These Weird Foods Can Actually Freshen Your Breath

There's no two ways about it — bad breath is no fun, and can be pretty gross. How many times have you been with someone and wanted to throw a breath mint in their mouth while they were talking? Unfortunately, we've all been hit with it at one time or another, whether it's the overly garlicky pasta dish we ate for lunch, one too many cups of coffee before a meeting, or just morning breath in general.

There are many factors that can contribute to bad breath (via Listerine). Diets high in sugar or high in protein and low in carbs can result in bad breath. Too much alcohol, smoking, digestive issues, and even some medications can also be catalysts for what is affectionately termed as "stank breath." 

But there are also plenty of ways to get rid of it. The first is, of course, good oral hygiene. Consistent oral hygiene — brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day — is key to keeping odor-causing bacteria at bay. 

What if it is odor-causing food after a meal that's contributing to nasty smelling breath, though? It might surprise you to learn there are plenty of foods, both oddly weird and predictable, that can help counter the offensive oral odors other foods create.  

What are some of these unexpected breath fresheners?

Foods that can save your bad breath

Well to start with, coffee beans can help with your bad breath. Chewing coffee beans — yes, really — can help inhibit those bad bacteria that lead to dragon's breath, and they work particularly well in countering onion and garlic smells (via Real Buzz). 

No coffee beans in the house? No problem. It might surprise you to learn that an apple a day just doesn't keep the doctor away. Apples can help in the production of saliva to help cleanse your breath, rinse away the bad bacteria, and restore the right "ecological" balance in your mouth. Less saliva or a dry mouth leads to odor-causing bacteria, so try an apple the next time your breath is less than minty fresh. 

And speaking of mint, both it and parsley are natural breath fresheners. Apparently, it's their natural oils that help mask foul smells. Additionally, you can chew on cilantro, cinnamon, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, or cardamom for the same effect (via Everyday Health). If you don't have any of those fresh herbs and spices on hand, try oranges, lemons, and berries high in citric acid and vitamin C, both of which can help fight the bacteria that cause bad breath (Personal Care Dentistry). 

Other weird foods that can freshen your breath

There are also other items in your pantry or refrigerator that can help improve the smell of your breath. Some experts suggest trying yogurt — plain with no added sugar, of course. Studies have shown that good probiotics in yogurt can fight stinky breath odor. 

If you are a fan of green tea, you might want to keep some of it handy. Green tea contains the antioxidant known as catechin which can also fight bad breath bacteria. And don't forget almonds. When you chew them, they act like tiny toothbrushes scraping away the bad bacteria.

Also, pickle juice can be yet another tool that can help you fix your bad breath. While you may not be a fan of pickles, you may want to hang on to that jar of leftover juice after the rest of the family eats the pickled cucumbers. Why? Pickle juice contains both dill and vinegar, which while it may cause your mouth to pucker, they also work against the bacteria that leads to foul-smelling breath in the first place (via Healthline).