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10 Tips About Eating the Best Foods for Pregnancy Nausea and Morning Sickness Relief

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You’re excited about bringing new life into this world. Yet, your pregnancy nausea and morning sickness are enough to dull your happiness. 

Smells, tastes, and movements can exacerbate pregnancy nausea and morning sickness. At this point, it might feel like every day is a battle. You’d do anything to lessen symptoms while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The good news is that there are a lot of foods and drinks that can help with morning sickness and pregnancy sickness. 

We’ll highlight these nausea and morning sickness remedies below:

Why It’s Important to Remedy Your Morning Sickness and Pregnancy-Related Nausea

Studies show nausea is a common symptom for around 80% of pregnant women. Moreover, symptoms ramp up to vomiting for about 50% of the pregnant population. 

Pregnancy is enough of a challenge without throwing morning sickness into the equation. Soothing the related symptoms can offer an extra boost when facing this ongoing, 9-month marathon.

By following the tips below, we can’t guarantee you’ll conquer your morning sickness. However, we can say that these suggestions have worked for many women with struggles like yours. Most of the time, you have to try different things and be patient to figure out what helps your morning sickness the most. 

10 Suggestions to Help Relieve Pregnancy-Related Nausea and Morning Sickness

Whether it's called "morning sickness" or "nausea of pregnancy," the following tips could help pregnant women deal with these problems:

1. Bland Foods Are Ideal

Fending off morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy starts with a straightforward tactic—sticking to bland floods, many of which you’ll find in the BRAT diet. Easy-to-stomach options like applesauce, toast, bananas, and white rice are recommended.  

The BRAT diet is believed to reduce nausea and stomach illness symptoms and these blander foods might also promote morning sickness recovery but following the BRAT diet for too long can lead to malnutrition

The Bottom Line: Eating foods from the BRAT diet may help with morning sickness symptoms, but it is a temporary solution, not a long-term plan. 

2. Cold Foods and Beverages Are Go-to Morning Sickness Remedies

Morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy are far likelier to be triggered by hot foods and drinks. Conversely, cold foods aren’t as fragrant, likely making them more palatable for pregnant women.  

Cold beverages (e.g., cold almond milk and smoothies) can serve as morning sickness remedies because they’re easier to consume but cold food might slow down digestion, which is already a potential problem during pregnancy

The Bottom Line: Cold eats (like chilled fruits) and drinks will help with nausea during pregnancy and morning sickness. Ensure that you’re taking additional measures to maintain a healthy digestive tract. 

3. Protein Can Offer Much-Needed Relief

High-protein snacks and other sources rich in protein can fend off nausea during pregnancy. Additionally, peanut butter, chicken, and beans increase gastrin in your system, improving digestion. Lean beef, Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and hard cheeses can help with morning sickness. Also, pregnant women require 60g of protein daily–meaning it serves a dual purpose.However, tt could be hard to eat these foods, depending on the intensity of your symptoms

The Bottom Line: Protein-rich foods can help pregnant women feel better and meet their daily nutritional needs at the same time. 

4. Ginger Can Settle Your Stomach In Times Of Need

Ginger is an oft-reliable morning sickness remedy that may relieve nausea during pregnancy. It’s available in many forms, including in capsules, syrups, and lozenges. Some examples include:

  • Ginger ale
  • Ginger snaps or ginger biscuits
  • Ginger tea
  • Ginger candies

You should check labels to ensure the products in question contain real ginger. You can also add fresh ginger to stir-fries and broths. However, some experts believe that too much ginger can heighten miscarriage risks

The Bottom Line: Ginger might be a valuable tool in combating morning sickness, but it should be consumed in moderation. 

5. Drink Fluids Like Herbal Teas

We’re all told to drink fluids when we’re not feeling well. But herbal teas can specifically help remedy pregnancy-induced nausea. 

Doctors and nutritionists have long discussed how these teas are rich in magnesium, iron, and calcium–all helpful nutrients during pregnancy. However, there aren’t many studies on most herbs.

The Bottom Line: Herbal tea (with ingredients like lemon and ginger) might help combat nausea during pregnancy. Discuss which teas are safe with your doctor. 

6. Carbonated Beverages Might Help

Not only is carbonation safe during pregnancy, but carbonated drinks might also help with morning sickness and nausea. The bubbles might contribute to stomach acidity reduction, thus soothing nausea symptoms.

Mineral water is ideal, but sugary beverages can also help. Just be sure to drink sugar-based drinks in moderation, as such beverages can cause bloating and other forms of discomfort.

