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You Smell Like What You Eat

You Smell Like What You Eat

We smell like the foods we eat…

There are many reason why our bodies developed bad odors, the most common cause being the presence of bacteria on our skin metabolizing sugars and proteins in our sweat. For this reason, we can literally smell like the foods we eat.

Some foods, such as garlic and onion, contain pungent volatile sulfurous substances that linger in the body hours after we’ve eaten them.

These compounds are absorbed into our blood and lungs, giving us not only bad body odor but also bad breathe.

we smell like what we eat 550x366 You Smell Like What You Eat

We Smell Like The Food We Eat

Image Credit: Horia Varlan, 2008.

Mint and turmeric, blue cheese and fermented foods, cabbage and cruciferous vegetables, and vinegar all contain these volatile compounds.

A study published in the journal Chemical Senses found that red meat also contributes to bad body odor. The results of the study found those on a vegetarian diet were generally perceived to have a more pleasant and less intense body odor than subjects who ate meat.

It’s also said that eating spicy foods can contribute to body odor, however this is not because of the spices themselves but due to the fact that eating spicy foods increases the amount of sweat we produce, and the more sweat on our skin, the more odor is emitted as the bacteria breaks down the proteins and sugars.

With that in mind, it is possible to eat food that can help reduce body odor and help leave a pleasant scent on the skin.

  • First off it’s always best to eat fresh produce. Eating unprocessed foods can help decrease natural body odor and alter the scent of the skin.
  • Drink pure citrus fruit juices. Citrus has the ability to penetrate the body more quickly, and can leave your skin smelling slightly lemony.
  • Season food with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or cardamom. These spices linger in the body but produce natural perfume scents as opposed to body odor.


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  1. Maria Trimarchi: Does diet affect body odor? Discovery Fit and Health, undated.
  2. How to Eat Foods That Make You Smell Good, undated.

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