The Nation's Health + vegetables

What cause bad breath and how to cure.

People casting around for long term ways to deal with an oral malodor problem often wonder what to eat for bad breath. Although suggestions for specific beneficial foods - mostly to temporarily mask the odor in the mouth - are easy to come by, there are few solid suggestions for lifestyle and dietary changes that will actually alleviate the problem. No doubt the best overall advice is simply to stick to a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant protein sources (beans, nuts), and low in fat, and refined carbohydrates.

The biggest offenders include cheese, coffee, onion and garlic. Garlic and onions are particularly potent, because they contain compounds that are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled by the lungs long after you’ve eaten.

Only time can really cure garlic or onion breath, but for most other food-related types of halitosis, a sprig of parsley, a good brushing (teeth and tongue), or some sugarless gum, mouthwash or mints should do the trick.

On the flip side, bad breath can also be caused by what you’re NOT eating! Fasting or going for long periods of time without eating can be problematic (typically experienced by people suffering from eating disorders). Finally, many medical conditions can contribute to bad breath, including periodontal disease, xerostomia (dry mouth), respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, postnasal drip, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues and liver or kidney disease.

healthy foodHerbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro, they all contain the green plant pigment chlorophyll, which is a powerful breath freshener.

More Fresheners for Your Mouth include these easy-to-find breath fresheners:

* Dill: It’s also rich in chlorophyll. Chew the seeds, or make dill tea by adding the leaves or mashed seeds to boiling water.
* Cardamom: It contains cineole, a potent antiseptic that kills bad-breath bacteria. You can chew the seeds and then spit them out.
* Anise: The seeds of this licorice-flavored herb have been used for thousands of years to freshen breath. Boil the seeds in a cup of water. Strain, and then drink or use as a mouthwash.
* Peppermint tea, a strong antiseptic, fights halitosis. Learn how peppermint perks up your brain, too.

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