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Food & diet

Here are seven foods that change your smell when you eat them

September 26, 2018

Do you like Mexican cuisine? Do you like strong spices and flavors? Are you crazy about garlic and onion and do you drink alcohol often and willingly? Some foods, especially spicy ones with pungent scents, not only nourish your body, but can also radically influence your body odor. Dr. Federica Furfaro, gastroenterologist at Humanitas, explained this phenomenon.


Plants, spices, meat, fish and alcoholic beverages

1 – Spices such as curry and cumin do not only stimulate the appetite and facilitate the digestive processes. The acrid smell of these spices sticks to the tongue and teeth, staying on the skin and in your breath.


2 – Useful as a basis for the preparation of many typical dishes of Italian cuisine, the molecules of garlic and onion remain on the tongue, giving the so-called heavy breath and representing a worsening factor for interpersonal relationships.


3 – When we eat red meat, some odorless proteins are released from the skin through sweating. These substances, mixed with the bacteria in the skin, can give an unpleasant stench to the human body.


4 – This is a genetic issue but there are many people who, after eating fish, convert a substance called choline into trimethylamine. Released from the skin and breath, this substance has a recognizable smell that can also be intense.


5 – Digestion of broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and cauliflowers releases sulphuric acid. This substance is gradually released from the human body through breath, sweat and intestinal gases.


6 – Famous for their ability to color urine green and strongly change its smell, asparagus contains mercaptan, which, through assimilation processes, becomes sulphuric acid.


7 – When consumed through drinks, alcohol is metabolized into acetic acid that is released through the pores of the skin and breath, giving the breath an intense and nauseating odor when drunk in large quantities.

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The opinion of Humanitas

“The smell of the skin depends on a number of factors, – said Furfaro – in particular it develops from the interaction between the sweat produced by our body at the level of the sweat glands and the bacterial flora that inhabits the skin. The sweat glands produce sweat to maintain body temperature. Sweat consists of water, ions, urea, immunoglobulins and cholesterol. Lipids, in contact with the bacteria that inhabit the skin, produce more intense odors. This smell is subjective, but it can also be influenced by the food we eat, as well as by drugs or states of stress.


Is there a way in which we can avoid this effect without depriving ourselves of these foods?

“In addition to limiting the intake of certain particularly “odorous” foods, we can also act on the smell of our skin by:


– Taking care of personal hygiene, taking a shower every day, drying well after the shower to limit the proliferation of bacteria on the skin.


– Using soaps that modify the bacterial flora of the skin (antibacterial soaps).


– Wearing breathable clothes based on natural fibers (linen, cotton) and always clean.


– Applying an antiperspirant to limit perspiration, or a deodorant to cover unpleasant odors.

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