The food you eat plays a major role in the maintenance of your overall health. It is no surprise then that it also contributes to body odor and bad breath. (1)
Read on to learn more about what food items to avoid to smell fresh always. (2)
Common Foods and Drinks That Cause a Stinky Smell and How to Avoid Them
Most odors caused by food are due to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they contain. Excessive consumption of some foods may trigger the release of these volatile compounds through your sweat and breath.
Here are a few of these odor-causing foods:
Onions (Allium cepa) are a common ingredient in many dishes around the world. They are well known for their strong flavors and ability to induce tears. This is due to the high amounts of volatile organic compounds present in them.
While onions may contain several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds beneficial for their body, eating them regularly may lead to bad breath. (3)
You may want to chew gum or mint after eating onions to prevent bad breath. (4)
Garlic is filled with sulfurous odor-causing compounds that can make you smell bad. In fact, garlic smell is hard to get rid of for quite a few hours – even lasting a day!
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage are notorious for causing smelly farts. It is best to eat them in moderate amounts.
Some people may also experience gas troubles after consuming these vegetables, and if you are one of them, it is best to avoid them altogether. (6)
You may chew a piece of gum to reduce bad breath from cruciferous vegetables. (7)
5. Red meat
Red meat also contains lots of sulfurous compounds. These compounds are broken down in the digestive system and can lead to a release of foul odor from your fart and poop.
At times, excessive consumption of red meat can also cause body odor as sulfur is released via your sweat.
Eat red meat in moderate amounts only, and do not overindulge to prevent such occurrences. (11)
Fish is well known for its classic ammonia smell. This is due to a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide. (12)
Alcohol is a major cause of bad breath in people who drink it every day. The alcohol is converted to acetic acid in the body, which causes the weird sweet smell on your breath. (15)
Drink water as soon as you finish your coffee to reduce the dryness in your mouth.
9. Dairy products
Dairy, when broken down by the body, produces hydrogen sulfide, which has a very powerful rotten eggs smell. Also, fungal agents such as mold can easily proliferate on dairy and can lead to a bad odor emanating from the body when consumed. Avoid eating dairy products that have been stored for too long. (18)
10. Cumin and curry powder
Cumin and curry powder (curry powders usually consist of turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper and sometimes garlic which causes strong pungent smell) are widely used in a variety of Asian dishes. However, they are also known to cause a “curry” body odor when eaten in excess.
Bad breath and body odor are embarrassing conditions to suffer from and can negatively affect your social life. Maintaining proper hygiene, showering and brushing your teeth regularly, and avoiding odorous foods can go a long way in maintaining a fresh smell.