Food & Nutrition

11 Foods That Do Weird Things to Your Body

Some foods have really wacky side effects.

Asparagus makes your pee smell

Asparagus textureAlberto Zornetta/Shutterstock

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.

Beets and berries can turn your pee pink

Macro close up on a pile of freshly harvested beet roots, in shades of orange and purple, making a backgroundVDB Photos/Shutterstock

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.

Carrots turn skin orange

carrotsTim UR/Shutterstock

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.

Licorice can lead to black poo

macro background of black spiral licorice in studiofrancesco carniani/Shutterstock

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, 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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