If you are feeling nauseated for any reason, the last thing you want to do is eat or drink. But that might be the best thing you can do to alleviate that sick feeling in your stomach. An important contributor to nausea is an empty stomach, which leads to irregular contractions of the stomach. Eating small, frequent meals (five or six times a day) helps to reestablish the stomach’s rhythm, making you feel better.
Also helpful: For snacks, eat dry foods, such as crackers, toast, pretzels or other high-carbohydrate foods—they are easy on the stomach and absorb excess stomach acid. Drink a half-hour before or after eating, not with meals, because for certain people, the combination of liquid and solid food can aggravate nausea. And drink slowly. Try using plastic silverware because metal can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, especially if you are taking certain medications that can cause severe taste changes (such as antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs).
Be aware of smells that bother you, and try to avoid being around them. And be mindful of your surroundings during meals—make sure to eat in a relaxed, calm setting, which is extremely helpful for efficient digestion.
Here are four delicious recipes that are particularly good for relieving nausea…
ORZO KALE SOUP
You can toss cooked shredded chicken into this soothing soup if you like. Reduce or omit the tomatoes if the acid bothers your stomach. (Serves four)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups cooked white beans, or 1(15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup whole-wheat orzo
- 4 cups chopped kale
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesancheese (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and garlic, and sauté for one minute.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and white beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add the orzo, and simmer the soup for about 10 more minutes or until the orzo becomes tender. Add the kale, and cook for one to two minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle a generous portion of soup into each bowl.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan, if using.
TURKEY AND OATMEAL LOAF
This simple comfort food is very tasty without being too spicy or heavy for those experiencing nausea. Make meatloaf sandwiches with the leftovers, or you can freeze leftovers for another day. (Serves eight)
- ¾ cup quick-cooking oats
- ½ cup milk
- 1 medium-sized onion, peeled
- 2 pounds ground turkey breast
- ½ cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. Thinly slice one quarter of the onion, and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl, combine the turkey-oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix just until well-combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a nine-by-nine-inch baking dish or a standard loaf pan, and shape into a loaf about five inches wide and two-and-a-half-inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meat loaf, and sprinkle with the sliced onion. Bake for about one hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F.
- Remove from the oven, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
APPLE CRUMBLE BAKED OATMEAL
This oatmeal contains easy-to-digest carbohydrates—and the lightly sweetened warm apple and spice flavors make this an extra flavorful and comforting breakfast. Leftover baked oatmeal can be reheated the following day and served in a bowl with a little milk, yogurt or nut butter. (Serves six)
- Unsalted butter or oil, for baking dish
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut in half
For the crumble topping…
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts or other nut
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and grease a nine-by-nine-inch baking dish with unsalted butter or oil.
- Place the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl, and stir together. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In another bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, egg, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk together completely. Slowly pour this over the oats.
- Tuck the apple halves into the oats, cut side down.
- Combine the crumble ingredients in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the top of the oats and apples.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is cooked through and the crumble is deep golden and caramelized. Let cool slightly before serving.
This recipe creates a slushy drink that is light, refreshing and tasty. It contains ginger, which has been used in China for more than 2,000 years for treating stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea. The gingerroot is rich in gingerols and shogaols, plant substances that relax the intestinal tract. One study found that when cancer patients took one-half to one gram of ginger daily for three days prior to chemotherapy treatment, nausea was reduced significantly, compared with patients who took a placebo.
Depending on how much you crush up the ice (in a food processor or with a spoon), you can drink it with a straw or enjoy it with a spoon. For severe nausea, make a batch and sip throughout the day or about a half-hour before mealtimes. Granita will keep in the freezer for up to five days. (Serves eight, makes four cups)
- 3 Tablespoons peeled and thickly sliced fresh ginger
- 3½ cups water, divided
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chill a baking pan for two hours in the freezer.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the ginger with one cup of water.
- Combine the ginger purée, sugar and two-and-half cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring frequently, not allowing the mixture to boil.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the pulp.
- Stir in the lemon juice, and pour into the prechilled baking pan. Place on a level surface in the freezer. Let the mixture freeze overnight until solid.
- Use a metal spoon to scrape the mixture into a light, granular texture or place broken pieces in a food processor and chop to your desired texture.