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Cold and flu season, low blood sugar, pregnancy, hangover, and more – there are many causes of nausea, but fortunately, Nausea is the unpleasant and sometimes debilitating sensation of needing to vomit. It’s surprisingly common, with 50% of adults experiencing it at some point each year. There are many natural remedies as well. We’ll go beyond ginger with Best Foods to Eat When You’re Nauseous, whatever the cause.
Capsules of powdered ginger have been found to reduce nausea and vomiting. You could also try a cup of ginger tea, a glass of ginger ale (some people swear it works better if it’s flat), a few gingersnap cookies, or a piece of ginger candy. Ginger has been found to reduce symptoms of nausea, especially in pregnancy,” says Palinski-Wade. Pickled ginger, the kind that usually comes with sushi, may also help. For symptoms of nausea, foods that are easy on the stomach, usually low-fat foods or ginger ale, can be helpful.
A lack of protein can make nausea feel even worse, so look to protein-packed foods, such as nuts — even peanut butter, as long as you’re not allergic — that are easy to digest. They’ll quickly replenish your depleted energy and help keep your nausea at bay. “Nausea from excessive hunger, low blood sugar, or pregnancy may respond well to the protein and fat in nuts,” says Palinski-Wade. But she cautions that if you’re fighting off a virus, nuts and protein may worsen nausea.
Apples contain fiber, which helps you rid your body of toxins faster. “Fiber slows down digestion, so it’s possible that the slowing of the intestinal transit may help ease digestion and relieve nausea,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat for Dummies. However, beware of eating too much of any food with fiber, because it can actually add to your nausea. Rule of thumb: Eat one whole apple—or slices of one if it’s easier to swallow. If that seems unpalatable, opt for some applesauce or apple juice.
Many believe our ancestors used mint as an antacid ages ago. It’s not so surprising considering many of us drink mint tea when we’re feeling under the weather. Mint is a suggested food for nausea because it helps bile flow through our digestive system, making all the processes in our stomach work better at the same time (you can actually just chew on some fresh mint leaves if you’d like). And guess what? If you’re not quite up for eating or drinking anything, aromatherapy using mint essential oils may help, too. A study of more than 300 patients experiencing postoperative nausea found that they had lessened symptoms when they were given aromatherapy treatments with a blend of oils including peppermint oil.
When you’re sick, you may tolerate cold foods better than warm dishes. That’s because they generally don’t have strong odors, which may trigger nausea.
Aversion to odor is particularly common during pregnancy. One study found that 41% of pregnant women experienced an aversion to food smells and were more likely to be affected by nausea. Some good choices of cold foods include Jell-o, ice cream, chilled fruits, yogurt, custard, and frozen popsicles.
If your nausea makes it difficult to keep food down, simply sucking on an ice cube may help. This is also a good way to slowly replenish your fluids.
Applesauce is a popular food for people with nausea or diarrhea.
In fact, it’s part of the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. This diet used to be routinely recommended to people with upset stomachs, particularly children. Though now it’s considered overly restrictive, many people still find its components helpful.
One study in people undergoing chemotherapy found that a light, bland diet including applesauce, cottage cheese, and vanilla ice cream resulted in improved food intake and less nausea and vomiting. Applesauce is a good source of carbs and gentle on your stomach.
One-half cup (122 grams) of unsweetened applesauce contains about 50 calories and 14 grams of carbs. What’s more, it’s high in the dietary fiber pectin, which may be beneficial if you’re experiencing diarrhea in addition to feeling nauseous.
When and how to eat if you’re nauseated
- Eat small meals frequently: If you feel sick to your stomach between meals, try to eat 6 to 8 small meals during the day and a snack at bedtime.
- Eat food cold or at room temperature: not hot, to reduce its smell and taste.
- Don’t eat in a warm room; The air may seem stuffy and stale and may make your stomach feel worse.
- Rinse your mouth before and after meals; This helps get rid of any bad tastes in your mouth.
- Sit up or lie back with your head raised for at least an hour after eating if you need to rest. Keeping your head up helps reduce nausea.