Everybody knows that garlic is one of the healthiest foods in the world. It has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has the ability to boost the immune system.
But garlic is also very tasty and it gives that special flavor to many dishes. Many world cuisines rely greatly on it, like Mediterranean, Italian, French and Chinese cuisine. Garlic provides flavor and deliciousness even to the most unsavory foods.
Just like onions, garlic is most valuable when it is raw. Unfortunately, eating raw garlic leaves a very unpleasant smell and bad breath, which is why some people avoid eating it.
Causes of garlic breath
Garlic contains allicin, a compound which, when eaten, breaks down into hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is actually responsible for the foul smell of rotten eggs. Bad breath occurs when the body loses hydrogen sulfide by breathing out.
Several studies have shown that human body produces its own supply of hydrogen sulfide. This helps in many functions, acts as an antioxidant and relaxes blood vessels, providing better blood and nutrient supply. When a person eats garlic, they boost the supplies of hydrogen sulfide and increase its favorable action. It can prevent some types of cancer, namely breast, colon and prostate cancer, as well as heart disease.
Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of garlic breath so it does not prevent people from eating this truly amazing nature’s own medicine.
Remedies against garlic breath
There are many simple, all-natural tricks one can do in order to eliminate the unpleasant garlic breath.
For example, chewing fennels seeds after eating garlic can help reduce the smell. This trick has been known for a very long time in India, where they use a lot of garlic in their dishes, and serve fennel seeds in restaurants so the customers can eliminate the bad breath.
Green tea reduces the levels of hydrogen sulfide, while yogurt reduces gases in the mouth that participate in the production of foul smell after eating garlic.
Chewing gums and mints can help, but only to some extent. On the other hand, cardamom seeds seem to work much better.
Lemon can be very helpful with this problem too. Lemon juice removes garlic smell from fingers and hands, and chewing lemon peels does the same for garlic breath.
There are also several products on the market, which aim to reduce garlic breath. Some of them include Eatwhatever and Breath Away. They are based on parsley, peppermint oil and sunflower oil.
It should be said that garlic in other forms, like flakes, powder, granules, and oil, does not cause bad breath and it still preserves its beneficial qualities.