Foods that Make You Smell

Don't want mysterious odors seeping through your pores? Avoid these foods or consume with cautionYou're sitting on a train that's slightly warm, packed with passengers, and suddenly you get a whiff of "rotten egg" stench. Stop after stop, the crowd thins out, but that onerous odor remains. You search for the offender as subtly as you can, so you can find a seat in the opposite direction. As your head swivels, you're hit with that stench again, so strong you could swear it was you. You nonchalantly dip your head down toward your underarm - wait a minute. It is you! But you didn't even work out today. And you took a shower this morning. And you're wearing deodorant!

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What you eat can directly affect how you smell, and in more ways than just your breath. Scientifically, this boils down to the way your body metabolizes the stinky sulfur compounds found in many foods like garlic, cumin, and asparagus. While smelling like garlic is not new (it is said to ward off both vampires and mosquitos), the stench of asparagus-tainted urine might not be quite as familiar and you may not have even realized that some of the foods on our list could have this effect on you.

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If you have a hot date, an interview, or plan to be out in public, you may want to keep these foods off the day's menu. And if you can't, here are a few tricks to help deodorize nasty smells.

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Credit: Sxchu/connect7Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts)
Little kids across America now have a reason to snub some of these loathsome vegetables. These sulfur-rich foods pack nutrients and antioxidants that may help rid the body of toxins and carcinogenic cells, but they're also responsible for severe smells. This stench introduces itself in the socially-crippling form of flatulence. The sulfur in these foods is responsible for the rotten-egg smell toots tend to leave behind.

Deodorize: Cruciferous vegetables are vital to our health. So, when you're in the comfort of your own home, eat those greens! You can also par-boil to remove some of the stench before you finish cooking them. In the meantime, spices like coriander, turmeric, and caraway will not only leave you smelling fresh, they'll help control your bottom.


Credit: Sxchu/ayla87Onions
Onions have a daring flavor that we can't get enough of, but those around us may wish we would cut back. After onions are digested, their pungent oils absorb into the bloodstream, seep into your lungs, and come through your breath. The more onions you eat, the longer you subject yourself to their offensive odor. Until the onions leave your body, the stink won't stop.

Deodorize: Instead of eating them raw, try sautéeing them to let the offensive oils out. Squeeze any excess oil out with a paper towel, and enjoy a significantly weaker smell.


Credit: Flickr/TheCulinaryGeekHigh Fiber Foods
High fiber foods' power to keep you full and fuel your day should not go unnoticed. But indulge in any more than 5 grams of fiber (especially just before working out), and get ready to stink the place up. Not only will your sweat reek, but you're more likely to become bloated and gassy. High fiber foods contain gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. When they're digested in the large intestine, these gases release, creating fetid flatulence.

Deodorize: Drink a glass of water, and you'll easily balance out fiber-filled foods. Guzzle more water to reward yourself with fresh looking - and smelling - skin as well as to break up offensive gases.


Credit: Flickr/LaCatholiqueFenugreek
Waking up to the smell of crackling bacon and sweet maple syrup is a comforting feeling. But working out at the gym to the smell exuding from your underarms... not so much. You may want to cut back on the fenugreek, an herb often found in Middle Eastern food. Fenugreek contains an aromatic compound called solotone, which is responsible for the sweet-smelling "perfume" your sweat emits.

Deodorize: Sure, syrup isn't the worst thing to smell like, but days of this strong scent lingering can grow rather nauseating. If you can't resist the taste of fenugreek, try dabbing your offensive areas with a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to kill bacteria.


Credit: Flickr/YIM-HafizDurian Fruit
When you get a whiff of durian fruit, it's no shock that this leaves a stench in its path. A delicacy in Southeast Asia, durian fruit is a fleshy (yes, as in fleshy like your skin) fruit encompassed in a hard, spiky shell. Its skin causes breath to smell unfathomably revolting. The fruit is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat, and sulfurous compounds, all of which combine to cause the horrid stink. As Anthony Bourdain said, "Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."

Deodorize: Scientists are working on an odorless durian fruit (much to the dismay of durian fruit fans). But if you'd rather not smell like rotting flesh, then citrus is a great alternative. Whether you squirt it into water or a bite into a juicy orange, your body can quickly process the citrus juices.


Credit: Flickr/chichachaCoffee
This beloved morning pick-me-up will hardly make a hot date want to pick you up. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, invariably causing your sweat glands to activate. Coffee also is highly acidic, which instantly dries your mouth out. When saliva is lacking, bacteria grows and feeds off the sulfur compounds that create bad breath.

Deodorize: Skip the coffee in the morning and go for some decaffeinated herbal tea. Not only is it a healthier choice, but it actively keeps bad breath at bay!


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- Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal

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