It makes sense that what we put in our bodies can have a dramatic impact. As delicious as junk food may be, it’s no mystery that it can leave you feeling both guilty and really ill. But food can do much more than leave you with a lingering sense of shame and a stomach ache. It turns out that some of our favourite ingredients can produce a variety of bizarre and unexpected side effects. These can sometimes be subtle, but there’s no mistaking them once you know they are there. Here are seven common foods that can have seriously weird effects on your body.
1. Spicy food
The various after effects of an ill-advised curry can be as painful as they are NSFW, but something that sometimes slips under the radar is how spice can affect your sleep. Scientists have found evidence that eating spicy food can lead to bizzare dreams and even nightmares, as a result of our digestion interfering with sleep continuity. Some have even suggested that seeking out dairy to ease the pain of fiery food can also increase the likelihood of weird dreams.
Veganism and lactose intolerance have both helped soy’s popularity to explode. Unfortunately for future generations, this may not be a good thing. Several studies have pointed out the correlation between soy consumption and male fertility, with the bean appearing to adversely affect sperm count.
It might be one of the most delicious ingredients on the planet, but garlic has a hidden dark side. For the hygiene conscious, it’s important to note that garlic can have a dramatic impact on your body odour. Thanks to an amino acid known as allicin, a compound that produces a sulphur-like smell, eating raw garlic can cause your sweat to smell much more strongly than usual.
The single most popular asparagus fact is definitely what it does to your pee. However, why these vegetables should make your urine smell so strange is actually a much debated and little understood mystery. Though we know that the presence of sulphur-like asparagusic acid is probably responsible for the smell, scientists are unable to explain why only around half the population are able to detect it.
For many of us, giving up on red meat would be like taking a vow of celibacy. Unfortunately, it turns out that continuing to eat it might have much the same effect. A Czech study showed that women found that men who ate no meat had a far more attractive smell than those who ate it every day, meaning that we might have a decision to make between steak and finding a partner.
They might not help you see in the dark, but carrots aren’t incapable of having an interesting effect on the body. As unbelievable as it may seem, eating too many can actually cause your skin to change colour to a yellowy-orange. The transformation is a direct result of the chemical beta-carotene, which is also found in veggies such as squash and sweet potatoes.
It turns out asparagus isn’t alone in playing havoc with our pee. Despite being packed full of nutrients and health benefits, beets can cause an alarming physical condition known as beeturia. Affecting around 14% of the population, beeturia causes both urine and stools to stain pink or purple - which can be alarming to anyone not knowing what to expect.
Our bodies are strange things. Food that might seem perfectly innocent can cause seemingly dramatic changes to take place - some of which can seem extremely shocking. At least now, the next time you produce a purple poo or someone complains about your smell, you’ll know exactly what to blame.