You Got Rid Of The Vampires, But Now What? Curing Garlic Breath

If you like to eat garlic, you still likely don't like garlic breath. Even if you're not one of those people who exudes a garlic odor days after eating it, the effect it has on your breath and your personal relationships can be tiring. Garlic's distinctive odor is due to four sulfides, or sulfur compounds, that spread in your body after you eat the tasty food. Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash can mask the odor a little bit, but you often need extra help to really get rid of the smell. Luckily, you can combat garlic breath with foods that contain polyphenols, which act as deodorants. Here are five foods and drinks that you can use to make your breath fresh again.


Eating a raw apple can make a lot of garlic breath disappear. The polyphenols in apples, especially polyphenol oxidase enzymes, are what cause apples to turn brown when you cut them open. Follow a garlic-heavy meal with fresh apple slices, or add freshly diced apple to other desserts; the apples have to be raw and not cooked to have an effect.

Green Tea

Drinking some polyphenol-heavy green tea can help for the same reason. This is a perfect accompaniment to your garlic-loaded stir-fry meal, or any meal where you want your drink to be very light on calories. Green tea can also be a great drink when you relax after a meal.

Whole Milk

The fat and water content of the milk both work to remove sulfides. The water content acts like mouthwash, literally washing away some of the sulfides. But the fat has its own deodorizing properties, so don't drink skim milk thinking it will have the same effect.


This is one practical herb; place fresh sprigs of it on your plate as a garnish, and then nibble the garnish at the end of the meal. Like apples, parsley relies on polyphenols to provide deodorant action. You can mix garlic and parsley to good effect, too, but don't use dried parsley as a substitute. You need the fresh herb for this to work.


The next time you cook a garlic-heavy meal, add some spinach to the pan. Spinach is also rich in deodorizing polyphenols. You're better off having raw spinach, so if you need to cook it, cook it as lightly as possible. If you're making a dish that calls for spinach that's been cooked down, add a few fresh, clean leaves as garnish for the meal.

If you'd like other strategies for combating common bad-breath problems, talk to your dentist. There is a whole range of tactics, and your dentist will help you find the one that best suits you.