Few feelings are worse than being nauseous, and unfortunately, in many cases you can’t get rid of it for good, as nausea is just a symptom of an underlying condition, such as the flu or digestive issues, or a temporary state, such as pregnancy or motion sickness. It can come and go, and can even be a side effect of necessary medications, such as cancer treatments, so sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Luckily, treating nausea isn’t difficult at all, and the foods you eat can really speed up the recovery process and soothe the stomach.
Here is a list of foods that will help you reduce nausea:
1. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
You likely know that staying hydrated when you're nauseous is very important, but gulping down glass after glass of water can further irritate your digestive tract and make you feel even worse. Instead, it's best to slowly sip on water, or even better, sip on some warm vegetable or chicken broth.
Broths are much better than just water because they contain many essential nutrients that will help your stomach recover and keep you nourished when you don't feel like eating. A bonus is that it's much easier for your stomach to digest chicken broth than it is solid foods, so it's one of the best foods to incorporate when you feel sick on your stomach.
2. Protein-Rich Foods
It may seem counterintuitive to eat protein-rich foods when you're feeling nauseous, as proteins are more difficult to digest than carbs, but it's very important to maintain proteins in your diet when you're nauseous because they are the building blocks for essential enzymes whose job it is to help you digest food better.
Doctors recommend incorporating fish, lean protein and plant-derived protein sources first since they're lighter on the stomach, so opt for foods like unsweetened peanut butter, boiled eggs, fish, chicken breast and turkey. You can combine these with other foods we list in this article to get a more wholesome meal.
3. Dry Foods
Plain, dry foods, such as crackers, pretzels, and rice cakes are another great option for people experiencing nausea. These are excellent to combine with protein-rich foods we listed above and will be easy to digest. They're also quite plain, which is a good thing, as you're especially sensitive to strong odors and spices when you're nauseous.
4. Something Cold
Cold foods, such as plain unsweetened yogurt, egg salad or even vanilla ice cream are often tolerated better than hot foods by people experiencing nausea. Doctors aren't sure why this is the case, but one possible explanation is that cold foods smell less than hot ones. Also, keep in mind the portion size: it's better to eat small meals often than to eat one large meal.
5. Follow the BRAT Diet
The BRAT diet is commonly prescribed by doctors to people suffering from food poisoning and other digestive issues, but it's also effective at reducing nausea. BRAT is an acronym of the 4 foods that are included in this diet: Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce and Toast. All of these foods are easy on the stomach and very well tolerated by most people experiencing nausea.
Keep in mind, however, that eating these 4 foods alone for more than a few days is a bad idea, as this diet doesn't contain enough key nutrients, so try incorporating other foods, such as protein sources, as soon as you can.
6. Add Ginger to Your Drinks
The last, but definitely not least ingredient to keep in stock for when you're feeling nauseous is ginger. You can add fresh or powdered ginger into teas, broths or just warm water to reduce nausea. Ginger has been proven experimentally to reduce nausea in different populations ranging from pregnant women to cancer patients and people experiencing seasickness, so it's definitely worth a try.