Melbourne: Women are more attracted to the body odour of men who eat a lot fruits and vegetables compared to those who have a more refined carbohydrates such as bread or pasta, a study has found.
From an evolutionary perspective, our sweat can help signal our health status and could possibly play a role in helping to attract a mate, scientists say.
"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. Researchers recruited a group of healthy, young men. The men's skin was analysed using a spectrophotometer.
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. 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.