It can be difficult to eat when you feel nauseous. But keeping yourself hydrated and eating foods that are easy to digest can help relieve symptoms.
Bland, starchy foods and clear liquids can provide the body with energy and help settle an upset stomach, according to health experts.
Let’s take a look at five foods to eat when you are nauseous or vomiting.
Ginger lives up to its reputation for easing nausea. Studies show that ginger can help with nausea related to morning sickness, chemotherapy, surgery, motion sickness and seasickness, reports Mount Sinai. Ginger has been used as an herbal remedy for nausea for thousands of years.
A 2015 review of studies examined the impact ginger has on nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. Four double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies found that ginger was more effective than the placebo at easing symptoms of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Ginger has also been proven to effectively ease chemotherapy-induced nausea. In a 2016 study, researchers gave chemotherapy patients 500 milligrams of powdered ginger root twice daily for five days before their treatment and five days following their treatment. The ginger significantly reduced the frequency of vomiting in patients receiving chemo for breast cancer.
There are several forms of edible ginger. Some of the most common include: crystallized ginger, ginger capsules, ginger tea and ginger ale.
2. Clear liquids
It is vital to stay hydrated even when you feel to nauseous to drink, especially if you have been vomiting, per Healthline. When vomiting, your body loses more liquid than it takes in, putting you at risk of dehydration — which can worsen symptoms.
“Drinking fluids prevents dehydration, but drinking too much at one time can make nausea worse,” Erin Palinski-Wade, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, told Everyday Health. “Small sips of fluid throughout the day will promote hydration without increasing nausea.”
Slowly drinking clear liquids can ease symptoms of nausea and prevent dehydration. Some clear liquids that can help include:
Oral rehydration solutions.
Sucking on ice or popsicles.
Avoid dairy-based, sweet or caffeinated drinks, as they could worsen nausea, according to health experts.
3. BRAT diet
Bland, easy-to-digest foods are easy on the stomach when it’s not feeling well. Following the BRAT diet may make it easier to eat while suffering from nausea or an upset stomach and could help alleviate discomfort, reports Cleveland Clinic.
BRAT stands for:
While following the BRAT diet, you should avoid sugar, dairy, spicy food, fried food, caffeine and alcohol.
“The BRAT diet does not provide enough nutrients for people over the long term. It may help for a brief period of nausea, but people should start adding a wider variety of foods once they start feeling better,” advises Medical News Today.
Mint may calm nausea symptoms by providing menthol and menthone. Together, these natural chemicals ease digestion and discomfort, per Health.
“One of the primary ways peppermint helps with nausea is by relaxing the muscles in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When nausea strikes, the stomach and intestinal muscles contract and spasm, leading to discomfort and unease,” reports Verywell Health.
“Peppermint’s active compounds (menthol and menthone) possess muscle-relaxing properties. These compounds help soothe the digestive muscles to reduce feelings of nausea.”
A recent study, published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies, found that putting drops of peppermint oil in the water of chemotherapy patients significantly reduced the severity of the patients’ nausea and vomiting. The effects lasted for 48 hours.
Dry, starchy foods such as saltine crackers, soda crackers, pretzels, rice cakes and toast are some of the best solid foods to eat when feeling nauseous. More than 90% of gynecologists recommend soda crackers to pregnant women suffering from nausea, a study found.
“Crackers, pretzels, toast, and cereals are quick meal fixes that require little to no preparation, have no strong odor, and may help settle your empty, upset stomach,” reports Healthline.