If a new study is to be believed, guys may want to eat more vegetables and fruits than invest in expensive perfumes. Recent research in Australia has found that women are more attracted to the body odour of men who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables compared to those who have more refined carbohydrates such as bread or pasta.
From an evolutionary perspective, our sweat can help signal our health status and could possibly play a role in helping to attract a mate, say scientists.
“We have known for a while that odour is an important component of attractiveness, especially for women,” said Ian Stephen of Macquarie University in Australia.
When people eat a lot of colourful veggies, their skin takes on the hue of carotenoids, the plant pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow and orange foods. The carotenoids get deposited in our skin, which can be measured by the spectrophotometer.
Researchers recruited a group of healthy, young men. The men’s skin was analysed using a spectrophotometer. The results are “a good indicator of how much fruits and vegetables we are eating,” Stephen said.
Researchers also had men complete food frequency questionnaires so they could determine the men’s overall patterns of eating. Then the men were given clean T-shirts and asked to do some exercise.
Afterwards, women in the study were asked to sniff the sweat. “Women basically found that men who ate more vegetables smelled nicer,” Stephen was quoted as saying by NPR.
Men who ate a lot of meat did not produce a sweat that was any more – or less – attractive to women. However, meat did tend to make men’s odour more intense. Carroll says people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are more likely to be interested in their health – “feeling good, looking fit” – than their smell.