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Experiencing Pregnancy Nausea? Try These Foods

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

During both of my pregnancies, severe nausea struck right on schedule during early pregnancy at the 6-week mark. For Caden, the nausea eased up around 14 weeks, while with Willow, it finally subsided around 16 weeks. Oh the joys of the first trimester, right!?

Even though they call it “morning sickness,” pregnancy nausea can hit you any time of the day, anywhere. For me, it was an all-day affair, making me feel constantly off-kilter. I had to find ways to manage it, like keeping a box of Cheerios by my bed for those middle-of-the-night bouts of nausea or using them as a lifeline to get out of bed in the morning without feeling sick. Making small adjustments to my diet and nutrition also helped me, allowing me to focus on the more exciting parts of pregnancy, like sharing the news with friends and family. Along the way, I discovered some handy tips and tricks for dealing with nausea, especially when it came to my diet. Here are the top foods that helped me ease pregnancy nausea.

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

What causes morning sickness?

Morning sickness is caused by physical and hormonal changes in the body, often during the first trimester. It's those surges in hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen that play a significant role in causing nausea symptoms.

Additional causes of morning sickness include:

  1. Low blood sugar (the Cheerios significantly boosted my blood sugar levels!)
  2. Smelling certain foods – when you're pregnant, you're pretty sensitive to odors 🤢
  3. Eating specific foods
  4. Extreme temperatures
  5. Stress

4 tips for overcoming nausea

1. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day

Eating small meals throughout the day can really make a difference when it comes to managing pregnancy nausea. Nibbling on small amounts of food more frequently helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing the spikes and drops that can trigger queasiness. Personally, whenever I let myself get hungry, the nausea would kick in, so I carried snacks with me wherever I went. 

I'm not big on breakfast, but I knew I needed something hearty in the morning to keep my nausea at bay. Having some protein in the morning made a big difference, so I ate these  breakfast sandwiches almost every day of my pregnancy, which helped a lot.

2. Choose easy-to-digest and bland foods

During bouts of nausea, opting for easy-to-digest foods can provide relief as they are gentle on the stomach and quickly processed. Simple starches like rice, crackers, pasta, white bread, and soothing bone broth were my go-to options. I avoided greasy, spicy, or heavily seasoned foods, because they can make symptoms worse.

3. Eat foods rich in vitamin B6

Including foods rich in Vitamin B6 in your diet can help manage pregnancy-related nausea. Vitamin B6 is known for its ability to help reduce the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of tasty and nutritious foods, including:

  1. Bananas: Not only are they easy to eat and carry with you, but bananas also provide a healthy dose of energy.
  2. Avocado: Super versatile and rich in healthy fats, avocados can be added to smoothies or salads, or spread on toast with everything-but-the-bagel seasoning
  3. Chicken breast: Lean, high in protein, and can be cooked in many different ways. 
  4. Fortified cereals: A quick and easy option, especially on those mornings when cooking is the last thing you want to do.
  5. Potatoes: Potatoes can be baked, boiled, or mashed. They're also bland so they’re less likely to upset your stomach.
  6. Carrots: A crunchy, healthy snack that's not only rich in Vitamin B6 but also beta-carotene, which is great for your vision.
  7. Sunflower seeds: A perfect grab-and-go snack that's packed with Vitamin B6. They're also a fantastic source of healthy fats and protein.
  8. Spinach: This leafy green can be easily tossed into salads or smoothies for a Vitamin B6 boost.
  9. Pineapple: This tropical fruit not only adds a refreshing taste to your diet but also contains enzymes that can help ease digestion.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Drinking plenty of water and avoiding dehydration is absolutely crucial, especially if you're battling pregnancy-related nausea. Water plays a key role in every single function of your body, including digestion and elimination. When you’re well-hydrated, your body can more easily process and eliminate toxins, which may contribute feelings of nausea. But when you're feeling queasy, reaching for a glass of water might be the last thing on your mind. Here are some tips to help keep you hydrated:

  1. Sip beverages throughout the day: Instead of gulping down water all at once, take small sips throughout the day.
  2. Flavor your water: If plain water is unappealing, try adding slices of fruit like lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries to infuse a mild flavor.
  3. Eat water-rich foods: Foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges are nutritious and packed with water, helping you stay hydrated.
  4. Try herbal teas: Herbal teas can be soothing for your stomach. Check with your health care provider about which herbal teas are safe for pregnancy.
  5. Keep water at arm's reach: Always have a water bottle close by. If it’s within sight, you’re more likely to remember to sip frequently.
Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

18 foods to fight pregnancy nausea

Of course you want to eat healthy during your pregnancy, but it might be difficult when you're fighting nausea. Here are some of the best foods that you can eat to help reduce nausea:

  1. Ginger tea
Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Ginger tea is known for its ability to soothe the stomach and ease nausea and vomiting. I absolutely loved ginger tea and when I was pregnant, I swapped it for coffee in the morning because I couldn't stomach coffee during my first trimester 😫

2. Ginger chews

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

I was popping a combination of these throughout the day: ginger chews and ginger hard candies.

