums, bacteria in the mouth are able to thrive and grow if you aren't careful. After eating dried fruits, make sure to drink water and brush your teeth, if possible.
There's no reason to give up some of your favorite fruits and veggies to maintain fresh breath. Increasing your brushing, flossing and rinsing habits can help reduce the symptoms. It can be helpful to avoid bad breath-causing foods while you're out with friends and family, but if you are especially concerned, you can carry a small container of mouthwash or a toothbrush around with you.