This blog was written by Megan Jack. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Remember the old adage “you are what you eat”; it's more like “you smell like what you eat!” The foods we eat have a direct effect on our body odor.
We all think of perspiration as the main culprit for a person’s odor. (Think of the guy next to you at your corporate fitness center sweating up a storm and smelling less than fresh.) However, sweat itself is odorless. The odor comes from the bacteria on the skin and the toxins your body excretes. Some our favorite foods are responsible for those “stinky” toxins.
Foods That Make You Stink
According to Discovery Health, the following foods are absorbed by the blood and lungs, causing bad breath and body odor for several hours:
- Garlic and onions
- Mint and turmeric
- Blue cheese (and other fermented foods)
- Cabbage and cruciferous vegetables
Even foods without a pungent odor can cause a strong bodily smell. A 2006 study conducted by Charles University suggests that men following a vegetarian diet were judged as having a more pleasant and less intense body odor compared to meat eaters.
Processed Foods Also Cause Body Odors
Another odor culprit is processed foods. These foods contain little to no fiber, and high amounts of sugar, hydrogenated oils, and refined flour. They leave a great deal of waste product behind after the body absorbs the nutrients. This waste product is then excreted by the body and can create a moderate to strong odor.
Eat a diet high in plant-based foods to keep your body odor in check. More often than not, if the food you eat has a strong smell, you will too.