These common foods can give you body odour

When it comes to body odour, the food you eat has significant influence on more than just your breath.

These common foods can give you body odour
© Getty/ simonkr
These common foods can give you body odour

Poor personal hygiene and excessive sweating are some of the reasons your body odour may be unpleasant. What most people don’t pay attention to when they’re trying to address this problem is the food they eat. Due to the interaction between certain chemicals in the digestion process, some types of food can make you smell bad. Here are some foods you should avoid or eat less of if you’re concerned about the smell your body emanates.

Discover our latest podcast

Cruciferous veggies

You may have another (valid) reason to hate broccoli, brussels sprouts and other vegetables that belong to a family called cruciferous vegetables. This is because they contain sulphur, a stinky compound that smells like rotten egg. Nitin Kumar, a board-certified gastroenterologist in Illinois, tells Allure

[Eating these vegetables]may increase the availability of sulphur to skin bacteria, allowing them to make more sulphur-containing compounds.


This is not food, but since it’s quite popular drink, you might want to know that a night out drinking could give you an unpleasant smell, and this is not just from the peculiar aura of tequila. According to the National Institutes of health, when alcohol is absorbed into the body, it metabolizes into acid which then gets into your sweat. This acetic-acid-infused sweat is further processed by skin bacteria, leaving you smelling awful.

Getty/ Joff Lee


If you are unfortunate to belong to the small group of people with a condition known as trimethylaminuria, you may notice a fishy smell after consuming seafood. This condition, which is often hereditary, is brought on your body’s inability to break down a chemical that is naturally present in seafood and other types of food including cow’s milk, peanuts, beans and eggs. According to the NHS,

In trimethylaminuria, the body is unable to turn a strong-smelling chemical called trimethylamine – produced in the gut when bacteria break down certain foods – into a different chemical that doesn't smell.

The spicier, the stinkier

You may enjoy spicy food for the kick, but by making you sweat, your body is more likely to smell. Common ingredients such as garlic and onions can give you an unpleasant aura due to the presence of sulphur in them, an article on Allure states. Spicy food not only make your breath stink, but your body can reek from it too.

Sources used:

Allure: 5 Ways Your Diet Can Cause Bad Body Odor

Gymspin: The Common Foods that can Cause Body Odour and what to Replace Them With

NHS: Trimethylaminuria ('fish odour syndrome')

Well and Good: Your Favorite Foods Could Be Causing Body Odor—Here Are the 6 Biggest Offenders

This common condition can give you 'crusty' eyelids This common condition can give you 'crusty' eyelids