• Fruit, vegetables make men smell more appealing
For many men hoping to attract a member of the opposite sex, slapping on a splash of aftershave can seem like the ideal way to help them smell more alluring.
But new research suggests they may want to eat a salad too if they want to increase their appeal to women.
It has shown that men who eat large amounts of fruit and vegetables have the most attractive smell to women, taking on an odour described as being floral and sweet.
Men who ate large amounts of meat, egg and tofu also had quite pleasant smelling sweat.
But those who had greater amounts of pasta, bread and other carbohydrates in their diet tended to have the least pleasant aroma.
Dr. Ian Stephen, a psychologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, and his team said their findings suggests a man’s body odour may help to signal information about their health to women.
Writing in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, they said: “The female judges were able to reliably evaluate the affective and intensity dimensions of male body odour.
“Male axillary sweat can serve as a further honest cue to women, about a man’s health status.”
The researchers also argue that other indicators, such as yellower skin caused by a greater intake of foods rich in carotenoids such as carrots, are known to be more attractive to women.
Using spectrometres they were able to measure the level of colouring in men’s skin due to carotenoids and so estimate their intake of fruit and vegetables.
They asked nine women to smell the sweat collected from 43 different men. The women rated the sweat from men with higher carotenoid levels as being better smelling.
The women described the sweat from these men as being more floral, fruity, sweet or having medicinal qualities.
The researchers also asked the men to fill in questionaires about their diet to obtain a measure of how much meat and carbohydrate they ate.