All About Foods That Fight Nausea During Pregnancy

Last Updated: February 16, 2024
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

By Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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Looking for foods that fight nausea during pregnancy? I’m glad you’re here!

Pregnancy is a remarkable journey, but it often brings along with it some not-so-welcome symptoms – like nausea. But if you’re an expecting mom looking for some relief, you’re in the right place. 

In this article, I’m going to teach you some essential dietary tips to keep in mind as you combat pregnancy nausea. Then, you’ll learn about a variety of foods and drinks you can try that will help get you through this challenging time! 

Are you ready to feel a little bit better? Let’s dive in!

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3 Essential dietary tips to combat pregnancy nausea

1. Balancing blood sugar

The ebb and flow of pregnancy hormones can have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, often leading to the onset of nausea. 

When blood sugar levels plummet or spike rapidly, especially when your stomach is empty, it can trigger those unwelcome feelings of queasiness. 

To counteract this, focus on maintaining a stable blood sugar throughout the day. Eating smaller, more frequent meals that include complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and fiber can help prevent extreme fluctuations. 

These choices provide a steady release of energy, ensuring your blood sugar remains on an even keel, ultimately reducing the likelihood of pregnancy-related nausea (at least a little bit!). And this also explains why a lot of women experience morning sickness – because you’ve gone all night without eating!

By keeping your blood sugar in check, you’re taking a proactive step!

2. Protein power for nausea relief

Protein is a valuable ally when combatting pregnancy nausea. As we just discussed, the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Consuming protein-rich foods helps to stabilize these levels, preventing the rapid spikes and drops that can trigger nausea. 

Additionally, protein takes longer to digest, keeping you fuller for longer periods and reducing the chances of an empty stomach, a common nausea trigger. 

How to do this? Try to incorporate lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, tofu, and beans into your diet as much as you can stomach them.

3. B6: The nausea-fighting vitamin for expectant moms

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is another thing that plays a crucial role in combating pregnancy nausea. This essential nutrient aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates and helps regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn reduces the likelihood of nausea.

Are you starting to get just how important blood sugar management is in all this?!

Research actually shows that vitamin B6 can ease morning sickness symptoms, making it a valuable addition to your prenatal regimen. 

Always consult with your healthcare provider before adding any supplements to your routine, but rest assured that this little B-vitamin can provide big relief when you need it most during your pregnancy journey.

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Best food for pregnancy nausea

While there is no cure for pregnancy nausea (even medications can only take the edge off) – there are definitely a variety of tips out there that can help.

Today we’re going to dive into what foods can alleviate your nausea, calm your stomach, and make you feel a little more comfortable during this challenging time.

  • Ginger: When it comes to nausea relief, ginger is a superstar. It has been used for centuries to combat morning sickness. Ginger’s natural compounds can help relax the intestinal tract, reducing nausea and vomiting. Try ginger in various forms: ginger tea, ginger candies, or even ginger added to your meals
  • Crackers: Plain crackers or dry toast are go-to options for many pregnant women dealing with morning sickness. These simple carbohydrates are gentle on the stomach and can help stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Oatmeal: Opt for plain oatmeal as a soothing breakfast choice. Oats are gentle on the stomach and provide essential nutrients, including B vitamins and fiber, which can help ease nausea and regulate digestion
  • Popsicles: Sometimes, cold treats like popsicles can be incredibly soothing when you’re battling nausea. Opt for natural fruit juice popsicles or ginger-flavored popsicles to help ease your stomach discomfort
  • Applesauce: Applesauce is a classic part of the “BRAT” diet – bland food to eat when you’re recovering from a stomach virus. And frankly, pregnancy nausea isn’t too different! Applesauce can boost your blood sugar, get you some calories, and help settle your stomach too

Fruit that helps pregnancy nausea

Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals that can ease nausea. Here are a few to consider:

  • Papaya: Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that aids digestion and can help reduce nausea. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and folate, which are essential during pregnancy
  • Watermelon: Watermelon is not only hydrating but also gentle on the stomach. It provides essential fluids and electrolytes, which can help alleviate nausea
  • Bananas: Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which has been shown to ease nausea in pregnancy. They’re also easy to digest and provide essential nutrients like potassium, which can help you stay hydrated

Related Reading: Understanding Pregnancy Cravings and Aversions

Drinks for pregnancy nausea

Tea for pregnancy nausea

Tea can be a comforting and effective way to manage pregnancy nausea. Herbal teas, in particular, can offer relief and hydration. Here are some tea options to consider:

  • Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea is known for its soothing properties. It can help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and alleviate nausea. Sip on a warm cup of peppermint tea when you’re feeling sick
  • Ginger tea: Ginger tea is another wonderful way to incorporate this nausea-fighting ingredient into your diet. It’s not only effective but also incredibly soothing
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is gentle on the stomach and can help reduce feelings of nausea and anxiety. It’s a calming choice for those moments when you need a bit of relaxation

Smoothies for pregnancy nausea

Smoothies are a fantastic way to pack in nutrients while keeping your stomach settled. I have seen a lot of prenatal nutritionists and RD’s recommend them for the first trimester.

Here are some ideas for nausea-fighting smoothies:

  • Banana and ginger smoothie: Blend a ripe banana with a small piece of fresh ginger, yogurt, and a bit of honey. This combination provides the benefits of both bananas and ginger, creating a soothing and delicious drink
  • Berry blast smoothie: Combine mixed berries, Greek yogurt, and a touch of honey for a nutrient-packed smoothie that’s rich in antioxidants and vitamins

Other drinks for pregnancy nausea

  • Lemon water: Sipping on lemon-infused water can be refreshing and help reduce nausea. Lemon’s natural scent and flavor have calming effects on the digestive system. Add some mint leaves for added nausea-fighting power!
  • Coconut water: Coconut water is hydrating and provides essential electrolytes. It’s an excellent choice to help prevent dehydration during bouts of nausea

Feel better, mama!

Incorporating these foods and drinks into your diet can make a significant difference in managing pregnancy nausea. Remember that every pregnancy is unique, so it’s essential to listen to your body and find the combinations that work best for you. 

Consult with your healthcare provider if your nausea is severe or persistent to ensure that it’s not a sign of an underlying issue. 

By nourishing your body with these nausea-fighting options, you can focus on enjoying your pregnancy journey with greater comfort and well-being.

More first-trimester articles for you:

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Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

As a labor and delivery nurse, I’ve spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

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