3. Toast with butter, honey, or jam

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Toast with butter, honey, or jam is not only easy on the stomach, but it's also a gentle way to introduce food when you're feeling nauseous. The blandness of toast makes it a low-risk option for an upset stomach, while honey and jam can provide a soothing sweetness that might just make eating more appealing.

4. Bone broth

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Bone broth is a comforting and nourishing choice when dealing with pregnancy nausea. It's rich in vitamins and minerals that can help settle your stomach and hydrate your body. I love this shelf-stable one!

5. Saltine Crackers

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Simple carbohydrates, like saltine crackers, can give you a quick energy boost to help you overcome the fatigue that often accompanies nausea. I love these organic ones.

6. Smoothies

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

This can be the ultimate anti-morning sickness remedy if made with fresh fruit, greek yogurt and nut butter. Try this morning sickness smoothie for a delicious, nutrient-packed option. It has ginger and lemon for added nausea relief.

7. Watermelon

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Watermelon stands out as a remarkable food for combating nausea, primarily because it's loaded with water. Watermelon is gentle on the stomach, making it an excellent choice for those times when you're struggling to eat other foods.

8. Chickpeas

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Chickpeas are a superb food for battling nausea, especially due to their high protein and fiber content. Protein is essential for keeping your energy levels stable, while fiber helps ensure your digestive system is running smoothly. 

9. Pineapple

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Pineapple is a fantastic choice for those times when nausea just won't give you a break. Not only is it juicy and delicious, but it also contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps in the digestion of proteins and can ease stomach discomfort.

10. Bananas

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Bananas are packed with potassium, which can replenish lost electrolytes if you've been dealing with vomiting or diarrhea. Their soft texture and mild flavor are helpful when your tummy is feeling tender.

11. Plain Cheerios

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

My lifesaver! Always kept a stash in every bag and on my nightstand. I even took a whole box to Israel when I had to travel there for work.

12. Unsweetened applesauce

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Unsweetened applesauce is a fantastic choice when you're feeling nauseous, and here's why: it’s soft, easy to digest, and gentle on your stomach. And because it’s unsweetened, you’re steering clear of added sugars that could further upset your stomach.

13. Frozen grapes

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Frozen grapes are a brilliant pick when you're battling nausea! Not only do they give you a cool, refreshing burst of sweetness, but their frozen nature can be particularly soothing for an upset stomach. Plus, nibbling on something cold and slightly sweet can sometimes help distract you from the waves of nausea.

14. Rice or noodles

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

The quintessential “sick food” because they are super plain and gentle on the stomach. Try cooking them with bone broth for extra anti-nausea support.

15. Preggie Pops

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

I love preggie pops drops! They are delicious little candies that contain essential oils and natural ingredients to help ease nausea. Plus, they come in various flavors like sour tangerine, green apple, sour lemon, and sour raspberry.

16. Almonds

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Almonds are packed with protein and healthy fats, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide a sustained source of energy — super important if you’re feeling a bit queasy. Plus, almonds are easy to snack on throughout the day without overwhelming your belly.

17. Greek Yogurt

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Greek yogurt is not only creamy and delicious, but it’s packed with probiotics which can be a big help if nausea is stemming from an upset digestive system. Its smooth texture makes it easy to eat, and you can jazz it up with a little honey or fresh fruit if you're up for it. Just make sure to opt for the plain, unsweetened varieties to avoid any unnecessary added sugars that could potentially irritate your stomach further.

18. Citrus fruits

Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are high in vitamin C which can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Not only are they refreshing and flavorful, but the scent of citrus can also be invigorating for those feeling queasy.

18 Foods that fight nausea during pregnancy

For more pregnancy tips, check out more of my blog. I discuss body changes, self-care, and everything in between. Keep rocking that baby bump!

Featured Image by DeRepente from Getty Images


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