Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, effects around a quarter of Americans, while almost everyone experiences bad breath on occasion. There is a big business behind fighting bad breath, with billions being spent on gum, mints, mouth wash and disposable toothbrushes . But there is a growing concern about what is actually in these products, what chemicals, preservatives and additives lurk in the dark lettering on the back of these labels? Worry not, there are a few foods you can use to fend off bad breath. Here they are:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is all the buzz from topical hair treatments to weight loss coffee. Coconut oil has even been identified as an effective mouthwash. Sounds crazy, but many bacteria are not water soluble, meaning they cannot easily be removed using water. Those bacteria are typically oil soluble, meaning that in the presence of oil they dissolve and are carried away. Holistic experts cite evidence that coconut oil clears away oral bacteria and a coconut oil-based mouthwash should be added to your daily oral care routine right before brushing.



Fennel seeds

Chew on a few fennel seeds and you’ll notice a marked improvement in your breath because of the rich antioxidant concentration and naturally potent odor they have themselves. Fennel seeds have an instant alkalizing effect on the mouth, neutralizing the bacteria and their processes which thrive in the usually acidic environment. As these bacteria become less active, bad breath becomes less likely as one of the causes falls away.



Herbs like Mint and Parsley

Herbs like mint and parsley have a similar alkalizing effect on the mouth as fennel seeds do. As acidity in the mouth decreases so does the activity of the odor causing bacteria in the mouth. Consider these herbs for more than recipes and garnishes. Take mint, parsley, tarragon, dill or rosemary and chew it to let the effects sink in. With so many options, you can pick your favorite flavor and carry it around with you to use like gum or mints without the added sugars.




This one works for a number of different reasons. One of the reasons is that as you run low on water in your body, you salivate less. You are less capable than normal to wash your mouth clean of food particles and excess bacteria. Along with helping you keep your mouth clean and clear of odor, staying hydrated alleviates headaches, keeps your skin supple, keeps you regular and maintains overall health. The general consensus is that the average person should be drinking at least eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Water is the only drink that counts: coffee, alcohol, and soda all dehydrate you and lessen the available saliva to circle through your mouth. Drink a glass of water to help decrease bad breath immediately.



Pumpkin seeds

Zinc is considered to be an effective antimicrobial and seeds are a great source of this vital nutrient. But the one that packs the most punch is pumpkin seeds. They also boast a host of other health benefits like vitamin E and other micro nutrients like manganese and magnesium. Seeds are some of the best source of these nutrients.



Green and Black Tea

Polyphenols, which inhibit bacteria growth, are present in both green and black teas of most varieties. However, this important chemical is absent in white. The effect is greater without any sweeteners, but the effects are still potent with sugar or honey. As the activity of the bacteria that causes bad breath is inhibited, your halitosis will improve.



Crisp Fruits and Vegetables

Apples, carrots, pears, celery and other crunchy foods have been linked with improvements in bad breath. The crisp plant foods help combat bad breath in a couple of different ways. The tough flesh of these plants manages to clean teeth by mechanical means, cleaning away plaque and excess food particles. As your teeth work through the tough skin and flesh of the fruits and vegetables it works the particles loose, decreasing the bacteria in the mouth. The high water content helps keep you well hydrated, helping maintain salivary circulation for the rest of the day.



Dark leafy greens

In Chinese medicine, dark leafy greens such as endives and kale are thought to manage the heat believed to come from the stomach and cause problems like bad breath. A dark green salad for lunch will fend off bad breath, keeping you fresh for any meetings following the lunch hour.



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