If people are feeling nauseated, just the thought of food may make them feel worse. However, it is important to fuel the body and settle the stomach.
People may feel nauseated for a variety of reasons, such as:
Getting plenty of rest and drinking fluids can help manage nausea, but so can eating certain foods. In this article, we look at which foods can help relieve nausea.
People have traditionally used ginger to treat nausea. Gingerols and shogaols are components in ginger that may stimulate the stomach to empty and help to relieve feelings of nausea.
A review of studies looked at the effects of ginger on nausea and vomiting in cases of pregnancy-induced symptoms. Four randomized controlled trials showed that ginger was more effective than a placebo in reducing the intensity of nausea and frequency of vomiting in pregnant females.
The authors of the review also found that ginger was more effective than a placebo in treating morning sickness, seasickness, and chemotherapy-induced nausea.
People can add ginger to broths or add sliced fresh ginger to hot water or herbal teas. Ginger ale is also a good option, as is eating crystallized ginger.
Chicken or vegetable broth can be a good source of nutrients that are easy to digest when a person is feeling nauseated.
If people are drinking less or losing fluids through sweating and vomiting, broths can help to replace lost fluids, salt, and electrolytes.
BRAT stands for:
People may find these foods easier to eat because they are bland and easy to digest.
The BRAT diet does not provide enough nutrients for people over the long term, however. It may help for a brief period of nausea, but people should start adding a wider variety of foods once they start feeling better.
It is also vital to stay hydrated while on the BRAT diet. People should make sure they take small sips of water frequently. Drinking large gulps of water may upset an already unsettled stomach.
Along with toast, other dry foods can be a good option for people feeling nauseated, as they are plain and easy to digest. They also have little to no odor, which may help reduce feelings of nausea.
Dry foods can include:
- saltine crackers
- rice cakes
People may find it easier to eat cold foods when feeling sick, as they often smell less than hot foods. The odor of hot food may increase feelings of nausea for some people.
Good options for cold foods include:
- a sandwich with protein, such as peanut butter or egg salad
- crackers with a small amount of cheese
Protein helps the body create enzymes that digest food. The body also uses protein to oxygenate blood to carry nutrients to every part of the body.
Good options for protein-rich foods include:
- peanut butter
- boiled eggs
- plain, unsweetened yogurt
- baked tofu (not fried)
People can combine these foods with bland foods, such as toast, rice, or noodles, to increase calories.
People may not want to eat much when they are feeling nauseated. However, consuming small amounts of certain foods may help relieve nausea and keep energy levels up.
It is also vital to stay hydrated by drinking clear beverages, such as water or soda, especially to replace lost fluids if vomiting.
Other tips that may help with nausea include:
- sitting upright after eating
- avoiding activity after eating
- watching TV, reading a book, or talking to someone while eating as a distraction
- eat slowly to help digestion
- eating small amounts throughout the day
- rinsing the mouth or brushing the teeth after eating to reduce feelings of nausea
If people continue to feel nauseated without any relief, have unexplained nausea, or feel unable to eat or drink at all, they should speak to a doctor.