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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Zombie Breath


Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I’d carry on the gruesome theme (if you read yesterday’s post you know what I mean). Today’s stomach-turning topic involves something we all think about, and probably all worry about (but nobody likes to talk about) - bad breath (halitosis horror!).

Nobody (and I mean nobody) wants bad breath, and we definitely don’t want to NOT know we have bad breath. And we all know we can’t smell our own bad breath, but nobody wants to tell even someone they care about, “Hey, your breath stinks!” so, that leaves us all breathlessly paranoid. Go to any grocery or drug store and it’s apparent. These days the number of breath fresheners practically outweigh the number of candy bars in the check out lines. But mints and gums only cover up bad breath temporarily (kinda like spraying cologne on stinky socks) and they don’t seem to last long.

But, this is a food and nutrition blog after all and guess what? What you eat can make a difference (and I’m not just talking about avoiding garlic). These power foods are good for both you and your breath:
-Apples, especially tart ones like Granny Smiths. If you’ve ever bitten into an apple, you know how it makes your mouth water. When those juices flow, food particles and bacteria (the main cause of bad breath) get washed away (good riddance!).
-Red peppers and citrus fruits – both are high in vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C creates an environment that doesn’t allow bacteria to grow (it also keeps gums healthy).
-Fresh herbs. Instead of gum, chew on a sprig of mint or parsley. Many swear by this age old remedy. Fresh herbs are a lot more potent than mint flavored gum and they’re loaded with disease fighting compounds (those famous body guards again).

Hmmm, yet another reason to visit the produce aisle. For more “fresh” info, check out this link:
American Dental Association

P.S. Fun fact (warning: not for the faint of heart) – according to special effects artists, shrimp bits make a great stand in for splattered brains in zombie horror films. I took this picture at a Halloween display. I think that’s a zombie and I’d bet good money that his breath isn’t minty fresh.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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