Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Is Your Diet Causing Your Body Odor?


Is Your Diet Causing Your Body Odor?

By: Alexis Atkins

Did you know that only 2% of people have armpits that do not smell? According to a study done by the University of Bristol, only a small margin of 2% of people are born with the gene that allows their body to not make an odor. This means that for the rest of us, we have to put in a little legwork to make sure that our bodies aren’t smelling “like outside” as our mothers used to tell us.

Although genetics and hygiene play a huge part in our body’s fragrance, our diet can also be a contributor to an undesirable body odor. In this post, we are going to look at what foods in our daily diets contribute to body odor and how we can naturally improve our body’s scent with organic products.

Photo via Her Stock

The Relationship Between Odor and Diet

There’s validity in the popular saying, “you are what you eat.” Of course, you won’t turn into an onion if you eat onions but you might smell like one.
Some foods are comprised of offensive-smelling compounds like cruciferous vegetables, red meat, and garlic. When we consume these foods in excess, those compounds exit our bodies through our sweat glands producing an unsightly body odor. One of the main culprits of this stinky smell is the presence of sulfur in these foods.

Sulfur is known to have a foul smell and when we consume sulfur the scent permeates out of our bodies as bad breath, gas and/or body odor. Aside from foods like onions and garlic that are known to have a pungent aroma, these are some additional foods that may be contributing to your body odor include:

  • Red Meat
  • Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Processed or Junk Foods
  • Alcohol

As stated earlier, genetics can affect our natural body scent. The human body is comprised of thousands and thousands of genes that are uniquely affected by things like medical history, cleanliness, and diet. This means that these odor-causing foods may not cause irritation in everyone the same way. In many cases, people will experience little to no side effects from consuming these foods. However, some people will avoid these foods completely for various reasons including digestion issues, allergies, and of course, body odor.

Nonetheless, body odor is never trending, but this isn’t a warning to stop eating these foods altogether. Vegetables, like broccoli, and protein sources, like fish, provide essential nutrients that we need to maintain our optimal health. Eating these foods in moderation can make a huge difference in our body odor. Although there aren’t any cures for the effects of these smelly foods, some studies show that taking chlorophyll can have a slight neutralizing effect on the symptoms that arise when eating those foods.

Photo via Unsplash

What You Can Do

Sweat is a natural response to our bodies. Not only does sweating help regulate our bodies temperature but it also helps eliminate toxins from the body. Besides the fact that sweat isn’t really the reason we stink, it’s the combination of our apocrine glands blending with oils and bacteria that we secrete in our bodies. In other words, we don’t need to avoid sweating, but we can make small changes to ensure that our body’s smell doesn't clear out the room.

  • Clean Up Your Diet: Processed foods are notorious for causing body odor. Swap your favorite fried foods for delicious plant-based and whole foods. Try a refreshing detox tea like this one from the Royal Tea Exchange. You can even boost up your water with fruit infusions like strawberry-kiwi or pineapple orange.
  • Detox Your Underarms: Armpit detoxification can significantly improve body odor. It removes chemical toxins, like aluminum and sulfur, from the body. Traditional deodorants are designed to stop or reduce sweating. Over time, the toxins that have been blocked from exiting the body by the deodorant can accumulate under your arms. This happens because they cannot be excreted through your sweat glands. The Deep Detox Underarm Mask by Saige +Ivy is a great mask for detoxing your armpits to get your body back to smelling how it should.
  • Use Natural Deodorant: After cleansing your diet of over-processed foods and doing a proper armpit cleanse, switch your deodorant to a natural alternative. Natural deodorants allow your pores to properly breathe. This allows your underarms to have a passageway to eliminate toxins to reduce body odor. Plus, natural deodorants come in the same easy-to-use packaging that traditional deodorants come in without the harsh chemicals. D.C. natives, hunnybunny creates non-toxic plant-based deodorants. The deodorants are all-natural, gentle and aluminum-free.

Making these simple changes can not only improve your overall health but also lead to you having a fresher body odor.

Interested in other products that can help improve your natural aroma? Check out the Bath + Body shop on BLK + GRN here.