We all know that garlic and onions do not make for ideal kissing conditions, but are the other foods in your diet causing a change in your body odor? If you’re ingesting any of the following five foods, your natural scent might be taking a turn for the worse.
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage from the brassica family are heavy in sulfur and, when broken down, can result in a rancid smell in your sweat. One serving of these cruciferous vegetables can cause an odor lasting for six hours, so dermatologists recommend parboiling the vegetables with a pinch of salt to remove the odor-producing chemicals
Red meat contains amino acids that leave a residue during digestion, which mixes with the bacteria in your skin and can intensify your body odor when perspiring. This is due in part to the difficulty that the body has with digesting meat, causing the body to work harder to digest it, which can lead to more perspiration.
Very high protein diets can also cause your sweat to smell like ammonia because your body is breaking down proteins, rather than carbohydrates, for energy, which are converted into components like glucose and waste products. If the body cannot process all of these components, it detoxifies itself through sweat — and stinky sweat at that. In fact, a 2006 study showed that men who consumed a vegetarian diet smelled more attractive than men who consumed a meat-heavy diet.
While consumption of fish is linked with health benefits like healthy brain function and the prevention of heart disease, choline, a vitamin family found in tuna and salmon, can cause people to develop a fishy odor that can take up to a day to dissipate.
The occurrence of this is thankfully rare, with only a small percentage of the population unable to digest foods containing choline. Those affected by the disorder, known as trimethylaminuria, cannot break down the trimethylamine in these foods, causing a build-up of the compound that results in a fishy body odor.
While everyone loves a good Friday night happy hour, those cocktails could come with a price. As your body processes those margaritas, small amounts of alcohol are excreted through your pores, making your sweat smell like alcohol, no matter what kind you’ve been drinking.
Though the connection between processed food consumption and body odor is not entirely clear, doctors suspect that the lack of chlorophyll, a chemical in fruits and vegetables that acts as a deodorizer and cleanses the body, in junk food means that bacteria on the skin is not neutralized and therefore leads to body odor.
The sugar content in these processed foods might also be to blame, as sugar in the blood can combine with bacteria on the skin to affect the chemical makeup of perspiration, causing a change for the worse in the smell of your sweat.