What’s That Smell?

Perfume, deodorant, breath mints, gum, toothpaste, air-freshener, soaps, lotions, shampoos- we are a culture obsessed with smelling nice. With this in mind, it’s even more frustrating (and bewildering) when something unpleasant wafts to your nose from…well, your own body.

Bodies have odors. We sweat, we emit pheromones, we fart, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it other than try to cover it up with all our fancy odor-accessories, right? Wrong.

Though there are certain inevitabilities of stench, many things can be rectified from the inside out, with simple dietary alterations.

  • Fact: Manufactured foods make you smell worse. So do red meats. Our bodies aren’t good at processing them and in the same way that a clogged up engine might start to smoke and smell like burning rubber, so too may your glands. Avoid them.
  • Fact: Alcohol, caffeine, onions, hot drinks, garlic, spicy foods (think cumin, curry etc.) all speed up our heart rates, in turn causing us to sweat more. More sweat–> more stink. The moral of the story here is moderation (and perhaps skipping Indian food on a first date).
  • Fact: Foods like parsley, cilantro, celery, mints, rosemary, thyme and oregano all have a cooling effect on the body, and make us smell clean and delicious from the inside out. Try incorporating these herbs into your more basic dishes for a sweet bonus.
  • Myth: Shaving your armpits makes you smell better. In reality, it’s all about keeping things fresh and clean. Though bacteria will congregate more readily in a bush of underarm hair, it’s mostly only going to be an issue if you exercise for an extended period of time and don’t shower right away. (This being said, there are plenty of other reasons to shave your underarms).

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