Besides bad breath, did you know that some foods cause body odour? Eating high levels of these foods can change the way any by-product from your body smells, giving you a distinctive unpleasant smell. This includes a change in how your breath, sweat or even stool smells.
This list of odour-inducing foods enlightens you on the foods you should ingest in fewer amounts, or avoid occasionally to minimize body odour. Keep in mind that some of the foods enlisted carry beneficial properties which are needed by the body for health and nourishment purposes.
Normal body odour is as a result of interaction between skin bacteria and any secretions produced in that area. While sweat contains water urea and other electrolytes you might notice a change in smells after taking red meat if you had been on a vegetable diet. Red meat contains fatty acids which tend to make your sweat have a more pungent smell making it stinkier. It also contains sulfur one of the commonly known odour inducing component found in various foods including eggs. The sulfur in red meat can cause a change in your body excretions prompting a rotten-egg smelling gas or stool hence body odour.
There’s a reason why people equate bad breathe to onions. Garlic being a type of onion contains volatile organic compounds which get absorbed in the bloodstream and lungs causing bad breath. Dr Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and the University of California San Francisco suggests an experiment to prove how fast garlic gets absorbed in the body altering the smell hence causing body odour.
Rub crushed garlic on your feet and wait for 30 minutes. After the time has elapsed, you can detect the garlic taste in your mouth.
Crushed or cut garlic also contains enzymes which break down to form sulfur which causes a lingering stink altering how your body smells. To get rid of garlic breath, drink milk before or after a garlic rich meal. Milk will help restore freshness.
Spices add taste and a rich aroma to food which also tend to linger around the kitchen. While a sumptuous aroma is a plus the bad side is the effect of concentrating volatile organic compounds in a meal. Hence why you will notice pungent-smelling sweat or gas once you change from a non-spicy meal to a spiced one. Spices from curry also tend to stay in the body for a while.
From casual to heavy drinkers, alcohol alters the smell of your breath and generally your body. It can also be excreted through your skin, a reason why, if you sweat after drinking, you may notice a change in how your sweat smells. The smell is usually stronger and more pronounced as opposed to an alcohol-free sweat.
Vegetables are healthy and they contain fibre which aids digestion. However, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbages, and Brussel sprouts) contain a significant amount of sulphur a compound which contributes to body odour.
Fish can cause an odour if the smell is not washed off properly. However, aside from the smell brought through contact with fish, a person suffering from trimethylaminuria (TMAU) can end up smelling like fish throughout. TMAU is a metabolic condition also known as fish odour syndrome. It is defined as the body’s inability to break down trimethylamine a compound that has a fishy smell. As this compound builds up it ends up being released through sweat, urine, semen and even your breath.
Other foods include asparagus which makes your urine smell, curry and cumin, and coffee which has a particular smell and also dries out the mouth growing bacteria and creating an unpleasant smell and which can also extend to body odour as well and make you sweat more.
Although there’s no established cure for this syndrome treatment options include cutting down on trimethylamine-rich foods such as fish, beans, eggs, milk and cruciferous vegetables.
I am a writer with interest in hair, beauty and fashion. I also like telling stories, but most of all I enjoy listening and reading them. If I'm not doing any of the above, I will be trying to crack a game of chess or monopoly. My biggest fear is being ordinary.