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Fighting Nausea

Updated on September 9, 2015

What should you eat to help soothe a queasy stomach?  Ask 10 motion sickness sufferers and you will probably get 10 different answers.  Although very little research has been done on home remedies for motion sickness, miracle foods and folk remedies abound.  You never know what may work for you.

Pickled okra, anyone?  Strange as it may seem, some people swear by pickled okra as a way to fight the motion of the ocean.  Dill pickles, olives, and cheese are other pet remedies often used to prevent seasickness.  Others suggest sucking on a wedge of lemon to reduce saliva in the mouth and reduce nausea.  The most widely recommended food for dealing with the nausea of motion sickness is soda crackers.  These plain, dry snacks help get rid of excess saliva and absorb stomach acid that can upset an empty stomach.  Soda crackers seem to be the most tried-and-true of all folk remedies.

Keep Your Strength Up

If you have already gotten sick, it is a good idea to eat something, if you can, to prevent weakness and increased discomfort.  Nutrients and electrolytes that you lost during vomiting need to be replaced.  Once again, soda crackers can come in handy, since they are bland and absorbent.  If you can’t eat, try drinking some ginger ale or a cola drink.  As a last resort, sucking on some hard candy is better than nothing at all.

Although these remedies haven’t been tested in the lab, they have been proven in the field.  The best idea, however, is the same as for any allergy or sensitivity.  Do not be afraid to experiment a little in order to find what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Motion Sickness Aggravated by Certain Foods

While some foods can help ward off motion sickness, there are others you should definitely avoid.  In one study, researchers measured motion sickness in pilots and found that the pilots who ate foods high in sodium, such as preserved meats and potato chips, had much higher rates of sickness.  The same was true for high-protein foods, like cheeses and meats, as well as foods high in thiamin, such as pork, eggs, and fish.   Foods high in calories also tended to increase the frequency of motion sickness.

In general, avoid strong-smelling, strong-tasting foods.  These have a way of filling you up, and they are more likely to trigger a reaction in your sensitive gastrointestinal tract.  Instead, try to eat light meals when you know you will be traveling.  Reach for bland, low-fat, starchy foods that provide more substance than spice.

Caffeine is an irritant for many people who suffer from motion sickness, and it can bring on bouts of dizziness, especially in people who suffer from Meniere’s disease.  The same is true for salt.  Reducing your intake of these might serve to lessen the uncomfortable effects of motion sickness.

Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products increases your risk of motion sickness.  Another very common irritant is alcohol, which directly affects your sense of balance.  There is no better way to ensure a bout of motion sickness than to start a trip with a drink or a hangover.


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    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Good to know what to avoid eating. Thanks for sharing.