Foods That Might Be Giving You Body Odor

If you are eating high levels of certain foods, foul-smelling compounds they contain may be excreted through your sweat glands to give an unpleasant odor

If you are eating high levels of certain foods, foul-smelling compounds they contain may be excreted through your sweat glands to give an unpleasant odor.

Garlic

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You don’t have to be an expert nutritionist to know that garlic stinks.

After consumption,  it unleashes enzymes that break down into a sequence of compounds to eventually form allicin. Allicin is broken down in the body into the sulfur-containing compounds that cause that lingering stink.

A quick fix for garlic breath? According to one study, drinking milk, either before or after eating garlic, can help restore freshness.

Coffee

It might not make you smell worse on its own.  But stimulants like caffeine make you sweat more.  So you could end up sweating out more of those OTHER odors we just talked about.

Cruciferous veggies

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Despite their health benefits, vegetables that are in the Brassica family—cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, for example—contain high levels of sulfur.

A lot of the evidence for cruciferous vegetables contributing to body odor (through your breath, sweat, or flatulence) is anecdotal.

They have a lot of fiber, beta-carotene along with vitamins C, E, and K as well as folate. In addition to being good for general health, there’s some evidence they may also help prevent certain types of cancer.

Red Meat

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It’s hard to digest and leaves residue behind in your digestive tract, which mixes with bacteria and comes out in your sweat.

In a small study, researchers randomized a group of 17 guys to either eat meat or abstain for two weeks. Then they switched groups. Women analyzed body odor from the men’s armpits at the end of each session, saying that the body odor of the men when on vegetarian diets was “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense.”

Alcohol

Certainly excess amounts of alcohol can be detected on your breath, hence the roadside breath tests that can tell if you’re over the legal driving limit or not.

Most of it gets metabolized by your liver.  But a tiny amount comes out in your sweat.  So you end up smelling like a stale beer.

Fish

There’s a metabolic disorder called “fish odor syndrome” where it makes your sweat smell fishy.  It’s rare though, and you’d probably know if you had it.

These are inborn errors of metabolism where people can’t break down certain types of protein, including an amino acid called trimethylamine.

Asparagas

Asparagus is mostly known for making urine smell terrible.

It’s caused by a compound called “methyl mercaptan.” Highly water-soluble, the musty-smelling methyl mercaptan passes through your system almost immediately after you eat asparagus.

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