We all know that a lot of chemistry goes on when we meet someone special, but who knew a big part of this attraction was based on what that person eats. New research has found that men who eat more fruit and vegetables actually smell better to straight women.

This small, yet interesting study, found that men who consumed more fruit and veg were significantly associated with a more pleasant smelling body odour whereas men who ate lots of refined carbohydrates, like white pasta and bread, had a more pungent less appealing smell. Ian Stephens, author of the study from the evolution, genetics and psychology department of Macquarie University, Australia, said:

“We’ve known for a while that odor is an important component of attractiveness, especially for women,” 

43 young, healthy men’s diets were tested by a spectrophotometer, which flashes a light onto the skin and reflects certain colours back based on the foods we eat. People who regularly eat a wide variety of colourful fruit and veg take on the hue of cartenoids which are the plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange foods. Essentially vegans skin glows a range of pretty colours! The men also completed a dietary questionnaire to further confirm their food intake.

The men were then given unscented cotton T-Shirts to wear and put through a range of different exercises designed to make them sweat. The 9 women in the study then had the unenviable task of smelling the T-Shirts and giving feedback on the intensity, odour and fragrance of the sweaty tops. The findings were clear that women preferred the smell of the men who ate a more plant based diet:

“Women basically found that men who ate more vegetables smelled nicer,” Stephen said. Reporting that women found this smell to be floral, fruity and sweet.

This is not the first study to find that what we eat not only makes us healthier but it actually makes us smell better too. Jitka Fialova has completed a handful of research in this area with similar findings and a 2006 experiment showed that a plant based diet developed sweat which was significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense.

You really are what you eat, and a plant based diet makes you smell better and have more brightly coloured skin!

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