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The Smelly Truth: What Foods Cause Stinky Feet?

We’ve all experienced it at some point – kicking off our shoes at the end of a long day only to get a whiff of an unpleasant foot odor wafting up. While there are many causes of smelly feet, including excessive sweating, certain socks and shoes, some foot diseases, and going barefoot, the foods we eat can also have an impact. Read on to learn which foods are most likely to cause your feet to stink.

Sulfur-Rich Foods

Foods that are rich in sulfur compounds like garlic, onions, durian fruit, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are prime suspects when it comes to stinky feet. The sulfur from these foods can make its way into your perspiration, traveling through your bloodstream and pores until they reach your feet. Bacteria on your skin feast on these released sulfur compounds, producing noxious gases as waste products which leads to unpleasant foot odor. Going heavy on the garlic bread or onion rings could mean smelly feet in your future so consume these foods in moderation if you want to keep your tootsies sniff-free.

Processed Meats

Pepperoni, salami, bacon, sausage – processed meats may taste delicious but they can also cause some pretty rank foot odor because of their high fat, protein, and choline content. When digested, these components produce various odor-causing chemicals that find their way to your feet. Cured meats with lots of preservatives and chemicals like nitrates seem to be the worst offenders. If you go on a processed meat binge, don’t be surprised if your feet start kicking up a stink soon after.

Spicy Foods

Foods seasoned with lots of chili peppers, curry, pepper, cayenne and other spicy ingredients can also lead to some fiery foot odor because of how they stimulate sweat production. The spicier the food, the more you’ll sweat – including down by your feet. All this moisture sets up the perfect conditions for odor-causing bacteria to multiply and thrive. A diet heavy in spicy dishes could quickly result in somepretty smelly feet. If you can’t give up your spicy food addiction, make sure to wash and thoroughly dry your feet regularly when indulging to keep the stench at bay.

Dairy Products

Milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy foods often get the blame for foul-smelling feet due to containing the sugars lactose and sucrose. These sugars can end up fueling odor-producing bacteria living on the skin of your feet. Going overboard with the dairy could mean having to deal with some serious stink. If you start noticing your feet smell worse after a day of ice cream and milkshakes, consider cutting back on the dairy. Also make sure to wash your feet well after dairy binges to rinse away any skin bacteria feasting on leftover lactose and sucrose.

Beans, Lentils and Soy

Beans, lentils and soybeans contain high amounts of protein and the metabolites produced from digesting all that protein can lead to increased foot odor. The gases created in the digestion process like methane and hydrogen sulfide make their way through bloodstream to the pores of your feet where bacteria immediately starts feeding on them, producing smelly sulfurous waste. Eating lots of beans and soy products could quickly stink up your feet. Try lowering your legume intake if foot freshness is a priority.

So if you suddenly notice your feet smelling extra aromatic, take a look at your recent diet. The foods you eat really do have an impact on foot odor so avoid these common culprits in excess. And don’t forget to regularly wash and dry your feet well – this, combined with breathable footwear, can help keep even the stinkiest food-induced foot odors at bay. With some dietary moderation and foot hygiene, you can have both the foods you love and sweet-smelling feet!