Drinking milk while eating garlic can minimize garlic breath, according to a 2010 study by researchers from Ohio State University. A small amount of milk reduced by 50 percent the presence of allyl methyl sulfide, which can't be broken down in the digestive system and is released in the breath and sweat. Other foods that reduce garlic odor include raw apple, lemon juice, mint, green tea, parsley and spinach.
Garlic and other members of the allium family, including shallots, onions and leeks, produce sulfuric compounds similar to those produced by the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath. Garlic odor can linger in two ways: when the food is consumed and chemicals linger in the mouth and also when allyl methyl sulfide is absorbed from the bloodstream into the lungs and eventually exhaled, according to BreathMD, which notes that the compound can be exuded through the pores as well.
Foods that counter the aroma of garlic contain polyphenols that break down the most pungent components, according to the Ohio State study as reported by ScienceDaily. Eating or drinking certain foods while eating garlic, rather than afterward, produced the best results. Cleaning the teeth after a meal helps, but the only way to completely eliminate garlic breath is to avoid eating it, says BreathMD.