(Natural News) While eating garlic can make your breath smell bad, it apparently can make you more appealing — if you’re a man, that is. A 2015 study published in Appetite Journal concluded that garlic may make men smell more attractive to women by altering their body odor.
“Certainly, breath odor plays a crucial role in most social interactions, but human axillary (armpit) odor is also an important factor in intimate relationships,” the researchers wrote in the journal, as reported by Telegraph.
Researchers from the University of Stirling in Scotland and Charles University in the Czech Republic found that the sweat of men who had consumed garlic smelled more attractive to women. They believe that this effect may be due to the healthy properties of garlic, such as its antioxidant properties and antimicrobial activity.
Researchers explained that women might have evolved to favor a scent which indicates that the person is healthy. They also said that the antibacterial activity of garlic makes the armpits smell sweeter by decreasing the density of the microbes that cause bad odors. (Related: New research confirms that the scent of your significant other really does reduce stress, especially in women.)
“As the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immune-stimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal, and anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects, it is plausible that human odor preferences have been similarly shaped by sexual selection,” explained the researchers.
Eating four cloves of garlic makes men smell more attractive to women
For the study, researchers asked 42 men in rotation to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic. Then, they asked them to wear pads in their armpits for 12 hours afterward, so that they could get their body odor samples. After that, they asked 82 women to smell the odor samples and evaluate their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity.
The results showed that the women participants perceived the body odor of the men to be “significantly more attractive and less intense” when they had eaten raw garlic or taken garlic capsules compared to when they had not taken any garlic.
However, there is a certain amount of garlic to be eaten before the effect manifested. In the first experiment, the men ate six grams (g) of garlic, which is equivalent to two cloves, along with bread and cheese. This amount was not enough and did not cause any difference in the ratings compared to when they ate bread and cheese on its own.
Yet, when the men ate four cloves or 12 grams of garlic, the women found them more attractive than when they had not eaten garlic. When the men consumed the same amount but in capsule form, the women had similar perceptions.
Eating fruits and vegetables also makes men more attractive
According to a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, eating fruits and vegetables can also make men smell more appealing, while eating carbs might make them less attractive. Similar to the garlic study, this study concludes that sweat is used to indicate the overall health of a potential mate.
In this study, researchers measured how much fruits and vegetables a group of healthy men eat using a device called a spectrophotometer, which looks for carotenoids, a good indicator of how many fruits and vegetables a person is eating. Then, the participants answered a survey regarding their eating patterns. In order to get their sweat samples, researchers gave them white t-shirts and asked them to exercise.
Then, the researchers recruited women who were tasked to smell the sweaty t-shirts and rate the resulting odors using descriptions like “floral” and “fruity.”
The results showed that women perceived men who ate more fruits and vegetables as more attractive than those who ate more carbs.
Read more news stories and studies on the benefits of eating garlic at SuperFoods.news.