What Are Foods that Cause Body Odor?

by Abigail Adams

About Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams began her freelance writing career in 2009, teaching others about medical conditions and promoting wellness by writing on online health and fitness publications. She is educated and licensed as a registered nurse, having received her degree from North Georgia College and State University.



A function of sweating is to help cool off your body. As the sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin, an odor may occur. Proper hygiene to wash the bacteria off the body will usually keep body odor at bay. Some people experience excessive sweating in a condition called hyperhidrosis, which may lead to an increase in body odor. Some foods may increase the possibility of having a pungent body odor.

Garlic and Onions

Foods such as garlic and onions have a strong smell and high sulfur content. After you eat these items, the oils from the food absorb into the blood and can leave the body through sweat. Foods such as garlic and onions may also cause bad breath.


Spices with a strong aroma such as cumin and curry may cause body odor and bad breath. Like with the onions and garlic, the oils from the spices trap in the bloodstream and release through your pores and from the lungs when you breathe.


To help decrease sweating and body odor, you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, according to Go Ask Alice. Common drinks containing caffeine include coffee and cola.

Red Meat

Eating red meats may cause in increase in body odor. A study performed in 2006 suggests males who eat red meat may produce an undesirable odor while people who eat no red meat tend to have body odor described as more attractive and more pleasant, according to the Oxford Journals.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.