Whether you’re greeting a friend or even a stranger, most of us would rather not be remembered for having terrible breath. As someone who quite honestly can’t imagine a day without plenty of garlic in my meals, I’ve always been on the lookout for ways to diminish its lingering scent. That’s why I was thrilled to find two completely natural — and scientifically-backed! — tricks for getting rid of garlic breath.
According to a study from 2016, garlic fans should stock up on apples and lettuce to combat our favorite stinky bulbs. Researchers from the Ohio State University observed participants who first chewed on soft garlic for 25 seconds and were then given both heated and raw versions of apples or lettuce. When consumed raw, the average participant saw a 50 percent decrease in the “concentration of volatiles in breath” — AKA icky smells. Heated versions were also good at diminishing the odor, but not quite as effective as the fresh apples or lettuce.
The study also observed participants who were given plain water, mint leaves, or green tea after eating garlic. Unsurprisingly, chewing on mint leaves was found to be a lot more deodorizing than any of the other methods, but most of us don’t have sprigs lying around all the time. Both plain water and green tea, on the other hand, were found to be completely ineffective at getting rid of garlic breath.
So if you don’t have any mint or chewing gum nearby — or just hate the way mint overpowers the aftertaste of a yummy meal — you can grab a crisp apple or some lettuce to calm your palate down after an especially garlicky meal. In fact, you might want to serve them up as a side salad along with your next garlic-heavy meal.
Whichever way you go, chomping on lettuce or apples is a deliciously easy trick to help you enjoy garlic without worrying about any strong odors following you around the rest of the day.