These days, it is almost impossible to buy ready food or order something in a restaurant without it containing garlic.
But, the good news is that scientists have found an easy solution for bad breath.
Eating raw apples, lettuce and mint leaves can significantly reduce garlic breath.
For the study, researchers from Ohio State University asked participants to chew three grams of garlic cloves for at least 25 seconds.
Right afterwards, the control group drank water, while the others consumed either green tea, raw or juiced mint leaves, raw, juiced or heated apple, raw or heated lettuce.
After eating these foods, the levels of volatiles (garlic compounds) on the breath were analyzed.
The main volatiles responsible for garlic breath are allyl mercaptan, allyl methyl sulphide, allyl methyl disulfide, and diallyl disulfide.
The amount of volatiles in breath was reduced more than 50% after eating a raw apple and some raw lettuce during the first 30 minutes.
Mint leaves, compared to raw lettuce apple, had a higher deodorization (removal of an unpleasant smell) in general.
Mint juice and apple juice, though, were not as effective as chewing mint leaves and raw apple, but they showed a reduction of volatiles levels.
While green tea had no deodorizing effect, both heated lettuce and apple produced a considerable improvement on the garlic compounds.
The researchers point out that two mechanisms are responsible for deodorization of garlic breath.
Firstly, the raw foods contain some enzymes which help to destroy the odours.
Secondly, the volatiles are destroyed by plant compounds known as phenols (phenolic compounds) present in raw or cooked foods.
Therefore, raw foods overall were more effective, since they contain both phenolic compounds and the enzymes.
The study was published in the Journal of Food Science (Mirondo & Barringer, 2016).
Garlic image from Shutterstock