Natural Foods for Sweet-Smelling Breath

Quick fixes for unwelcomed breath.

(Photo: flickr/larry hoffman/CC4.0)


 It's New Year's Eve and you've been snacking on little bites and hors d'oeuvres all night. And before you know it, the ball's about to drop and you need to be ready for that midnight kiss. The last thing you want is to be stuck with garlicky or smelly breath. If you aren’t in reach of a toothbrush or mouthwash, and find your pockets empty of gum or other breath mints, don’t panic; just try one of these easy, bad-breath-curing methods below.


Fresh Mint Sprigs

There’s a reason that most mints and gums are flavored with spearmint, peppermint or wintergreen: a few bright, invigorating leaves will dismiss any noxious smells from your mouth – even better than gum or mouthwash.


Fresh Herbs in General

Instead of placing that parsley or cilantro garnish aside, chew on the whole sprig after dinner to clear away any lingering onion or garlic breath. While mint is the leader in the fresh-breath category, other strong-flavored herbs like rosemary, tarragon or basil will also give your mouth a clean slate for the New Year.  


Apples or Raw Vegetables

Snacking on an apple, raw vegetables or eating a salad will help neutralize the garlic odor in your mouth (just make sure your salad dressing doesn’t have any garlic in it and is onion-free).



A quick fix for unwanted breath, lemon is readily available at any bar or restaurant, if it’s not already used as a garnish. If sucking on or eating a lemon slice is too much for you, try squeezing the juice into a glass of water (just makes sure to use a few slices). Lemon juice is also good for getting rid of smells on your hand like garlic, onion, lobster or other seafood.


Herbal Tea

Sipping a hot cup of mint or green tea will not only keep you warm but also refresh your breath. If you can’t find these flavors, almost any herbal tea will work (especially with a splash of lemon).


Fresh or Pickled Ginger

Having sushi for dinner? Snack on a piece of pickled ginger to cleanse your palate and breath. Or, if you happen to have fresh ginger on hand, grate it into a cup of hot water with lemon (optional) and drink. You should be ready-to-go in no time.


Coriander, Fennel and Cardamom Seeds


Chewing on these seeds reportedly clears away any garlic- or onion-induced breath.