Food is important to help restore and heal our bodies, but when we feel nauseous it’s hard to get anything down — nutritious or not. We’ve compiled a list of some of the better (and more effective) food choices to help manage, or reduce, nausea.
With all foods, don’t forget to start slowly (nibbles and sips) to ensure your nausea doesn’t increase. If you can, avoid eating in a warm or stuffy room, and even try making your environment more soothing by dimming lights and listening to peaceful music.
Used therapeutically for centuries, ginger is helpful in soothing an upset stomach. Try it in the form of a warm, comforting tea or as chewable dried ginger (rolled in sugar and both spicy and sweet!)
Peppermint has been long established as another plant-based remedy for nausea. Like ginger you can drink it as a tea or suck on it as a hard candy. If you enjoy aromatherapy, you can buy peppermint essential oil for its therapeutic scent. It’s both inexpensive and easy to carry around.
Aside from being high in some of the beneficial bacteria that gets killed off when undergoing something like chemotherapy, it’s also easy to digest and high in protein. If you go this route, consider a greek yogurt which has more protein and less lactose than conventional yogurt, making it even gentler on the stomach. Sometimes you may even be able to sneak in some frozen fruit. Raspberries are easy to digest and high in vitamin C and manganese. But as with everything, don’t eat what doesn’t sound good to you.
It’s definitely not the most seductive meal choice, but dry toast can get food in your stomach and serve up needed nutrients. To really up the nutrition factor, try a sprouted bread. Sprouted breads make the nutrients more bioavailable to the body and are easier to digest. Win-win! If you’re gluten-free, more and more options are on the market, including a whole-grain organic brown rice bread that has less filler than others.
Gentle on the stomach, bananas are also high in potassium which is important if you’ve been vomiting. Sometimes the strong smell of bananas can be too much for an upset stomach, so choose bananas that are under-ripe or just ripening.
A great way to hydrate and replace any water you’ve lost, in addition to getting food in your stomach. Watermelon also has a high lycopene content, making it a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food.
Plain rice is well, yes, plain. But it’s a go-to for people dealing with nausea because it’s easy to eat and digest, plus it’s a simple carb that will give you a quick burst of energy. If you’re able to get it down, you can even jazz it up with other stomach-friendly foods. Consider some rice milk, banana (or other fruit that appeals) and a dash of cinnamon. If that’s too much, another favorite is plain rice steamed with olive oil and salt (added directly into the water with the uncooked rice). It’s minor but it adds both flavor and healthful fats.