Five Foods Causing Your Body Odour

By Lynsey Downie | @lynzey
Sub-edited by Zahida Khan

Body odour is the acquaintance you never miss. That’s why we compiled a list of foods to watch out for when it comes to date night! These foods, lovely as they are, contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When these VOCs are disgusted they produce byproducts which mix with bacteria present on our skin. So, beware and digest at your own risk!

1. Fish

Fish, a popular dinner choice, one which provides plenty of health benefits. The high-protein meal contains vitamins and is packed with omega-five. It’s also a great choice to balance out your veggies but a chemical present in fish called Choline can leave a fishy odour. High levels of Choline are often found in tuna or salmon. Choline can be secreted by the armpits and the smell can be produced by the body for up to a whole day. The research backing this up mainly stems from the genetic disorder trimethylaminuria. Those who suffer from trimethylaminuria disorder can’t produce trimethylamine when the body digests fish which leads to Choline building up in their sweat.

2. Alcohol

If you’re going out for a drink or a nice dinner watch your alcohol consumption. Current UK guidelines advise both men and women to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. However when alcohol is consumed a number of different things happen to the human body, one being it is metabolised into acetic acid or acetate. The acid is metabolised by the armpits bacteria causing sweat to be produced as a result. So watch out or you could end up smelling like the old pub round the corner.

3. Red Meat

Also bad for you in excess, red meat makes the list. Beef, lamb and pork can all fall into this category depending on the cut of meat. The amino acids present in red meat break down during digestion leaving residue in the intestine. To break down this residue, enzymes are used which mix with skin bacteria to cause body odour to be intensified. Small studies carried out have backed up this insight.

4. Junk Food

Moving on, of course, it wouldn’t be a list ‘don’ts’ without junk food. Junk food is often defined by its sugar content which when mixed with its high glycaemic index a strong body odour can be produced. The belief is that this sugar in the blood alters the makeup of human sweat in some individuals when combined with skin bacteria. This stink remains on the skin as junk food does not contain a high content of chlorophyll which is a natural deodorizer for the body.

5. Cruciferous Veggies

Number five is perhaps the most surprising in the list of contenders. Cruciferous vegetables in general terms mean ‘leafy’ vegetables such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. These vegetables cause an unpleasant odour due to their rich sulphur content. This has been described as causing a scent similar to that of rotten eggs on the skin. However, these findings are based on personal accounts. Basically, remember to eat your greens they contain fibre and lots of vitamins but always keep the deodorant at the ready!

Overall eat a balanced diet and if you follow our advice, it definitely won’t be your smell that ruins date night!

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