Digestive Health: Common Foods That Produce Unsavory Odors

Digestive Health
Digestive health can be a complicated enigma. It often requires a delicate balance and when the balance is upset, some individuals emit strong body odors and have more pronounced problems than others. A person’s diet can also significantly affect the odors they give off. Regardless of an individual’s hygiene (or lack thereof) and how much deodorant they wear, a person can still produce unsavory odors because of their diet. Many foods and beverages ingested could strongly affect an individual’s body aroma. Here are some common foods that produce unsavory odors and affect digestive health.

One of the most disruptive foods for digestive health is the consumption of red meat. Red meat is well-known for its digestive difficulties, and foods that are difficult to digest translate to foods that linger and collect bacteria in the digestive system, which often results in foul perspiration and bad breath (halitosis). In fact, a 2006 research study conducted in the Czech Republic compared the perspiration of vegetarian males versus those of meat-eating males; the results suggested that the meat-eaters had far more persistent and vulgar body odor.

A beloved beverage that affects digestive health and serves as a food which can produce unsavory odors when metabolized is coffee. Most people have heard of the term “coffee breath” and it is usually uttered with a wince. The reason for this reaction is two-fold. First, the caffeine contained in the morning brew stimulates the central nervous system, which triggers the sweat glands to emit odors as a person perspires. Second, coffee has a high acidity level, which also causes bacteria growth and bad breath as the inside of an individual’s mouth dries out as a result of ingesting the concoction.

While high-fiber foods, such as oats, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables, might be beneficial for dietary and homeostatic (body system balance) reasons, there are potential drawbacks that should be considered. The consumption of too many high-fiber foods (in excess of five grams) prior to prolonged physical activity can leave an individual drenched in perspiration, foul-smelling, bloated, and flatulent as the large intestine digests and releases a buildup of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gasses. However, the more fiber people incorporate into their diets, the better for maintaining energy levels, regularity, weight control, and successful appetite control. This is, of course, also dependent on whether or not an individual has any dietary restrictions or food allergies, such as gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Another food that affects digestive health and can produce unsavory odors when metabolized is garlic. Its potent odor is well-known and it emits from the pores due to the rapid breakdown of allicin into allin, which is a sulfur compound that is released as a strong perspiration odor. However, if a person and their date decide to dine on garlic bread together, chances are the resulting stench will go unnoticed as metabolized.

Some vegetables that often affect digestive health and can produce unsavory odors when metabolized include broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These vegetables are often among the most-despised vegetables, due in large part to their foul odors. However, these foods cause extreme digestive disruptions due to their ability to cleanse the body of carcinogens and toxins, which are often characterized by rotten-egg-smelling flatulence (farts) that are indicative of high sulfur content.

A person’s diet can significantly affect their digestive health and the odors their body gives off. Regardless of an individual’s hygiene (or lack thereof) and how much fragrance they wear, a person can still produce unsavory odors because of their diet. Another food that can strongly affect an individual’s body aroma is onions. Onions are a vegetable that possesses a particularly offensive odor when metabolized. The bold flavor of onions is due to the pungent oils they contain. When consumed, these oils absorb into a person’s bloodstream, seep into their lungs, and are released via the individual’s breath. Unfortunately, the onion odor emitted is even more unpleasant and potent if eaten raw. The foods and beverages a person ingests can affect their body in numerous ways including weight, energy levels, dietary and nutritional needs, as well as their ability to cause an individual to smell good or bad as their body metabolizes the food ingested. There are some common foods and drinks that could produce especially strong and unsavory odors when metabolized that people should be made aware of and the effects of which should be considered.

By Leigh Haugh

Fox 8 WGHP
Doctor Tipster