Curbing Morning Sickness with Foods that Fight Nausea During Pregnancy

On a wood grained table sits one quarter of a watermelon. In front is two hearts cut from the watermelon.

Nothing takes away from new pregnancy bliss like the sudden need to throw up everything you had to eat for the last two weeks. It’s no surprise that many of us start searching for foods that fight nausea during pregnancy after a positive test. 

While morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy, figuring out the right way to treat it isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. 

Maybe you don’t want to take over-the-counter treatments to alleviate pregnancy nausea and vomiting. Or perhaps you’re not interested in rocking those super cool acupressure wristbands throughout the first trimester.

If you’re on the hunt for a different approach to morning sickness treatments, you’ll be grateful to learn that particular foods can significantly reduce symptoms.

So, before you start planning your weekly grocery list, look at the food and drinks below to figure out what you want to try to eliminate your stomach troubles.

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Why Do We Feel So Sick During Early Pregnancy?

At a time in our lives when getting the proper nutrients and bulking up our calorie intake is essential, why do we suddenly want to avoid food altogether?

Well, researchers believe that hormones are at fault.

Aren’t they always?

During the early weeks and months of pregnancy, our bodies produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). While this is crucial for supporting your baby, it also leads to some weird early pregnancy symptoms….including nausea and vomiting.

While anyone is at risk of developing morning sickness, history shows some of us are more likely to feel its effects, including people who:

  • Have a history of motion sickness
  • Experience migraine headaches
  • Had morning sickness during a previous pregnancy
  • Are carrying multiples – twins, triplets, etc.
Seven bright yellow lemons are sitting on a table
When it comes to morning sickness, most of us are desperate to find a solution. These foods that fight nausea during pregnancy are a great place to start!

10 Foods that Fight Nausea During Pregnancy

Now for the good stuff – which foods serve as the best morning sickness treatments? One of the great things about this list is that everyone has options. Whether you like sour food, sports drinks, or peppermint, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

1. Ginger

In addition to being a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food, one of the most impressive health benefits of ginger is that it’s great for treating nausea, especially during pregnancy. 

When picking the best foods that fight nausea during pregnancy, ginger is first on our list for several reasons. 

It’s inexpensive, readily available, and highly versatile. From ginger teas to chews, there are plenty of popular products to choose from. During my first pregnancy, I would even carry giant bags of crystallized ginger to snack on throughout the day.  

Some popular options include:

2. Lemon and Other Sour Flavors

For some reason (there’s not a lot of research on why), sour foods are an easy trick for treating morning sickness. Something about sour flavors seems to curb nausea symptoms.

You can reap these benefits in many different ways. Lemonade or lemon slices, for example, are a great option. Other foods, like sour candies, will also work. There’s even a popular OTC morning sickness treatment called Preggie Pops that uses sour flavors in their candies. 

Not a fan of eating sour foods? 

No worries! Studies show that inhaling lemon scents can also assist in treating nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. 

3. Crackers, Dry Toast, and Other Carbohydrates

Listen, I’m a major advocate for eating carbs on a normal day. When someone tells me they’ll also help with morning sickness, I will treat it as the perfect excuse to eat a veritable mountain of bagels.

High-carbohydrate foods are easy to digest and provide fantastic energy benefits that are much appreciated during the exhausting early weeks of pregnancy. 

Some popular carb-heavy food ideas include:

  • Crackers
  • Bread & Toast
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Dry Cereals

4. Broth

Given how much time we’ve all spent nursing bowls of chicken soup during stomach bugs throughout our lives, it won’t shock you to learn that broth is ideal for settling your tummy during early pregnancy.

If you want to take your broth consumption to the next level, however, you might want to try bone broth

Bone broth offers many outstanding benefits and has tons of essential vitamins and nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy. 

5. Vitamin B6-Rich Foods

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) states that taking 10-25mg of vitamin B6 three or four times daily can decrease morning sickness symptoms. If you’re not interested in taking additional supplements, there are plenty of foods packed with this amazing nutrient

Try adding some of the following foods to your pregnancy diet:

  • Chickpeas
  • Bananas
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Tofu 
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Sunflower Seeds

6. Watermelon

Watermelon is known to provide excellent benefits during pregnancy. It reduces swelling, prevents constipation, boosts immunity, and is one of our favorite foods that fight nausea during pregnancy.

