Most of us are very self-conscious about the way we smell, especially when we need to attend an important event like an interview, a date or a get-together with family and friends.
At times, our body smell resembles the food we’ve eaten and no matter how much we shower, deodorize or splash on our favorite perfume or cologne, nothing seems to mask the smell.
Odor-producing foods can lead to unpleasant body odor, bad breath as well as foul-smelling urine and bowel movements.
Instead of trying to deal with body odors after the fact, look to the foods you eat that may be responsible for the bad smell. This article will give you some tips on how to avoid the problem.
Here are the top 10 foods to avoid that make you stink.
Garlic is a great immune-boosting herb and has many other health benefits. But garlic can also give you bad breath that is hard to bear.
In fact, the strong garlic smell can linger in your breath up to 72 hours. Garlic can even pass odor along through your urine.
Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound that is released when garlic is cut or crushed. Allicin breaks down quickly after consumption, which causes bacteria to mix with sweat and saliva and leads to a strong body odor and bad breath.
If you are worried about garlic odor, avoid eating it in raw form. Always cook the garlic thoroughly to reduce the amount of methyl-mercaptan that causes the odor.
Also, avoid eating large amounts of Chinese and Italian food as it uses garlic abundantly.
Just like garlic, onion also imparts a foul body odor and bad breath. In fact, a nasty onion smell can linger in the mouth for quite a while.
The sulfurous compounds in them are responsible for this problem. When raw onion is digested, the odorous molecules reach the lungs via the bloodstream, and cause a foul onion breath when you exhale.
Raw onions make your breath smell stinky for hours, however cooked onions do not cause this problem. Hence, avoid eating raw onions in excess.
3. Red Meat
People who love to eat red meat eventually experience an unpleasant body odor.
This mainly happens because red meat takes a long time to travel through the digestive tract, and it rots throughout the process. This results in bad breath as well as foul body odor.
A 2006 study published in Chemical Senses analyzed the effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness. Researchers found that the bodies of people who followed a vegetarian diet were much more appealing than meat-eaters’ bodies.
It is best to cut red meat out of your diet entirely, as it can cause many health problems along with bad odor. If a vegetarian’s diet is not for you, try cutting out some meat and replacing it with seafood.
Asparagus is another food that can affect your body odor. It contains thioesters and methanethiol, the sulfur compounds that break down into smelly chemical components. This in turn makes your urine smell.
A 2011 study published in Chemical Senses reports that the urine of people who have recently eaten asparagus has a sulfurous odor, which is distinct and similar to cooked cabbage. But people who lack the digestive enzyme that breaks down the vegetable into its smelly components may not develop asparagus pee.
If you develop smelly urine after eating asparagus, then it is best to avoid it. Opt for a tasty asparagus alternative, such as bell peppers that can also be roasted or grilled.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Though high in potassium and antioxidants, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower can cause unpleasant body odor.
These vegetables contain sulfur, a chemical that can intensify your odor when released through sweating after digesting it.
As these vegetables are incredibly healthy for you, there is no need to completely cut them out of your diet. Just cut back on the amount you eat. Also, it is recommended to parboil the vegetables in lightly salted water. Then, cook them as you normally would.
A drink once in a while will not cause body odor. But when you drink in excess, it may be released through your pores in the form of sweat. This in turn gives your body the same smell as beer or wine. Also, your breath smells really bad.
The obnoxiously bad smell is hard to mask, even after using breath mints and mouthwashes. The only recovering element for such a foul smell is time.
In the meantime, try drinking a lot of water to keep your body hydrated. As you drink, you urinate more and the uric acid becomes less concentrated.
Avoid drinking in excess and pair your drink with a healthy, high-protein meal.
7. Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that benefit your health abundantly. Their anti-inflammatory properties are particularly beneficial for heart health.
On the downside, most fish oil supplements contain impurities that trigger a fishy body odor. Plus, you will be amazed to learn that fish oil capsules go rancid quickly. Hence, most of these capsule available in the market are actually rancid!
In addition to the stinking problem, fish oil supplements can also cause side effects like belching, nausea and acid reflux in some people.
Taking fish oil capsules that are enteric-coated can help reduce the gastrointestinal symptoms to some extent as they dissolve in the intestines not the stomach.
Another herb and spice that can have a very noticeable effect on the tang of your urine is fenugreek.
Fenugreek is high in the compound solotone that, after passing through the urinary tract, boasts a strong smell in your urine. Interestingly, solotone is used commercially as one of the main ingredients in artificial maple syrup.
If your urine smells like fenugreek after eating a large amount of fenugreek leaves or seeds, it is best to avoid it or restrict its intake. Try some other herbs that are as healthy as fenugreek.
Much like alcohol, coffee has a diuretic effect and can make your urine smell really bad.
This morning pick-me-up beverage also activates your sweat glands, which can give you body odor.
Plus, being highly acidic, coffee dries your mouth out, which can contribute to bad breath. Over time, excessive consumption of coffee can also encourage bad bacterial growth in the mouth and cause halitosis.
Skip the coffee and opt for some better-smelling herbal tea. Not only is it a healthier choice, but it actively keeps bad breath at bay.
Cumin is a strong spice that when consumed in excess can cause your pores to secrete an odor for a few days afterward.
This spice passes the odor-causing chemicals through the kidneys, making them very strong-smelling and pungent and ultimately the same for your body.
If you want to smell great for an important event, be sure to avoid foods that contain cumin and curry powder.