Zika Summer Is Coming To A Hot And Sweaty Place Near You: Here Are Some Great Foods You Can Eat To Naturally Keep Them Away
With reports coming from the CDC that the first three babies have been born with the Zika virus and the attendant birth defects on U.S. soil, lots of people are rightfully getting nervous about mosquitoes. A second previously tropical disease has already reached our shores too, the chikungunya virus, so global warming is already changing the areas where various viruses live and are able to breed.
And with the summer already starting to heat up to record temperatures all across the nation, now is the time to think about keeping mosquitoes at bay.
But for many the powerful, artificial chemicals like DEET that are the widely advertised and show up in virtually all insect repellent are unappealing due to the smell, the toxicity and the harshness of them.
But never fear! As with anything, the diet you feed to an animal you consume alters the flavor. It has long been the stuff of old wives’ tales told around glasses of iced tea on summer porches that there are foods you can eat that change how appetizing you are for mosquitoes.
Now, here are a few great and little known ways sciences has found that you can try to keep the little buggers at bay–by doing nothing more than changing up your diet a bit.
• Grapefruit – There is a compound found in grapefruit and other citrus fruit called Nootkatone, one that has been shown to be effective in repelling mosquitoes, ticks and bed bugs. People who eat a diet heavy in citrus have reported that consuming citrus fruits reduces the rate at which they are bombarded by low-flying itch machines. Another approach that has been reported to show promise is to try using grapefruit essential oil on your skin. Do exercise caution, however: caution, though: grapefruit and other citrus can have adverse interactions with some medications, including erythromycin, diazepam and lovastatin, so if you are taking any of those, maybe skip this one and go on to see what’s behind door number two:
• Tomatoes – A recent study out of North Carolina State University found that a substance produced by tomatoes called IBI-246 is as or more effective as a mosquito-repellent than even almighty DEET.
• Garlic – Finally, a positive use for garlic breath: sulfur compounds in the breath and on the skin after eating garlic are a natural mosquito repellent–just make sure your date eats garlic too and you’re all set. There is also an amino acid in garlic that converts to allicin in the blood, a natural bug repellent.
• Onions – There isn’t as much hard evidence that onions repel mosquitoes as well as garlic, but it is known to repel cabbage moths, carrot flies, and rust flies. Heck, if you’re eating garlic anyway…