Researchers analysed the link between food and attraction
By Anya Meyerowitz
The way someone smells can play a large part in our attraction to them, and a new study has revealed how a person’s diet affects this.
Researchers at Macquarie University in Australia found that women prefer the body odour of men who eat a fruit and vegetable-packed diet to those who eat a lot of refined carbohydrates, the Mail Online reports – another reason to make sure you’re getting your five-a-day.
Apparently it’s all linked to our evolution, how in our days as cavemen the scent of a potential partner would instinctively tell us how healthy they were and indicate our offspring’s chances of survival.
In an article for the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, Dr Ian Stephen, professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, wrote:
“Greater fruit and vegetable intake was significantly associated with more pleasant smelling sweat (with more floral, fruity, sweet and medicinal qualities)… Dietary data revealed that fat, meat, egg and tofu intake was also associated with more pleasant smelling sweat, and greater carbohydrate intake with stronger smelling, less pleasant sweat.”
In order to test this they asked male participants in the study to provide diet information and sweat samples before asking women to smell the stinky clothes and indicate which scents they found most attractive.
It was found that the ‘sexiest’ scents came from the clothes of men who had a diet rich in fruit and vegetable. Dr Stephen explained:
“[The] human body odour may provide information to aid mate choice and two functions in this regard have been suggested… The first concerns inbreeding avoidance and the second the health status of a potential mate.”
To add to this, previous research has also shown that the yellow-ish skin tone caused by carotenoids – pigments in vegetables – is said to be an attractive hue.
At a time when just one in four adults are meeting the recommended daily intake of fruit and veg, this study provides yet another incentive to add some greenery to your shopping basket!