Foods to eat to ward off mosquitoes

May 24, 2019
Garlic

IT’S been raining these past few days though its not officially rainy season yet. But we know what comes after rain and during rainy season – Dengue mosquitoes start to flourish, and children (with weak immune system) are their targets.

Sweat on skin transmits a strong signal and scent to mosquitoes to attack and sip your blood.

Mosquitoes are extremely sensitive and can smell a potential meal from over 50 meters (160 feet) away. We also know that the foods we eat can change how our bodies smell.

Mosquitoes can also smell what you’ve been eating, and some foods are more likely than others to throw them off your scent. Here are some foods to eat to keep you from being magnet to mosquitoes.

* Foods with vitamin B1. Anecdotal evidence suggests that vitamin B1, also called thiamine, can help deter mosquitoes. Many people have experienced a benefit of either using vitamin B1 supplements or eating foods high in vitamin B1. Unfortunately, research has not been able to support these claims.

Based on the many personal success stories, you may want to try including foods high in thiamine in your diet and see what happens. Some of the best sources of thiamine include sunflower seeds, black beans, navy beans, soy beans, lentils, brewer’s and nutritional yeasts, macadamia nuts and wheat germ.

* Garlic. Whether you eat garlic or not or extract the oil to make a skin repellant lotion, garlic is proven to ward off mosquitoes. In fact, garlic is recognized as so effective that it’s included in various commercial bug and mosquito repellents.

Garlic’s distinctive smell is partially due to its unique chemical compound called allicin. When you eat garlic, you’ve likely noticed the smell of allicin as it comes through the pores of your skin. Rest assured that you don’t smell bad, you’re simply protecting yourself against mosquitoes.

On the other hand, onions have been shown to repel some insects, but not mosquitoes.

* Grapefruit. Nootkatone is the chemical compound that gives grapefruit its familiar fragrance. Nootkatone is also proven to be an effective repellent for mosquitoes, as well as ticks, bed bugs, head lice and various other insects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with biotechnology companies to develop a commercial bug repellent based on nootkatone. This would provide a safe and natural product to help combat disease-spreading insects like mosquitoes and ticks.

However, it’s not known if eating grapefruit regularly will provide enough nootkatone to repel insects from your skin. But, nootkatone and grapefruit are recognized as completely safe to eat, so it’s definitely worth a try.

* Apple cider vinegar. You can take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s repelling action by simply wiping some on your skin. But, if you consume apple cider vinegar regularly, the scent may naturally come through your pores.

It is recommended to consume at least one tablespoon (18 milliliters) of apple cider vinegar per day to have enough in your system to ward off mosquitoes. Apple cider vinegar has many other health benefits and you can add it to salad dressings, soups or other dishes. You can also drink a tablespoon of plain vinegar each day, but first check these guidelines on how to safely drink cider vinegar.