If you’ve been smelling a little funky lately, there are a few pungent foods that could be to blame.
There are a number of ways these household staples can make you stink, from foul-smelling body odour to bad breath – while some can even make your urine smell like rotten eggs. Yikes.
Find out which foods could leave you smelling like you fell into the bog of eternal stench.
Veggies like onions, leeks, shallots, spring onion and garlic fall into this category – and they are possibly the most notorious odour-causing foods on this list. Not only can they affect body odour, but they’re also known for the havoc they wreak on our breath. The cause? Sulphur. This compound is strong enough to alter your smell. But that’s no reason to cut these pungent veggies out of your diet – they provide a range of benefits, from the antibacterial properties of garlic to the antioxidant-packed onions which fight free radicals in the body, meaning less inflammation for your body. Just remember to shower and deodorise afterwards!
Our tip: Eat onions with lemon, this citrus fruit has deodorising properties.
This veggie has a slightly different effect to the others on this list – the odour shows up in your urine. Much like the other foods listed, asparagus contains sulphur, and as the body digests these compounds, it can lead to sulphuric-smelling pee. You know the way eggs smell when they’ve gone off? Just like that. Even Marcel Proust famously wrote that this veggie transformed his “chamber pot into a flask of perfume.” But, don’t let this deter you from adding asparagus to your plate, as studies show only some experience this. You may be one of the few unaffected by this phenomenon – only one way to find out!
These include popular leafy green veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Brussel sprouts are another offender and it’s the compounds responsible for their unmistakable flavour that also lend themselves to causing unbearable body odour. These sulphur-packed compounds are known as glucosinolates, and while they’re great for adding aroma to soups and roast veggies, they’re not so great for your breath or body odour. But teeming with vitamin K – broccoli packs in % of your daily needs – and calcium, with kale providing 40% in just one cup, we won’t be throwing these nutritional-powerhouses to the curb. We’ll just be brushing our teeth thoroughly!
Our tip: If you’ve decided to add more of these leafy greens into your diet, we recommend adding them in gradually. This is the best way to reduce the likelihood of bad odour – and especially rank-smelling farts.
If you enjoy the warmth and flavour of a little spice in your food, you may be aware of the lingering smells from spices like cumin, turmeric, fenugreek and cloves. After eating these you may end up with body odour and increased sweating. One study found that if a mother eats spices like cumin and fenugreek while pregnant, her baby’s body odour may be affected too.
But that’s no reason to ditch these aromatic spices – cumin aids digestion and has antibacterial properties, while fenugreek is known to lower blood-glucose levels and improve milk production in breastfeeding mothers.
Our tip: Wear deodorant with aluminium while you’re eating these spices – this will help to neutralise the smell.
This may be the most surprising food on the list, but it’s also one of the worst offenders when it comes to body odour. How it works is through spiking blood sugar, which in turn leads to hormonal and chemical imbalances in the body. This can throw the bacterial microbiome on your skin out of whack, meaning – you guessed it – bad B.O.!
Our tip: Join us for our 8-Week Program to kick your sugar habit and not only improve your body odour, but your health and happiness too.
Now some foods that actually improve body odour.
- Citrus fruits: These have antibacterial, deodorising properties.
- Fermented foods like kombucha, yoghurt and kimchi: These help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut.
- Herbs with chlorophyll, like wheatgrass, mint and cilantro: These fight bad odour, along with reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.