Read on and learn how to mitigate the anti-social side effects of eating garlic
As the garlic harvest gets into full swing, it's the time to enjoy and appreciate garlic's abundance, get fully garlicky and make the most of the freshly harvested bulbs of all varieties but are you holding back due to fears of offending your fellow humans?
Our opinion on this has always been a rather hardy two-pronged approach: encourage all those around you to eat more garlic so you're all in the same stinking boat or eat more yourself to help your body get used to processing garlic and hence reducing the adverse effects. Colin is convinced that the British population has become better at assimilating garlic and so garlic breath has become less offensive than it was a few decades ago. It seems some of our customers would differ! It does appear that some people are better at digesting garlic than others but without a garlic breath-ometer to hand it's hard to say. Take a look at this episode of Food Unwrapped where we take part in a funny garlic breath experiment:
It turns out we should eat a little humble pie here. Heavily flavoured with garlic, of course. The fact is that garlic does make your breath smell and although there are some ways to mitigate the effects, it's not always possible to remove it completely. There we are, it's the truth. All good things come at a price.
The thing to understand with eating garlic and garlic breath is that there is a short term odour from the mouth when garlic is eaten, which is to a degree easy to tackle. There is then a longer term effect as your body digests and assimilates the garlic into the blood-stream which takes around 4 hours. The bi-product of eating garlic which causes garlic breath is Allyl methyl sulphide which is a metabolite of garlic and is responsible for the strong smell. The body finds it difficult to assimilate this compound so it finds way to exit the body via the breath, pores and sweat! Sorry, we're really not trying to put you off here.
Here's some ideas for reducing garlic breath:
Drink lots of water
Drinking fluids is a great way of flushing out the system and increasing the metabolism. To improve the effects of drinking fluids, add a squeeze or slice of lemon. Herbal teas can also help to neutralise some of the sulphur compounds produced by garlic when you eat it.
Eat a chocolate coated coffee bean
We've found from experience that this is a great way to neutralise the flavours in the mouth. It may just replace garlic odours with coffee odours for a short while though!
Parsley, Apples or Milk!
Chewing parsley or mint leaves are a great way to neutralise the garlic in your mouth. Apples can also help with this. We hear that drinking milk has some scientific credence behind it as a remedy for garlic breath. Apparently, the more fat in the milk, the better it does at reducing garlic breath.
So, we still stand by our original advice of eating more garlic but then we would say that