You might want to dodge their after-effects, but these unfriendly, healthy foods are delicious. Here’s why you should keep eating them.
The worse it smells, the better it is
Garlic and raw onion
The effects are immediate and can last for hours—the smell on your breath will leave your companions’ eyes watering and you reaching for the mouth freshener well into the next day.
Why it happens Garlic and onions contain sulfur compounds that are very smelly and can contribute to bad breath. The smell doesn’t just come from particles of food left stuck in your teeth; as the foods are digested, the pungent oils they contain are absorbed into your bloodstream, then carried around your body to your lungs. You breathe them out until the foods are eliminated from your body.
Why you should eat them anyway Adding herbs, spices, garlic, and onions to food means you need less salt, so it’s a healthier alternative, says accredited Rebecca Valle, a dietitian at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. “Garlic and onions also contain phytochemicals that are thought to protect against diseases and promote good health, so they’re not all bad,” she says.
What you can do about it Eat less of the garlic and onion, and drink plenty of water, as good hydration will ease the problem. Drinking milk also helps reduce the compounds that cause garlic breath. Chewing on parsley or natural chewing gum, sucking on a mint or sipping peppermint tea will also help. Halitosis can be a sign of poor digestive function or dental hygiene, so see your doctor if your bad breath continues.