11 Foods That Do Weird Things to Your Body

Updated: Aug. 23, 2018

Some foods have really wacky side effects.

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Asparagus makes your pee smell

The rumors are true—asparagus does tend to give urine a funky scent. The phenomenon has to do with asparagusic acid—a chemical that’s only found in asparagus. When your body digests the vegetable, it breaks down the asparagusic acid into a group of sulfuric compounds. Those compounds are what lead to the asparagus-pee smell—especially since they’re even more potent at a warmer temperature. Learn the answers to 13 more strange body questions you’ve always wondered about.

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Beets and berries can turn your pee pink

If you’ve just relieved yourself and notice that the color is a bit—well, off—it might be because of something you ate. According to Harvard Medical School, foods like blackberries and beets can temporarily turn urine pink or red. Obviously, you’ll want to seek medical attention if the condition lasts.

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Carrots turn skin orange

Because the veggies are high in beta-carotene, an orangey-red pigment, eating too many of them can cause carotenemia, a condition that gives skin an orange tint. The coloring is most visible on the palms of the hand, the soles of the feet, and the laugh lines of your face, according to the Dermatology Clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Fortunately, it’s not too common. You’d have to eat about ten carrots a day for two weeks straight to notice a change.

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Licorice can lead to black poo

A change in the coloration or consistency of your stools is almost never a good sign, but in some cases, it could just be a result of your diet. According to medlineplus.gov, eating black licorice, blueberries, blood sausage, or taking iron pills can cause black or tarry stools. Here are 10 weird body noises and what they mean.

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Artificial dyes can lead to any color poo

If you’ve overeaten any type of food with a ton of artificial dye, it’s possible your next poop could be any color of the rainbow. Foods like icing, Jell-O, gum, and other candies are most likely to have this effect.

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Bananas beat bloat

If you’ve been feeling a bit bloated lately, you might want to add a banana to your morning routine. One study found that women who ate a banana a day reported less bloating than those who simply had water or a banana-flavored drink. Experts guess it’s because the fruit is high in potassium, which helps balance sodium and prevent water retention. Learn the 21 food myths that are wildly untrue.

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A bunch of foods can make you sleepy

You already know that too much turkey can send you straight to the couch. But did you know other foods contain even more tryptophan, the amino acid that makes you drowsy, than turkey? Foods like almonds, chicken, beans, and fatty fish are just as likely to put you out.

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Dark chocolate reduces stress

As if we needed another reason to love chocolate, one study found that darker varieties could reduce stress by decreasing the cortisol hormone. Studies have also found the candy improves mood, memory, and immunity. These 10 foods fight depression naturally.


Acidic fruits increase your urge to pee

Feeling like you gotta go all the time? You might want to take a look at your diet. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and clementines, as well as pineapples and tomatoes, are highly acidic—meaning they could irritate your bladder and make the urge to pee seem even more urgent than usual.

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Cilantro relaxes your digestive system

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, listen up: A study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Science found that patients with IBS were able to find some relief by adding cilantro to their diets, as opposed to a placebo.

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Gum can make you bloated

Ever notice you feel a bit gassier after chewing a few sticks of gum? It’s not in your head. Chewing gum leads to swallowing air, which can obviously cause gas and bloating. Next up, learn the 9 weird things that can mess with your taste buds.