At one point or another, most of us become very self-conscious about the way we smell, especially during an interview, a date, or a get together with family and friends. While we may have showered, deodorized, and spritzed on our best fragrance, we still manage to get a whiff of an onerous odor we soon realize is our own. Our favorite beverage or food could actually be giving us bad body odor, suggesting we smell like what we eat.
Although the most common body odor is produced in our armpits and groin in combination with bacteria typically found on our skin, according to the Mayo Clinic, foods like garlic and onions, which may contain volatile sulfurous substances, can be released through our sweat. They are absorbed into our blood and our lungs after digestion, giving us bad body odor and breath.
To make sure what you eat helps you smell sweet, avoid consuming these foods:
The occasional glass of wine or beer may not produce bad body odors, but it could lead to experiencing bad breath in the morning after sipping down a couple the previous night. As alcohol goes through the blood and the body, some of it seeps out through the pores, and through the breath, as a person’s perspiration begins to smell of alcohol. Therefore, the mouth becomes dehydrated, and urine even has a faint smell of alcohol, according to alcoholrehab.com.
After eating asparagus and using the restroom, most of us come to the realization that our urine has a different smell. This odor is thought to derive from the digestion of mercaptan — the sulfur compound — that breaks down into smelly chemical components. A 2010 study published in the journal Chemical Senses did find some study participants failed to develop asparagus pee because they lacked to gene for the digestive enzyme that breaks down the vegetable into its smelly components.
This morning pick-me-up beverage can not only activate our brains to remain more alert due to caffeine, but it can also activate our sweat glands. The term “coffee breath” has become a problem for coffee drinkers because it is a diuretic that will make us feel very thirsty, leading to a bad taste and smell, which dries out the mouth. "The dryness in the mouth especially contributes to the growth of bacteria,” Justyna Trzesniowski, Registered Nurse, and former coffee barista told ABC.net.au.
4. Curry and Cumin
The smells of spices such as curry and cumin can turn a bland meal into a savory dish, but it can also wreak havoc on your body’s natural odor, remaining in your pores for days. A brief taste of cumin can actually leave a lasting aroma. Berkeley Wellness at the University of California, Berkeley, says a mom’s prenatal diet, if it regularly includes strong spices like curry, cumin, or fenugreek, could possibly affect her newborn’s body odor.
5. Red Meat
Unless you’re a vegetarian, it is most probable you will eventually experience an unpleasant body odor. A 2006 study published in the journal Chemical Senses found the odor of participants who were on a non-meat diet had a significantly more attractive and pleasant smell and less intense compared to their meat eating counterparts. This is due to the duration it takes for large amounts of meat to travel through the digestive tract, as it rots throughout. As a result, the person experiences bad odors in their breath, perspiration, and bowel movements.
6. Too Little Greens
It’s important to eat your greens not just for your health, but for good body odor. Chlorophyllin, found in plants, has been used orally as an internal deodorant in the 1940s and 1950s on foul-smelling wounds, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Eating chlorophyll-rich greens such as spinach, and watercress can help freshen up the body, and prevent bad body odor.
Remember, you smell what you eat, so choose wisely to smell sweet and prevent nose-pinching body odors.