How Does Food Affect Body Odor?

While spicy foods make you sweat more, fruits and vegetables help produce good body odor. Do you want to know more information and tips? Keep reading.
How Does Food Affect Body Odor?

Last update: 23 January, 2019

Ludwig Feuerback said, “You are what you eat.” In addition, you smell like what you eat. In the study Evolution & Natural Behavior, carried out by a group of researchers from Macquarie University in Australia, they determined that your diet can determine the body odor you give off.

What do you smell like?

Skin is the largest organ you have. Its function is to protect you, help regulate temperature, store water and communicate with the outside through sensory stimulation.

Through your pores, you eliminate toxins in the form of sweat. Therefore, it’s important to encourage these substances to leave your body.

In addition, it’s logical to conclude that food influences body odor. What you eat can affect the scent you’ll give off.

How Does Food Affect Body Odor?

The influence of hormones

Everyone has a different body odor, and this has to do with hormones. It depends on both sex and genetics. As we mentioned, food affects your sweat, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

In other words, some may increase sweating, whereas others alter their composition, making them smell different.

Foods that cause an unpleasant odor

Spicy foods make you sweat more since they contain capsaicinwhich makes you feel burning.

The nervous system receptors are activated, which act the same way as you do in the middle of the summer. That’s why when you eat something spicy, you notice that your temperature rises.

Red meat

A study published by the Oxford Academic Journal concluded that eating too much red meat makes it harder for the body to burn fat and obtain energy.

This causes your sweat to be full of toxins. As a result, it leads to an unpleasant odor.

Refined carbohydrates

There’s a direct relationship between people who consume too much of these foods and bad body odor.


Curry, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric cause you to give off a very particular smell. However, if you like these condiments, the smell won’t bother you.

Garlic and onion

In addition to their healing qualities, both garlic and onions contain sulfoxidesIt’s a compound that passes very easily to your tissues.

Therefore, it makes you give off that particular and unpleasant odor through every pore in your skin.

How Does Food Affect Body Odor?


There is a metabolic disorder called trimethylaminuria that causes a strong odor from fish in poor condition. This is because people who suffer from it can’t process the substance fish release during the decomposition process.

Foods that make you smell good

In the same Evolution & Natural Behavior study, it shows that people who eat more fruits and vegetables gave off a sweeter, even floral smell. 

Pineapples and oranges favor a pleasant smell. On the other hand, leafy green vegetables function as a natural deodorant, thanks to the chlorophyll they contain.

Tips for good body odor

  • Include probiotics in your diet. They help digest toxins, thus reducing the body odor from sweat.
  • Mint and cardamom. They help the digestive system and give your body a fresh aroma.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.