Mosquitoes are difficult to get rid of. You can use insect repellents, but commercially available ones are filled with chemicals that are harmful for your overall well-being. You can also try using essential oils which, when diffused into your room, can deter mosquitoes.
Another way to keep mosquitoes far away from you is to eat certain foods. Here are three of the best anti-mosquito foods you should add to your diet, especially during mosquito season. (h/t to MindBodyGreen.com)
Several studies have found that garlic is a very powerful repellent against mosquitoes and several other insects. The studies believe that this is due to the presence of allicin, one of garlic’s active components. However, because allicin is a highly unstable compound, it disappears quickly during the processing of garlic. So, to fully benefit from garlic’s anti-mosquito properties, you need to eat garlic as close to raw as possible. Onions, leeks, chives and shallots also contain high amounts of insect-repelling allicin.
Garlic is also great for boosting your immunity and your cardiovascular health, and it is filled with antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Rubbing raw garlic onto pimples can help get rid of them. These properties extend to fighting fungus, meaning raw garlic can be rubbed on one’s feet to treat athlete’s foot.
Lemongrass is a grass superfood that can has a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. It is one of the natural world’s greatest food sources of the compound citronella, which is a known mosquito repellent agent. Scientific research has also shown that lemongrass has many other bug-repelling properties. If you’re not keen on consuming lemongrass, you can use lemongrass essential oil or any citronella-rich essential oil to use in aromatherapy. Its strong fragrance can keep mosquitoes and other nasty bugs at bay. (Related: Mosquito begone: 5 Natural ingredients that work as a mosquito repellent.)
You can also consume lemongrass as a tea to help relieve anxiety, pain and bloating. Finally, lemongrass tea can boost your oral health, prevent infection and lower your cholesterol.
Grapefruit contains a compound known as nootkatone, which can also be found in other citrus fruits. Nootkatone is a natural chemical that can effectively repel not just mosquitoes, but ticks as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even believes that nootkatone can be useful in keeping bed bugs, lice and many other insects at bay. If you want to truly partake in grapefruit’s anti-mosquito benefits, rub its peels onto your skin after eating. Grapefruit peel is rich in essential oils.
Grapefruit is generally an excellent superfood for your immune system. It’s filled with vitamins A, C and E, which all work together to keep your immune system strong.
Several other superfoods have a bunch of properties that make them effective mosquito repellents, such as bananas, tomatoes, marmite and vegemite, apple cider vinegar, hot peppers, many other citrus fruits as well as beans and legumes.
You can also keep mosquitoes at bay by avoiding certain food items that these disease-carrying critters are attracted to. For example, studies have shown that mosquitoes are far more likely to bite people who have consumed a single can of beer. Mosquitoes are also more likely to target you if you have a strong amount of lactic acid, which can show up in sweat, no matter what you’re eating.