Contributed by Haley Burress
Nausea is the worst. Whether you are suffering from nausea due to pregnancy, a medication reaction, or chemotherapy regimen, it can feel overwhelming and disheartening to experience a sick feeling. Since eating is a source of comfort and a source of nutrition, nausea can leave patients feeling weak and depressed. Natural remedies for nausea can vary from person to person, based on factors ranging from preferences to situation; we can help get you on the right track to finding food and recipes that can leave you feeling a bit less nauseous and hopefully a bit better.
Eat what works
Sometimes, treatment for nausea starts with the menu. If you are preparing food for a friend experiencing medication induced nausea, or one in the grips of first trimester morning (all day) sickness, or a more severe pregnancy induced condition called hyperemesis, call ahead to ask what she has the stomach for. Tell her to be honest, as her ability to keep milkshakes down might not sound like the healthiest choice. However, if you can prepare something that your friend can actually handle, do it. Even if it is milkshakes or a favorite chocolate cake recipe. Some food in the system is better than no food in the system, so make what your pal prefers.
Foods full of fiber can be a treatment for nausea, as it gets things moving out of the body. Foods high in fiber are especially effective treatment for nausea for those who are experiencing a sensitive stomach due to chemo or other medication. Keep it simple by tucking a few apples, or some homemade crockpot applesauce, into the meal that you bring over.
It’s all in the fluids
It’s no surprise that sometimes the best treatment for nausea is drinking more fluids. Make some infused water for your friend by pouring water into large mason jars and adding different slices of fruits and vegetables into each one. Make one with a few slices of orange, one with a few slices of lemon, one with slices of cucumber and mint, and one with strawberries. Add a few pretty paper straws and your friend is sure to feel extra special with her spa-inspired water selection.
If nausea has been severely preventing your friend from eating or drinking, you might consider adding some other beverages to your drop off. Drinks full of electrolytes can be helpful, as well as protein drinks that are packed with calories.
It’s all about the broth
Chicken noodle soup is a feel-better staple, and mostly because of its nutrient packed stock. Consider skipping the noodles and sending along straight broth. You can whip up some homemade veggie, chicken, or beef broth right in your kitchen; it is a bit time intensive but much easier than you might think. Leave a note along with your broth letting your friend know that she can freeze it, drink it, or even eat it at room temperature instead of hot if that helps with her upset stomach.
Watch your portions
Finally, when packing up your meal to take to your friend, watch your portion size. Nothing can kill an appetite quicker than opening a huge quantity of food. Instead, consider packing your contribution in smaller, individualized portions. Include freezer containers for easy storage for later as well.
Learn about good nutrition under bad circumstances
Natural treatment for nausea can look different for every person, depending on circumstances. Some doctors recommend chewing ginger candies or squeezing lemon into some Tummy Time tea, but circumstances can change the results of those typically natural remedies. If you are a caregiver, or wanting to learn more about how to focus on nutrition even when nausea is prevalent, take a look at this write up from our friends at the American Lung Association.
We all have a lot to learn about nutrition, nauseous or not. If you like tinkering in the kitchen or trying out new recipes that are full of nutrients and taste, check out a few of our tips on how to eat healthy. Remember, keeping healthy with good nutrition is not only important for the patient, but for the caregiver as well. No one benefits from a fatigued, over-hungry, and burnt out caregiver. Eat up!