It’s full of vitamin B6 and is loaded with water to help us avoid dehydration. Plus, it’s great for baby’s development, too!

7. Protein-Rich Foods

While morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy, certain things can worsen your nausea and vomiting; one of these is not getting enough protein

To help alleviate stomach troubles, eat plenty of protein-rich foods, such as peanut butter, pork, cheese, yogurt, and beans. 

8. Peppermint

Did your parents ever give you peppermint hard candy when you had an upset stomach as a child? Well, they weren’t just giving you a sweet treat.

Peppermint is known for its natural medicinal qualities – especially when it comes to belly aches and digestion. So, don’t be afraid to buy some peppermint tea or candies during your next trip to the store. 

9. Popsicles

Whether you purchase pre-made popsicles from the store or buy some molds to make them yourself, these sweet treats aren’t just delicious; they’re an excellent morning sickness treatment, too!

Popsicles are incredibly hydrating, which makes them an ideal food for treating pregnancy nausea. 

10. Sports Drinks

Dehydration can be a serious concern for those of us struggling to keep liquids down during early pregnancy. That’s why we must drink as much as possible when we can tolerate it. 

The electrolytes in sports drinks, along with their sweet flavors, make them popular among the pregnancy crowd.

Which Foods Make Morning Sickness Symptoms Worse?

Not everyone is going to have the same tastes during pregnancy. For that reason, one person’s morning sickness triggers might be completely different than somebody else. 

When it comes to foods you should avoid, listen to your body first and foremost.

During my pregnancies, for instance, red sauce was an absolute no-no. From pizza to spaghetti, I wanted nothing to do with it. 

As for universal flavors that might not be great for those of us who are expecting, try to avoid the following:

  • Extra Spicy Foods
  • Really Sweet Foods
  • Hot Foods
  • Fried, Fatty Foods
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Can You Eat Right After Vomiting During Pregnancy?

Often when we have a stomach bug, we’ll find ourselves avoiding most foods until we’re back to normal. During pregnancy, however, “normal” is several months away.

If you throw up, be gentle on your stomach but do your best to eat as soon as you feel up to it. Just stick to bland foods and fluids until you feel ready for more. 

General Tips for Curbing Stomach Troubles While Pregnant

Aside from the foods above, there are some basic suggestions you can use to minimize your pregnancy nausea and vomiting. These include:

  1. Avoid foods with strong odors. 
  2. Eat small amounts of food and snacks throughout the day instead of large portions.
  3. Remember that an empty stomach can worsen nausea; try to eat and drink the best you can.
  4. Get outside; fresh air can help alleviate morning sickness symptoms.
  5. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest each day throughout pregnancy.
  6. Take your prenatal vitamins every day.
  7. Try other morning sickness treatments, such as acupressure bands or acupuncture.
  8. Fill your diet with cold foods.
Five crackers sit on an all white table top.
On the hunt for a different approach to morning sickness treatments? Here’s a list of foods that fight nausea during pregnancy!

Don’t Be Afraid to Call Your Doctor if Morning Sickness Is Severe

If you start to feel like your morning sickness is more severe than it should be, you could have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

This is a serious illness that causes prolonged vomiting, dehydration, fatigue, and a number of other symptoms. It often requires more intensive treatments and occasionally hospitalization. 

Don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you think you’re suffering from HG. They can get you the help you need to combat your symptoms and ensure you go on to have the happy, healthy pregnancy you deserve. 

Plan Your Shopping List Around Foods that Treat Morning Sickness

I wish I could tell you there’s a magic button you can press to eliminate all signs of morning sickness during early pregnancy. Alas, this is merely a pipe dream.

What I can tell you, though, is that dealing with pregnancy nausea during the first trimester or so isn’t impossible. There are plenty of tips, tricks, and good things to eat that will keep your stomach feeling as good as new (or at least better)!

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What are your favorite foods that fight nausea during pregnancy?

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