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15 Sneaky Foods That Can Make You Smell

The phrase "you are what you eat" really does have some truth behind it.

While food might smell itself, there are actually some foods that can make you smell after eating it. Yes, seriously! Which is less than ideal for let's say date night or a birthday celebration, for example. Or even if you're hanging by yourself, watching a movie on the couch. You don't want to suffer through the stench!

Of course, most of the foods that tend to leave you with an odor happen be good for you, such as plenty of green veggies and eggs. So that means you should still enjoy them in your diet, but just be mindful about portion size, and when and where you're eating them.

Here are 15 foods that can make you smell after eating them, so be fair warned!



steamed asparagus on white plate

If you head to the bathroom to urinate soon after eating asparagus, it will likely smell. But that is totally normal!

"This is because of sulfur compounds produced," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. Oddly, some people don't produce it and cannot smell it. If you are one of those, you're lucky!



scrambled eggs with toast
Stepanek Photography/Shutterstock

Eggs also contain sulfur-packed compounds which can definitely make your gas smell funky. Plus, "a small percentage of people have a genetic condition called trimethylaminuria which results in the body's inability to break down a foul-smelling compound and may result in an overall fishy smell," adds Harris-Pincus.



garlic oil

Though garlic is delicious, it can cause you to emit odor from your breath and your pores, so your body might smell like, well, garlic.

"When garlic is broken down it produces sulfur-like compounds that can show up in your breath or can react with perspiration on your skin to create a stinky odor," says Harris-Pincus. (And just so you know, this is How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Quickly!)



Shredded cabbage

Cabbage is a cruciferous veggie, so that's how it gets its place on the list of foods that can make you smell.

"As a high fiber food, it can cause bacteria to ferment that fiber in your intestine which creates gas," says Harris-Pincus. Plus, there's also the sulfur containing components, which break down into hydrogen sulfide, yielding that rotten egg type smell.



Broccoli florets

Broccoli is another cruciferous veggie, like cabbage, that can also lead to odors, says Harris-Pincus. And it's for the same reasons: high fiber and sulfur properties. But, it's also super healthy and offers tons of nutrients, so still enjoy it!

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Coconut curry

"A lot of spice combinations give off great flavor but also give off a pungent aroma from adding heat to those spices," says Brigitte Zeitlin, registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition. Curry is one of these, and the smell from these dishes can linger on you far after the dish is done. But yeah, it does taste great!


Fried Food

French fries

The fats and oils in processed and greasy fried foods take your body a long time to break down and digest.

"[So] as these processed foods sit in your stomach, they can turn rancid, contributing to bad breath, bad smelling burps, and flatulence," says Zeitlin.



chopped onions on a cutting board

As a member of the allium vegetable family, onions are a sulfur-containing vegetable, and sulfur can lead to bad breath and bad body odor as your body breaks it down to absorb, says Zietlin. Maybe go easy on the onion dip when out for date night!


Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts

"As part of the cruciferous vegetable family, brussels are rich in sulfur, which do make them good for you and helpful to promote clear skin. But, that also means that as your body breaks them down, you may start to give off sulfur-containing gases through your pores giving you a bit of body odor for a few hours," says Zeitlin.

A tip? Eat them cooked or par-boiled instead of raw to reduce the effects.


Spicy Food

spicy food

As the body breaks down spicy foods, it turns them into those sulfur-containing gases, which go out through the pores and leave you with body odor for a few hours until your body has purged itself of all those gases, says Zeitlin.




Though pretty on the plate, "beets are high in the compound methyl, and foods high in methyl break down into chemical compounds in your digestive system and can create a fishy smell," says Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN.



cup of coffee

Coffee can activate the central nervous system, which can trigger your sweat glands, says Schapiro. Plus, "coffee can also dry out your mouth, allowing bacteria to grow which can cause bad breath," she adds.



low-fat yogurt

"The fat from the dairy can be excreted in your sweat which can release an odor," says Schapiro, and "the waste from the fat in dairy is digested by bacteria on your skin causing body odor, too," she says.



grilled swordfish

"Some people have a metabolic disorder trimethylaminuria which means they can't break down certain proteins in fish," says Schapiro. This smelly compound can be released in the urine, sweat and breath, thus emitting a smelly odor.



Easy lentil soup

"Lentils are high in fiber which can activate gut bacteria and too much gut bacteria can cause smelly gas and bloating," says Schapiro. Again, lentils are a food that's overall good for you, so just be sure to keep portion size in check and pair it with other foods not on this list!

Isadora Baum
Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy. Read more about Isadora
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