The 5 top foods that make you smell

Smelly foods

By Caitlin de Kok

Big date? Work event? You may want to avoid these foods that have been shown to make you smell…



The top offender is one we are all familiar with – garlic breath anyone? There are two compounds within garlic that get released when it is cut, crushed or chewed – allicin and allin – these are the primary baddies responsible for garlic’s famous odour. However, it must be said that the health properties of garlic can also be attributed to allicin, which is said to have very strong medicinal effects on your body, including antibacterial and antiviral activity.

Heap of cumin


Cumin is commonly used in cooking, especially in spicy curry recipes. This seed, together with other spices, can linger for days. If you want to try something with less smell-inducing properties, cardamom is a possible solution. It lingers for a much shorter period and actually leaves a fresh aroma.

Carne cruda con prezzemolo

Red Meat

The third smell offender may not be that well known. Indeed, many of us eat red meat on a daily basis. However, studies that compare the sweat from red meat eaters to vegetarians found the latter to be far more appealing to the opposite sex.

Tip: try cutting red meat out of some meals, and replacing with white meat or seafood.

fresh cauliflower isolated on a white background

Cruciferous Vegetables

Beware banters! The newly beloved cauliflower is indeed a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, together with brocolli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. While ideal to eat frequently for their numerous low carb and health properties, cruciferous veggies can cause smells in the form of flatulence, due to their sulphur-rich nature.

Caffè caldo in tazza con chicchi di caffè


Skipping your beloved coffee may be easier said than done. However, it does qualify as a food that makes you smell for a number of reasons. Firstly, the caffiene stimulates your nervous system, causing you to sweat more than you otherwise would. Secondly, the acidity of the coffee has a tendency to dry out your mouth, leaving a breeding ground for bacteria and bad breath. Tip: chew a breath mint five minutes after your cuppa to stimulate the production of saliva.

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