You’re on a date, at an important meeting, or maybe just having a night out with friends. Suddenly, you notice an unpleasant smell and, to your horror, realize it’s coming from you. You don’t understand how you could possibly be suffering from body odor–after all, you showered and put on deodorant just before leaving home.
Could it be something you ate? There’s a close link between diet and body odor and if it’s a problem you suffer from, learning which foods help avoid the odor or make it worse could finally put you in control.
What Causes Body Odor?
Our bodies are covered in glands that produce sweat when we get hot, helping to cool us down. Sweat doesn’t normally smell, being mostly water and salt, but the apocrine sweat glands, which are found in places like the armpits, release sweat that’s full of proteins. The bacteria that live on our skin love to eat these proteins, and as they do so, they release smelly acids. If you’re struggling to control body odor, learning more about how its affected by food could be the key to combating the problem.
Foods that Improve Body Odor
Increasing your intake of certain nutrients helps you reduce odors. Try getting plenty of these in your diet, and see the difference.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, watercress, kale and chard contain high levels of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is associated with a number of different health benefits, including the ability to neutralize oder-causing compounds  in the body. If you’re not eating enough greens, this could make a huge difference.
2. Fiber-rich Foods
Foods that are high in fiber include peas, lentils, and beans. Whatever your source, ensuring you’re eating enough is important for digestion, so any smelly compounds in your food are processed more quickly and less can exit through sweat.
3. Citrus Fruits
The acids contained in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit encourage the passage of water through the body, which minimizes toxins. If you struggle to fit fruit into your diet, try having a glass of fresh orange juice in the morning.
4. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas, especially peppermint, improve digestion so there’s nothing nasty lingering in your system. Floral jasmine tea can actively help you smell fresher.
Foods to Avoid
While you’re boosting your odor-fighting ability, give the good foods a bit of extra help by limiting or cutting out entirely anything that will make body odor worse.
Bad news, caffeine lovers – coffee can exacerbate body odor problems . Although its stimulating power is why it’s an essential part of many people’s day, this makes sweat glands abnormally active, which means it’s feeding time for bacteria. If you can’t bring yourself to quit completely, try switching one or more of your daily cups for herbal tea.
2. Red Meat
Red meat is one of the more difficult things for us to process, and that means it spends a lot of time in the digestive tract. The result of this is an increase in toxins that have been shown  to make people smell less attractive.
A few drinks here and there probably won’t make a huge difference, but after you’ve had a night on the town, you might notice you don’t smell too fresh the next morning. Alcohol actually seeps out of the pores as the body tries to deal with it, so it’s wise to keep your intake moderately low if you want to avoid nasty smells.
A popular spice, cumin is used in many cooking styles, particularly in Indian cuisine. Unfortunately, this tasty flavoring can really hang about in the pores, leading to an odd smell. It’s even been found that pregnant women who consume lots of cumin can actually affect the body odor of their newborn baby .
5. The Allium Family
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that onions, garlic, leeks, and chives  can be an underlying cause of body odor. It’s all down to the sulfur compounds they contain, which can exit the body through the pores. It can even linger for a few days after eating the offending plant.
Generally speaking, you might find that foods with a strong smell make body odor worse, and those with a light, fresh smell can help improve the situation. If you suffer from the problem and want to make it better, take a look at what you eat and you might find the culprit easily.
|||^||Livestrong.com: Chlorophyll & Underarm Odor|
|||^||Medical Daily: You Are What You Eat: 6 Smelly Foods That Are Actually Giving You Bad Body Odor|
|||^||Oxford Journal: The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness|
|||^||TheConversation.com: Does a mum’s diet during pregnancy influence her baby’s food preferences?|
|||^||Livestrong.com: Causes of Garlic Body Odor|