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When Bad Smells Happen to Good Eaters

When Bad Smells Happen to Good Eaters

Oh, the irony! Foods that can help you live longer, can make you smell so bad that nobody wants to live with you.

Here are some healthy foods that create foul body odors.

Garlic: It reduces the frequency of everything from the common cold to heart disease. But digested garlic produces sulfurous gasses that enter the bloodstream and are released through pores and lungs. The good news: If you and your dinner companions all eat garlicky foods, the body odor seems less obnoxious. Try eating parsley or drinking milk to reduce the smell.

Cumin Seeds: These iron-rich seeds beef up your immune system, fight some cancers, and enhance detoxification enzymes in the liver. But, eat cumin, and your sweat can reek for days. This is not the spice to consume before a big meeting or first date.

Asparagus: A great source of fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, and glutathione, which protects against breast, bone and lung cancers. But when you digest asparagus, sulfur compounds are broken down and make your urine smell like spoiled cabbage.

Onions: They’re fiber-rich and known to lower cholesterol and improve circulation. But as you digest onions, heir volatile sulfur compounds enter the blood and are released through the lungs: Say hello to onion breath. Cooking onions before eating can reduce the odor; so can growing onions in low-sulfur soil.

Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower: These cabbage family vegetables contain phytochemicals, vitamins and fiber that can lower your cancer risk. But at a price, because their sulfurous compounds are secreted in sweat that can produce a foul smell for up to six hours after eating one serving. You can minimize the bad odor by parboiling the vegetables in water with a pinch of salt.

Fish: It’s good for brain function and reducing heart disease risk. But the choline found in tuna and salmon creates a fishy smell that can emanate from sweat for a day after eating a single fish serving.

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Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Fitness, Food, General Health, Natural Remedies, Raw, ,

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon, creator of, is an award-winning journalist, avid gardener and fly-fisher. She lives in Northern Virginia on a half acre that always needs weeding. Please visit her on Twitter (@kaplan_lisa) and Facebook (Lisa Kaplan Gordon)


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1:44AM PDT on Jun 21, 2015

interesting facts ...

1:43AM PDT on Jun 21, 2015

interesting facts ...

1:13AM PDT on Jun 21, 2015

I am so glad my hubby & I eat the same foods so we smell the same (LOL)!!

11:25PM PDT on Sep 22, 2014

I agree with Geoff P

4:26PM PDT on Sep 7, 2014

i guess people will have to get used to the way i stink

9:24PM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

Not sure I have any friends who don't
eat all of these things at least once or
twice a week, just as I do ..... sooooo
not a problem in my world........... :)

7:50PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Smell can be a good or bad motivator in eating something.

6:01PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Not in my experience. Only onions, but even then, it can be taken care of.

6:58PM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

Sorry, but I don't think these foods make you smell bad at all. They only affect the smell of your urine and if you flush after you go, no-one smells it but you. The only one of these foods that may affect the way your body smells is garlic and unless you consume a large amount of it on a daily basis it won't cause you to smell.
This is totally stupid.

3:20PM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

Cumin isn't that noticeable for sweat, try methi (fenugreek)! But really it's just strong rather than disgusting.

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