If there’s one thing most of us overlook when it comes to taking care of our health, it’s body odor. Sure, we make sure to spritz on some perfume or deodorant before we head out. But, that doesn’t offer a natural solution to smelly armpits and bad breath. While body odor is known to be caused due to stress, hormonal changes, medications, and excessive sweating, food plays an important role in determining how you smell as well. Here are seven foods you can eat to reduce body odor.
A popular herb used in folk medicine for bad breath, parsley now features in most breath mints and sprays. It detoxes and cleanses the blood. It also has a spicy smell that can mask and reduce bad breath. Other fresh herbs like peppermint and spearmint might also help mask the smell.1 So, just munch on parsley leaves whenever you feel like you’ve got bad breath.
This is yet another pantry staple that’s effective in eliminating bad breath. Cinnamon primarily consists of a compound called cinnamic aldehyde, which kills oral germs, including those that cause a foul, rotten egg-like smell. This might also help people who persistently suffer from bad breath or halitosis as well.2 Just chew a cinnamon stick or sip cinnamon tea.
3. Fresh Vegetables
Increasing your intake of fresh vegetables might improve your body odor. A study showed that the consumption of meat is linked to bad odor, while a non-meat diet leads to body odor that is pleasant and less intense.3 However, you might want to steer clear of tomatoes, which are known to cause smelly underarms.4 Opt for more salads or try more green smoothies to sneak in some fresh vegetables into your diet.
Touted as the “superfood” ingredient to add to your morning smoothies and energy shots, wheatgrass is a popular option to reduce bad odor. This is because it contains chlorophyll, which is used as an “internal deodorant.” Chlorophyll reduces the fishy smell that comes from a compound called trimethylamine. Studies have also shown that it reduces fecal odor and foul odor from wounds.5 You could either directly eat wheatgrass leaves or add its powder to beverages.
Probiotic yogurt is rich in lactobacillus bacteria, which fight candida infection. This infection is a common cause of vaginal odor. Consuming yogurt regularly can prevent and treat bacterial vaginosis as well.6 Include yogurt in your everyday diet by adding it to smoothies, making breakfast parfaits, adding it to granola, or having it straight from the pack.
6. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, or amla, is acidic in nature. This helps maintain a natural PH balance and discourages bacterial growth. This bacterial growth is eventually what causes sweat to smell bad and the vaginal area to develop a bad odor.7 Eat one gooseberry every morning or have it in the form of a juice.
Sage is yet another herb that is found in most herbal deodorants and perfumes that eliminates body odor. This is because sage has antibacterial properties that fight odor-producing bacteria.8 It’s also great for oral health because of this very reason. You could add sage to your diet by chewing the leaves or adding it to warm water and sipping on it like you would drink tea.
Body odor can be embarrassing, especially if you don’t have a deodorant stick on hand. But, if you choose to incorporate foods that promote good odor into your everyday diet, then you’re bound to see a significant change in how you smell. After all, who doesn’t want to smell good?
|↑1||Lee, Sean S. Breath: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral Malodor. Breath: causes, diagnosis, 2009.|
|↑2||Zhu, Min, Regina Carvalho, Aubrey Scher, and Christine D. Wu. “Short-term germ-killing effect of sugar-sweetened cinnamon chewing gum on salivary anaerobes associated with halitosis.” The Journal of clinical dentistry 22, no. 1 (2011): 23-26.|
|↑3||Havlicek, Jan, and Pavlina Lenochova. “The effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness.” Chemical senses 31, no. 8 (2006): 747-752.|
|↑4||Stewart, J. C. M. “Tomatoes cause under-arm odour.” Medical hypotheses 82, no. 5 (2014): 518-521.|
|↑5||Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin. Oregon State University.|
|↑6||Probiotics for the treatment of women with bacterial vaginosis-M. E. Falagas. Clinical Microbiology and Infection-Volume 13, Issue 7, pages 657–664, July 2007.|
|↑7||Intrinsic Therapeutic Gains of Dietary Antioxidants occurring In Soyabean, Aloevera, Gooseberry, Spirulina, Broccoli and Garlic-Raaz K Maheshwari et al.2014. Review Article-International Journal of Current Trends in Pharmaceutical Research IJCTPR, 2014: Vol. 2(1): 321-336.|
|↑8||Shahtalebi, Mohammad Ali, Mustafa Ghanadian, Ali Farzan, Niloufar Shiri, Dariush Shokri, and Syed Ali Fatemi. “Deodorant effects of a sage extract stick: Antibacterial activity and sensory evaluation of axillary deodorancy.” Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 18, no. 10 (2013): 833.|