The Bottom Line: Drinking carbonated beverages half an hour before or after a meal can help with pregnancy-related nausea. Enjoy sugary drinks in moderation.

7. Fend Off Nausea And Morning Sickness With Citrus Fruits

Research suggests that many pregnant women find lemon-scented aromatherapy can offset morning sickness and general nausea. Citrus fruits like lemon are safe during pregnancy (in moderation), so there’s no risk in adding them to your grocery list (unless you have an allergy). 

Other anti-nausea strategies with citrus fruits include sucking on lemon drops, squeezing citrus into your water, and adding lemon/orange zest to yogurt or ice cream. Besides helping with morning sickness and nausea, citrus, in moderation, may aid in optimal fetal development but there’s a chance that citrus worsens heartburn symptoms

The Bottom Line: As aromatherapy and a nutritional item, citrus can help with nausea symptoms during pregnancy. You should be cautious with citrus if you are also experiencing heartburn.

8. Soothe Morning Sickness Symptoms With Water-Rich Fruits And Veggies 

Sometimes, fluids can exacerbate pregnancy-related nausea (specifically during meals). In this case, exchange liquids for fruits and vegetables with lots of fluids (e.g., celery, peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, and strawberries). Fruits and vegetables that are high in water can help with nausea, reduce swelling, ease heartburn, and stop muscle cramps. Watermelon, specifically, has vitamins B6, C, and A, magnesium, and potassium to help your baby’s immune system, nervous system, vision, and brain development. However, you might not be able to hold down these solids, depending on the severity of these symptoms.

The Bottom Line: As long as your stomach is up to the challenge, the health benefits of water-filled fruits and veggies are plentiful during and after pregnancy. 

9. Supplement Your Folic Acid

Folic acid is vital to your baby’s development before and during pregnancy. However, your nausea might make it challenging to reach your daily requirements. So it’s wise to supplement or take prenatal vitamins with this essential nutrient. Getting this key nutrient before and during pregnancy may prevent congenital heart defects in infants. Supplementing with folate or receiving it through prenatal vitamins may prevent a cleft palate or lip in your infant. However, high levels of folic acid can hide symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. 

The Bottom Line: Folate is essential to healthy fetal development, and supplementation can help overcome stomach-illness-based boundaries that prevent you from consuming it. However, you should stick to the recommended amount to prevent side effects.

10. Peppermint Might Ease Your Pregnancy-Related Nausea

Peppermint is a common, centuries-old cure for morning sickness. In moderation, it’s safe for you and your baby.

Peppermint is often eaten or drunk by drinking peppermint tea, chopping mint into food, or eating hard peppermint candies. It’s so versatile—you can even enjoy it in a non-alcoholic mojito. However, avoid ingesting peppermint essential oils because they can exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy.

The Bottom Line: Peppermint has a long history of successfully offsetting nausea when pregnant–just avoid peppermint essential oils.

How Can Top Nutrition Coaching Help With Nausea During Pregnancy?

Your pregnancy is a beautiful time and a major turning point in your life, but it can also be very scary. 

Whether your nausea is mild or you throw up every morning, your daily life may be much harder than it was before you got pregnant.  Thus, you need your strength and to feel your best if you’re going to have a happy, healthy pregnancy.

With all of these symptoms, it will be hard to get to a doctor on the other side of town when you are pregnant.

Top Nutrition Coaching has a convenient solution to remedy your pregnancy-related nausea. Our Prenatal and Postpartum Registered Dieticians have been carefully checked out and are qualified to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Plus, you receive our services online—there are no taxing trips to the doctor’s office. 

Matching with a Registered Dietician who suits your needs is a matter of filling out our quiz from the comfort of your home. We’re here to help you achieve the best health outcomes during your pregnancy, coaching you toward a nourishing, fulfilling 9 months before your newborn enters the world. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we’re often asked about how to reduce nausea while pregnant:

What foods aggravate nausea while you’re pregnant?

Fried, fatty, and spicy foods generally trigger nausea or cause more severe nausea when pregnant. Hot foods also trigger nausea throughout pregnancy. 

What are natural ways to moderate nausea while pregnant?

Each day, eat multiple small meals, avoid greasy/spicy foods, eat complex carbs, and sip clear, carbonated, and cold liquids between meals. It could also help to keep crackers by your bed.

When is morning sickness at its worst during pregnancy?

Morning sickness tends to peak between 6 and 9 months of pregnancy.

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About the author

Nicolette Star Maggiolo, RD, LDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with education from Boston University and clinical training from both Brigham & Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I specialize in helping the military and non-military individuals embrace nutrition as a partner in both their mental and physical health.

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