The average human nose recognizes 10,000 scents. And while some of them do nothing to help you stay healthy--are those cookies we smell?--many familiar fragrances have surprising benefits. We sniffed out some common aromas that can help you drop pounds, power your workout, and elevate your mood. Read on to discover five nose-pleasers that will help you look and feel better than ever.
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Researchers at Osaka University in Japan found that exposing rats to the scent of grapefruit oil for 15-minute intervals, three times a week helped reduce not only their appetite, but their weight. Inhale this fresh citrus scent and dial back the portion of your next meal.
Try: Grapefruit-scented oil diffuser
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Sniff: Green apple, banana, or peppermint
Battle temptation with a whiff of your favorite fruit or peppermint. In a study at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, overweight people smelled banana, green apple, and peppermint when they felt a craving--and lost more weight than the nonsniffers.
Try: Fresh fruit
Studies have shown that peppermint fragrance improves your workout, increases alertness, reduces perceived fatigue, and enhances your mood. Take a whiff of the minty aroma when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Try: Potted peppermint plant
A beautiful bouquet of flowers can add a touch of warmth to any bedroom, but the scent of petite purple petals may also help you sleep better. Men and women who smelled lavender oil experienced deeper sleep and higher levels of vigor in the morning, according to Wesleyan University researchers.
Try: L'Occitane Aromachologie Relaxing Pillow Mist
The smell of eucalyptus oil has a stimulating effect, and may reduce exhaustion and mental sluggishness, says Nicole Vitale, senior director of The Spa at Equinox in New York City. And because of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, you can also massage your skin with eucalyptus oil to relieve muscle aches.
Try: Aromatherapy massage with eucalyptus oil
Learn more ways to slim down, stay fit, and feel good every day.