We’re all too aware that garlic and onions can make us smell bad, but did you know that there are plenty of other foods which can make us smell strange, and they don’t just affect our breath, either!

Which foods should you be avoiding if you have a job interview or a hot date? Read on to find out.

1. Alcohol

When you’ve been hung over in the past, you may have thought you could still smell booze, and that it seemed to be seeping from your skin. You’re spot on – your body sends alcohol through your bloodstream before it leaves your system, so it seeps out of your pores and sweat glands. That’s what gives you that awful hangover odor, and the only way to rid yourself of the smell is to drink lots and lots of water to dilute the alcohol in your blood.

2. Asparagus

Blame the sulfur compound mercaptan in asparagus for making your pee smell funny. The smell is created when mercaptan is broken down by the body in your digestive system.

The effect varies from person to person, but if you’re one of those people whose urine doesn’t smell after eating asparagus, it’s because your body doesn’t possess the enzyme to break down the mercaptan.

To avoid the asparagus stench, try an alternative, such as roasted or grilled bell peppers.

3. Beets


Beetroot is high in methyl, which is a substance that is broken down in your digestive system to create trimethylamine. This compound is released onto your skin, and can create a fishy smell that repulses a lot of people. Keep the beets for a night in on your own!

4. Broccoli, Cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts

These vegetables are high in sulfur, so although they’re good for you, the smell can clear a room in seconds. Those who eat these veggies may well find themselves suffering from flatulence, and leaving a rotten-egg smell in their wake.

5. Chewing Gum

I bet you never thought you’d see gum on the list of foods that make you smell, but chewing gum increases the amount of air you swallow, causing a buildup of gas in your stomach. The gas has to leave your body somewhere, right?

6. Coffee


Coffee might seem harmless, but caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which activates your sweat glands. It’s also acidic, and dries out your mouth. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, bacteria grows and feeds off the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. Try drinking decaffeinated herbal tea instead.

7. Curry and Cumin

If you love spicy curries, you may not find the lingering stench worth it. Aromas of spices such as cumin can lodge in your pores and stay there for a while. If you want to avoid this, try using cardamom instead of cumin.

8. Dairy Foods

Dairy products can cause body odor when lipids that come from digesting milk, yogurt etc. react with bacteria on your skin to cause odorous gases as a byproduct. The waste feeds the bacteria that contribute to your embarrassing B.O.

Try using non-dairy alternatives, such as almond or coconut milk.

9. Durian Fruit

If you’ve never smelled a durian fruit, count yourself lucky. This fruit is a delicacy in Southeast Asia, and both the skin and the flesh of the fruit cause you to smell revolting. The fruit is high in carbohydrates, protein, fat, and sulfurous compounds, all of which combine to create a smell like rotting flesh.

Scientists are trying to create an odorless durian fruit, but until then, try some citrus fruit instead, like oranges.

10. Fiber Rich Foods


High fiber foods are undoubtedly good for us, but if you eat something with more than five grams of fiber in it, be prepared to stink the place out, especially if you eat not long before working out.

Your sweat will reek, and you’ll probably become bloated and gassy. Fiber rich foods contain gases like methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide, which have to be relased by your body.

Drink more water to balance out the effects of fiber rich foods.

11. Fish


Many people don’t even know that they have a metabolic disorder called trimethylaminuria, which makes them unable to break down certain proteins in fish. Sufferers of this condition release the stinky compounds in their breath, sweat and urine, and most of them sadly don’t realize it.

12. Fenugreek

This is a weird one – fenugreek can make your sweat smell like maple syrup. The herb contains a compound called solotone, which is responsible for the strange, sweet smelling sweat.

If you love fenugreek, try dabbing your offensive areas with a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice to kill the bacteria.

13. Garlic


That awful garlic stink oozes from your skin because a compound called allicin is released when garlic is cut or crushed. Allicin breaks down quickly after eating, and converts to other substances that result in strong smelling sweat.

If the garlic sweat is strong, apply white or cider vinegar to keep you odor free throughout the day.

14. Junk Food

Did you know that sugary foods can make you stink? The chemical compounds in high sugar foods can mess with the chemical makeup of your blood, and the result can be a foul odor on your skin.

15. Lentils

Yes, lentils are amazingly healthy, but like some other superfoods, they also make you smell. These high fiber foods can cause major gas and bloating. Easier to digest alternatives to lentils are: whole grains, fruit, and potatoes.

16. Not Getting Enough Vegetables

Green vegetables and other plant-based foods have been linked with the reduction of sulfur compounds that make breath smell bad. They can also help with the issue of gingivitis, which is the bacterial inflammation of the gums.

17. Onions


You’re probably not surprised to see onions make it on to this list, are you? When we digest onions, their oils absorb into the bloodstream, into your lungs, and come through your breath. Until you have got rid of the onions from your body, the smell will hang around you.

Raw onions are the worst offenders, so try sautéing them to reduce the oils and the smell.

18. Red Meat


A 2006 study collected sweat samples from both meat-eating and vegetarian men. A group of women were then asked to identify the worst smell, based on several factors. The vegetarian men’s body odor was found to be much nicer than the meat-eaters’.

19. Soy

Soy milk can disrupt the processes of the intestine, and give you a lot of gas. Try using replacements for soy-based products, such as nuts, seeds, and coconut. These natural alternatives will help keep your stomach happy and your gas at bay.

20. Spicy Foods

All spicy foods raise your sweat levels, so to avoid a sweat rush at dinner, ask for a milder dish instead. You could also ask for the hot sauce to be served on the side, or for the dish to be prepped without the spicy ingredient.

21. Whey Protein


Your stomach has a hard time digesting too much protein at once, and whey can make you seriously gassy. Americans eat much more protein than they actually need, so try to stick to more moderate protein foods such as: almonds, yogurt, and eggs instead.