According to science, a nice smell is not what comes to mind when you think of garlic but the pungent vegetable makes men smell attractive to women. This is according to a study published in Hansanugrum & Barringer. Participants were given varying amounts of garlic to eat over the course of a week – and ‘odour’ pads to wear during the course of the experiment.
Women then sniffed the men who had eaten two cloves of garlic, and men who’d eaten four cloves for a week. The women rated the men in terms of attractiveness, pleasantness, intensity, and masculinity, the men who ate more garlic scored higher. According to Professor Craig Roberts who lead the study, this could be related to its health benefits. Garlic is packed with nutrients which help keep the body healthy and boost athletic performance amongst other benefits.
Roberts said: “Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on the pleasure derived from perceived body odour perhaps due to its health effects.
“From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odours was possibly shaped by means of sexual selection.
“Previous research indicates that many animal species use diet-associated cues to select mates in good physical condition.
“As the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immunostimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal and anti-cancer effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been shaped by sexual selection.”
Careful with oral hygiene if you’re going to be eating plenty of the stuff in order to attract the ladies, there’s such a thing as garlic breath.