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Foods that leave your mouth with bad breath

 Foods that leave your mouth with bad breath (Photo: iStock)

Being well put together goes deeper than just how you look. Whenever we're in public, we need to make sure we look clean and presentable, but there are other details that are just as important.

One of those key details we are talking about here is your breath. Bad breath is a deal breaker for so many people and that's why we need to brush, floss and clean our tongues to make sure we don't have bad breath.

It's generally impossible to maintain perfectly fresh breath throughout the day, especially with all the foods and snacks we eat in between brushing that change our breath. Some foods don't leave a strong smell, but others are so distinct that anyone can pick them out hours later, including these five:


Garlic has some amazing benefits for our bodies. It has a high antioxidant content that helps fight oxidative stress and keep certain diseases away.

We don't only love garlic for the benefits though. It's one of the most flavorful spices which makes a great addition to dishes. The only problem with garlic is the strong smell it leaves on your breath after eating it. We can blame its high sulfuric content for that problem.

Raw purple onions

Purple onions are super common in our Kenyan dishes. Almost all our foods contain this type of onion, also because they're easily available.

A popular red onion salad that is served with fries and nyama choma is kachumbari. And after having this salad, everyone else can tell you just had it as well. The compound that produces this unpleasant smell is sulfur, just like in garlic.


The morning after a night of partying is often marked by hangovers, headaches and bad breath. The bad breath comes during your body's alcohol breakdown process and releases odour-triggering acids like acetic acid.

The other reason is, that alcohol can dehydrate you and leave less saliva in your mouth to cleanse itself. Also, the habits we have while drinking like skipping a nighttime oral hygiene routine make it all worse.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are a favourite for so many of us because of their flavours and health benefits. Still, a downside that comes with consuming them is the odour they leave you with.

The acidic environment citrus fruits create makes the perfect home for odour-causing bacteria. If you need to freshen your breath after consuming citrus fruits and juices, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, to protect your teeth from acidic damage.


'Milk breath' is the name that's given to the odour someone gets after consuming milk and other dairy products like yoghurt and cheese. This unpleasant smell comes from the breakdown of amino acids by the bacteria in your mouth.

This might not be too exciting for all the tea and coffee lovers out there. But what you can do to freshen up your breath and get rid of the milky breath is to chew on some sugar-free gum.

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