Just as everyone has their own unique fingerprint, so does every person when it comes to body odour. Everyone has their own signature scent. Think about how different your grandmother and partner smell when you lean in for a hug. While there are several factors that contribute to body odour, the food you eat plays an important role. It's true, you are what you eat.
Though you won't be able to prevent body odour without aid, you will be able to control the severity by watching out for these body odour causing foods and drinks
Processed food is rich in refined sugar and high in glycemic index. This messes with the chemical composition of your blood. When some of these chemicals are excreted from your body through sweat, you will smell super bad.
Onion and Garlic
Both onion and garlic are strong-smelling foods. They contain an oily compound called Allicin and it is rich in sulphur. This leads to your sweat naturally containing high amounts of sulphur. When bacteria on the surface of your skin feed on sweat laced with sulphur, it produces more sulphur compounds, resulting in very bad body odour.
These are healthy foods and they are great for the heart. You should not avoid them altogether. You can reduce their body odour causing property by using them in moderation and by cooking them thoroughly.
Spices like cumin, coriander, caraway and nutmeg, when broken down by the digestive system, produce sulphur compounds that make your sweat stink when bacteria feed on it. They are good for you hence enjoy them in moderation.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli and brussels sprouts are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins and poly nutrients. These vegetables contain a powerful cancer-preventing compound called sulforaphane. This sulphur compound destroys tumour cells in humans. So when you eat these vegetables, the amount of sulphur available on your skin increases thereby contributing to body odour.
The overall health benefits of cruciferous vegetables outweigh the stink part. Make them an important part of your balanced diet.
Red meat is fatty and the body spends more energy to digest it. The digestive process of red meat produces fatty acids that are eliminated from the body through sweat. As the body works more than usual to digest red meat, you will also sweat more than usual so that the body can be cooled. When bacteria on your skin mingle with this sweat rich in fatty acids, it produces terrible body odour.
Consider plant-based proteins or white meats that are easy on your digestive system. Avoiding red meat is healthy for you and the planet.
Dairy & Fish
If you have a metabolic disorder like lactose intolerance and genetic disorder like tyrosinemia you will reek like boiled cabbage after consuming dairy and fish respectively. When your metabolic processes aren't working properly, they can sometimes cause the body to have strange odours. If your body cannot breakdown the amino acids and sugars in the food you consume, you will smell really bad.