If you've ever eaten Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic or even a slice of white pizza, you've dealt with garlic breath. Garlic makes food amazingly delicious, but it can make your breath not-so-pleasant. Most people brush their teeth or pop a mint into their mouth to minimize the problem, but now scientists have found a more effective and perfectly natural solution: eating raw mint, apples or lettuce, reports Science Daily.

Researchers from Ohio State University tried various combinations of raw, juiced or heated apples, lettuce and mint to see which item best cancelled out the volatiles responsible for garlic breath including "diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, allyl methyl disulfide, and allyl methyl sulfide," according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Food Science.

The best way to minimize garlic breath, they concluded, was to eat these foods raw. The best one? Raw mint worked better than raw apples or lettuce. In their raw forms, these foods significantly decreased the culprits behind garlic breath. Eating those foods juiced or heated also reduced the volatiles that caused garlic breath, but in lesser amounts.

chewing-on-mint Popping a mint in your mouth may help mask garlic breath, but chewing on mint leaves will help destroy the odor from garlic. (Photo: benik.at/shutterstock)

The researchers found it was the enzymes and phenolic compounds in these foods that did the trick. Specifically, the researchers said the enzymes in the raw foods help remove odors. The phenolics — the same compounds also found in grapes that makes certain wines like Champagne good for the memory — help destroy the volatiles. So if there are no raw apples around, for instance, apple juice will help minimize garlic breath, just a little less effectively.

So, if you've eaten a garlicky lunch and don't want to put people off, find some raw mint, apples or lettuce to chew on.

The person next to you will thank you.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.