Food tips for nausea

Managing nausea and eating well will greatly benefit you.

While undergoing cancer treatment, eating well can help you maintain your weight, improve your immunity, strengthen your bones, strengthen your skin, and improve your teeth and eyesight. The result is reduced side effects and treatment delays, as well as faster recovery because your muscles and bones are stronger.

What can I do if I can not eat?

Don't give yourself a hard time if you cannot eat anything for a few days after treatment because you can make up for lost calories during treatment days. While you are really sick, make sure your stomach isn't completely empty since this can cause you to feel even more nauseous. It is recommended to eat every 2-3 hours, as this will help reduce this side effect.

Some may find this impossible, but if you choose to eat small snacks rather than large meals, you can make it easier. It can be helpful if you stick to plain, simple foods. For example, crackers, toast, fruit, or yoghurt are easy to eat, since they don't have strong smells that can cause nausea.

Feeling nauseous? Here's what to eat 

Ginger Biscuits

It contains bioactive compounds, such as gingerol, paradol and shogaol, which are thought to interact with your central nervous system and stomach to improve nausea symptoms.

Plain Dry Foods
Dry foods such as crackers, pretzels, toast and cereals are easy to eat due to no strong smells or tastes that can trigger nausea. 
Cold Foods  You may tolerate cold foods better than warm dishes. That’s because they generally don’t have strong odors. Try yoghurt, jelly or fruit. 
Soup
Fluids are often better tolerated when you’re nauseous. Soup provides hydration and electrolytes, which are particularly important if you have been vomiting. 
Soft Energy-Dense Foods

It’s important that the foods you manage to eat are nutritious and provide energy to help your body stay strong and recover. This includes; avocados, porridge, stewed fruits, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and bananas.

Starchy Foods

Starchy, plain foods like rice, potatoes and noodles are good choices. They’re easy to prepare, high in calories and help settle your stomach. 

Protein Rich Foods

It’s unclear why protein has this effect on nausea. The hypothesis is that it helps normalise stomach activity by increasing the secretion of the hormone gastrin. 

Protein is a macronutrient, which helps keep your body strong and reduces the risk of malnutrition.


You should avoid your favourite food when you feel sick

When you feel sick, your mind may trigger a negative experience with a particular food, which is called anticipatory nausea and vomiting. You can find the blog here: ANTICIPATORY NAUSEA AND VOMITING (ANV)

During my first chemo session, I experienced ANV. At first, I thought I was doing okay, because I had previously had surgery and felt worse. Planet Organic was my choice to celebrate making it through my first session, thinking I could handle the nausea. Looking for vegetarian foods, I found a delicious range and was eager to try them out. As soon as I arrived at Regent's Park to eat, I felt so ill and the food seemed awful! In the years since then, I haven't been able to return to Planet Organic or eat the food I had then. Being a vegetarian is now difficult, since the majority of vegetarian foods rely on the food I had then. 

Follow these tips below to help you live life to the fullest!

Talk to your Doctor about Nausea Medications
 

Speak to your doctor if you are really struggling, they may be able to give you different sickness medicines to try. 

It is best to take your sickness medications about an hour before eating. This will help you maximise how much you can eat and allow you to enjoy your meal more.

Avoid Warm Foods

Cold foods like yogurt and ice cream are often well tolerated. Less risk of cooking smells to trigger nausea. 

Eat What You Want!

Don’t try to force yourself to eat a meal that causes your stomach to turn at the thought of it. It might be something healthy but it is more important you can eat than risking vomiting.

Drink Liquids in-Between Meals/Snacks.

Make sure you don't drink too much, this will make you feel fuller and will be harder to eat.  

Avoid Mixing Hot & Cold Foods 

This can increase nausea. 

Have Several Small Meals/Snacks 

Having large meals can be daunting.

Eat and Drink Slowly in Small Amounts
This allows you to relax during meals. You may also want to avoid consuming liquids and solids at the same time.
Do Not Lie Flat After Eating 
Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after eating, as this can put pressure on your stomach.
Avoid Food Preparation  Strong smells from cooking can worsen nausea. 
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Nausea and vomiting can leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, which may prevent you from eating. Rinse and brush your teeth regularly.

 

For more help read - 'Pressure Points for Nausea'