Follow these tips to avoid and cure the bad smells sometimes associated with Asian and Indian food.
WHAT TO AVOID:
Raw garlic: The head villain. Avoid this at all costs if you don’t want to reek. Raw garlic can sneak up on you in Indian pickles, chutneys, and other Asian dishes like kimchi. TIP: Remember, the smell-producing chemical compounds in foods will last in your system for about two days (if not more).
Raw onion: Yes, it’s delicious on pizza and with chole batura, but do you want odorous onion breath when he’s leaning in close to you? No! “Run away!”
Fenugreek/methi: This one’s a surprise fiend. Fenugreek can be cooked into flatbreads (rotis) or mixed up in stir fries. Don’t touch it if you don’t want to smell like a mixture of curry and maple syrup (not pleasant) for days afterward.
(Warm) milk: Milk’s a tricky one- they say it cures garlic breath, BUT, it comes with a bad smell of its own! This holds true even when added to tea for chai.
Empty stomach = bad breath: Don’t go out with a completely empty stomach if you don’t want your breath to smell! At school/work for hours on end? Pack a healthy snack from home.
Drink water: Succumbed to the health benefits of raw garlic or fenugreek? Drink lots of water to flush the smelly compounds from your system faster.
Dental care: This one’s an obvious one: brush your teeth… AND your tongue. DON’T forget to floss! Food that’s trapped between teeth can begin to rot and smell up your breath. Mouthwash/gum/mint strips are not cure-alls; you have to brush up.
Freshness counts: As a general rule, the fresher the food, the better it smells- on the outside, and inside you. This includes meats, fish, and fruits and vegetables.
Out and about without a mini disposable toothbrush? Try these tricks for better breath:
Parsley: If your main dish comes with a sprig of parsley, chew on it after your meal to lessen a garlicky smell.
Cloves: Indian restaurants sometimes offer cloves to suck on after the meal. They’re pleasant and spicy breath fresheners.
Green tea: Studies show green tea kills the bacteria in the mouth that causes odors. Keep a serving of green tea in your cup for some subtle swishing after your stir fry or noodles!
Don’t be afraid of Indian or Asian foods in general- they are delicious, savory, and healthful! Just keep these tips in mind to avoid offensive smells that may be threatening to ruin your evening.