When you have nausea, heartburn or indigestion, eating is probably the last thing you are thinking of. There are certain foods, however, that will help improve your symptoms. Identifying foods that relieve these problems and consuming them regularly can help relieve nausea, discomfort and pain. Certain foods can also worsen these symptoms and should be avoided.
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Foods for Nausea
If you feel nauseous or are having severe acid reflux, try eating dry, starchy, salty foods such as toast, crackers, pretzels, rice or rice cereal. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nutrition Therapy for Nausea says these foods usually help settle the stomach. Another starchy food that you can try is potatoes, but avoid cooking them in fat, which can worsen the problem.
If you want to eat fruits, bananas and applesauce can help relieve nausea. You can also try a low-fat yogurt or a sherbet, which can help calm the stomach. For a savory flavor, add clear broth or a baked chicken breast, or eggs cooked without fat, such as boiled or poached eggs. It is important to eat slowly and monitor how you are feeling. If any of these foods worsen your symptoms, chew on ice-chips until you feel that you can ingest solids again.
Foods for Heartburn
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, foods that generally do not cause heartburn include tender, lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish, or eggs and soy-based foods if you prefer a vegetarian option. Monitor how well your body tolerates dried beans and peas, since every person reacts to these differently. Any grain that is prepared without added fat is usually tolerated well. For fruits, removing the peel makes them easier to digest, but avoid tomatoes and citrus fruits, because they can cause acid reflux and heartburn. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea, since caffeine is an irritant that could make your symptoms worse.
Foods for Indigestion
People get indigestion from different things. For some people, the problem might be portions that are too big. Breaking up your meals into five or six smaller meals usually helps if this is the case. For other people, certain foods are the culprits for their discomfort. Foods that are not fatty are more easily digested. Low-fat cheese and low fat dairy products are easier to tolerate than their high-fat alternatives.
Choose vegetables that do not cause gas and bloating, as this makes indigestion worse. Vegetables that usually cause gas include cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, but other steamed or boiled vegetables are good choices. If you want to increase your daily fiber intake, it's important to increase fiber gradually to prevent indigestion. Because the foods that cause indigestion vary from person to person, keepig a food diary can be helpful in identifying problematic foods.