- The toast spread that repels insects
- Four foods that make you unattractive
- And four foods that make you MORE attractive
Love it or hate it?
Personally, I cannot stand the stuff.
However, if I was one of those people who gets constantly bitten by mozzies and midges, then perhaps I might reconsider.
As I was saying a few weeks back, there’s a natural way to repel biting insects, developed originally in Mississippi in 1928.
No DEET, no oiliness or nasty smell. Just lemongrass, lemon and vanilla, zoya lecithin and Vitamin E. And it’s just as powerful as most chemical versions you can buy.
If you missed it, check this out: Natural Insect Repellent
Anyway, in response to that email, one of my readers wrote to me about his preferred method of repelling bites, which was passed down from his Dad.
His father was working on the Burma railroad as a prisoner of war in the 1940s, and was given Marmite as a protective measure.
“Dad did swear that it was Marmite which gave him immunity, to a certain extent, from the bugs that were prevalent out there.”
This backs up stories I have heard from quite a few folk down the years, about the power of Marmite when it comes to fighting off the midges and mozzies.
My reader claims he doesn’t usually get bitten and it’s down to his large Marmite intake.
“If I can see the bread, it ain’t thick enough,” he says.
So if you start to get menaced by mozzies this summer, perhaps eat a slab of toast smeared in Marmite, if you can stomach it (which I can’t – sorry, Marmite fans!).
It’s a pity Bovril doesn’t have the same effect…
However, if you share my distaste there are some other foods you can add to your diet to make you less attractive to insects.
And here are the top four…
Four foods that make you unattractive (to insects)
- Raw garlic – when you eat garlic it releases a compound called allicin through your pores. This masks your natural musk. If you don’t like garlic you can also use onions, shallots, and chives. To create the strongest dose of allicin, the more raw onion, the better.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – like allicin, apple cider works by changing your natural scent. Take a tablespoon of vinegar once a day, or mix it with some water and honey if you dislike the taste. An alternative is to make a dressing from it and add it to a salad.
- Lemongrass – this contains citronella and oil that has long been used as an insect repellent when rubbed on the skin. This is why it’s a core ingredient of Bug Soother. However, adding lemongrass to your diet could add an extra level of protection.
- Chilli – chilli peppers contain capsaicin, the active element which makes them spicy. Capsaicin is an irritant for bugs and they just don’t react well to it. Neither do they like the smell.
On the flipside, beer and salty foods can make you irresistible to insects. Which is a bit of shame, as a summer afternoon beer with a bowl of nuts or crisps is a lovely thing, but think how healthy you’ll become in your mission to repel the mozzies.
As I was looking into this topic, a thought struck me…
If you can make your scent unattractive to insects through your diet…
Is there a way to make your scent more attractive to human beings?
For instance, a lot of people struggle with bad odour problems, especially in the warmer weather.
Could there be a dietary solution to it?
Foods that make you more attractive (to humans)
According to a study in 2017 called ‘Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odour’ in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, different scents could affect how alluring the opposite sex find you.
They concluded that it was foods rich in carotenoids had the most positive influence on a man’s scent. Carotenoids are the pigments in many fruits and vegetables that give them their vibrant colour.
Some of the best include: kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, mangoes and oranges.
While that was a study on male odour, I’m sure this works for women too. Besides, there’s never a good reason not to eat more delicious fruit and veg.
In an earlier study in 2006, researchers tested the effects of vegetarian and meat diets on smell.
In the tests, it was men who abstained from meat for two weeks who had a smell which was “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense”. This is because the skin can produce odours as your body breaks down the proteins in meat.
While that might disappoint any meat lovers out there, it’s worth noting that white fish doesn’t have the same effect as you digest it, so you could simply swap some of your meat meals for fish ones.
For either sex, there is also evidence to suggest that citrus fruits can reduce body odour as the acids help flush toxins through your body.
The only slightly complicated issue here is that some of the foods which put off insects (like onions, garlic and chilli) can also make you a little more pungent in smell for other humans too.
I guess it’s a case of your priorities!
And remember, you don’t need to worry about what you eat so much if you use this powerful natural repellent on your skin: Bug Soother
Anyway, I’ll leave that to you. Have a smashing weekend.