Nausea is a common problem with a wide range of causes, most of them fairly minor. Nausea often leaves you with an urge to vomit -- and it sometimes makes you wish you could. Although food is sometimes the cause of nausea, it also is one of the things that can bring you relief, provided you eat the right food in the right amount at the right time.
Causes of Nausea
Nausea is a common condition in both children and adults, but it tends to affect some people more than others. For example, 50 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women experience nausea in their first trimester, according to Cleveland Clinic. Those undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are also prone to this condition. Other causes include motion sickness, intense pain, food poisoning, emotional stress, undesirable odors and various stomach viruses.
Bland foods such as saltine crackers and toast help absorb stomach acids and settle your stomach. Your body relies on protein for energy, so too little of this amino acid can worsen your upset stomach. Nuts, even in the form of peanut butter, can give you the protein you need while helping relieve your nausea. Chicken soup might be the answer for the common cold, but it is too heavy for an upset stomach. However, chicken broth might be light enough for your stomach to handle, especially if you sip it slowly. Your stomach also might be able to handle bland fruits such as bananas and apples. High in fiber, apples help rid your body of the chemicals that induce nausea. If you can't handle solid apples, try applesauce.
Liquids and Nausea
The Mayo Clinic website suggests remaining hydrated by taking small sips of cold, clear beverages such as water, lemonade and ginger ale. The ginger itself may help settle your stomach, so consider a cup of ginger tea as well. Liquids during the first day or two serve to keep something in your stomach until you are capable of eating solid foods. Do not remain on a liquid diet longer than your doctor recommends.
Steer clear of fried or fatty food until your nausea has passed. Eat small snacks or meals every two hours; having an empty stomach can make your nausea worse. Ask someone to help prepare your food so you can avoid unpleasant odors that may trigger your nausea. Remain in an upright position after eating, giving your food time to digest. If your condition stems from cancer treatment, your doctor can prescribe anti-nausea medications.