6 Surprising Foods That May Help With Bad Breath

You are what you eat, and the popular saying also applies to your breath. While good oral hygiene (brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly) is fundamental for fresh breath, some foods can also deliver a deodorizing effect.

Eating apples can help combat bad breath, and the fruit provides you with ample nutrients.
Image Credit: skynesher/E+/GettyImages

Here, dentist David Mitola, DDS, founder of Mitola Family Dentistry in Cohoes, New York, discusses seven foods that help bad breath, so you can finally oust those offensive mouth odors — no stinging mouthwash required.

1. Apples

An apple a day may keep the bad breath away. Because apples are crunchy, they help dislodge bacteria and other foods that get stuck between teeth or on chewing surfaces, Dr. Mitola says.

They also contain antioxidants called polyphenols that can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and reduce the production of compounds that cause bad breath, he adds.

2. Leafy Greens

To keep stank breath at bay, you might want to mix up a big bowl of salad. “Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale contain chlorophyll, a natural deodorizer that neutralizes bad smells,” Dr. Mitola says.

Leafy greens also help balance your pH levels, keeping your mouth less acidic, Dr. Mitola adds. Here’s why that’s important: A more acidic environment will lead to a dry mouth and bad breath.

Even better, collard greens, spinach, kale, bok choy, okra, and Swiss chard are among the top 20 vegetables highest in calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel, according to the USDA.

3. Parsley, Basil, and Mint

There’s a scientific reason why parsley, basil, and mint leave your mouth feeling fresh: “They have enzymes that bind to sulfur-containing compounds and help neutralize odor,” Dr. Mitola says.

Plus, like apples, these herbs possess polyphenols, which, as we know, hinder the growth of bad bacteria.

4. Ginger

While ginger is best known as a natural remedy for an upset stomach, it can also fight funky breath.

“The compound gingerol-6 stimulates enzymes in our saliva that breakdown malodorous, sulfur-containing compounds,” Dr. Mitola explains.

5. Probiotic Yogurt

You’ve probably heard that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) have a host of health benefits (including a happy gut). Now you can add a fresh breath to that list, too.

Besides being a stellar source of enamel-enhancing calcium, “probiotic yogurt contains bacteria that help combat other bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath,” Dr. Mitola says.

Just be sure to choose a low-sugar yogurt as bacteria like to feast on sugar.

6. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds have been used in India for generations as a way to fight bad breath,” Dr. Mitola says.

Indeed, chewing on these licorice-flavored seeds can boost saliva production and help rinse the bad breath-inducing bacteria from your mouth.

You can take advantage of the benefits of fennel seeds for bad breath by crushing the seeds and steeping them to make tea or sprinkle them into homemade bread dough or on top of salads.


  1. USDA: “Top 20 Vegetables Highest in Calcium.”

Important Notice: This article was originally published at www.livestrong.com by Jaime Osnato where all credits are due.


The watching, interacting, and participation of any kind with anything on this page does not constitute or initiate a doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Farrah®. None of the statements here have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products of Dr. Farrah® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information being provided should only be considered for education and entertainment purposes only. If you feel that anything you see or hear may be of value to you on this page or on any other medium of any kind associated with, showing, or quoting anything relating to Dr. Farrah® in any way at any time, you are encouraged to and agree to consult with a licensed healthcare professional in your area to discuss it. If you feel that you’re having a healthcare emergency, seek medical attention immediately. The views expressed here are simply either the views and opinions of Dr. Farrah® or others appearing and are protected under the first amendment.

Dr. Farrah® is a highly experienced Licensed Medical Doctor certified in evidence-based clinical nutrition, not some enthusiast, formulator, or medium promoting the wild and unrestrained use of nutrition products for health issues without clinical experience and scientific evidence of therapeutic benefit. Dr. Farrah® has personally and keenly studied everything she recommends, and more importantly, she’s closely observed the reactions and results in a clinical setting countless times over the course of her career involving the treatment of over 150,000 patients.

Dr. Farrah® promotes evidence-based natural approaches to health, which means integrating her individual scientific and clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research. By individual clinical expertise, I refer to the proficiency and judgment that individual clinicians acquire through clinical experience and clinical practice.

Dr. Farrah® does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of any multimedia content provided. Dr. Farrah® does not warrant the performance, effectiveness, or applicability of any sites listed, linked, or referenced to, in, or by any multimedia content.

To be clear, the multimedia content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any website, video, image, or media of any kind.
Dr. Farrah® hereby disclaims any and all liability to any party for any direct, indirect, implied, punitive, special, incidental, or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of the content, which is provided as is, and without warranties.