Healing Kitchen

Bad Breath
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, certain natural strategies can help fight bad breath. Most importantly, a well-balanced diet can promote an efficient digestive system and reduce the number of odor-producing bacteria.

Try replacing animal protein with an increased amount of high fiber foods. Fruits and vegetables are particularly beneficial because they are rich in fiber and contain a wealth of healthful enzymes that are thought to cleanse the breath.

Chew on crunchy, raw fruit and veggies throughout the day; good choices include apples, pears, carrots, and sprigs of fresh parsley. A natural breath freshener, parsley is a rich source of chlorophyll, the chemical that makes plants green and is one of nature's most potent breath fresheners.

Also regularly consume fermented foods, such as live-culture yogurt products, because they contain intestinal-friendly bacteria, including acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus).

Drink plenty of fluids; aim for at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the mouth moist. Be sure to call your dentist or doctor to see if gum disease or some other underlying disorder is the cause of bad breath. To enhance gum health, consume plenty of vitamin C.

What You Should Eat & Why

Found in fermented foods such as live-culture yogurt products, acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus) may help restore the natural balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. An imbalance of intestinal bacteria may contribute to bad breath.
Leading Food Sources of acidophilus: Yogurt

fiber, insoluble
Eating foods rich in fiber combats constipation. Regular bowel movements are thought to remove toxins that can potentially cause bad breath. The theory is that by lingering in the body, large amounts of putrefying, bacteria-laden digested food (typically from meats) are given a chance to get absorbed into the bloodstream, pass into the lungs, and then be exhaled.
Leading Food Sources of fiber, insoluble: Figs, Rice, brown, Peas, fresh, Beans, dried, Wheat, Raisins & Currants, Prunes

vitamin C
When consumed regularly, vitamin C protects gum tissue against cell damage and speeds healing. Poor gum health may contribute to bad breath.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin C: Cabbage, red, Oranges, Kiwi fruit, Peppers, bell, red, Tangerines & other mandarins, Strawberries, Potatoes

Date Published: 05/03/2005
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