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How can I stop feeling nauseous?

Read our tips on how to limit nausea by making changes to your diet

Nausea is a very common feeling that you may experience for lots of different reasons. These include:

  • motion sickness
  • stomach flu or food poisoning
  • anxiety
  • pregnancy (morning sickness)
  • drinking excess alcohol
  • medication side effects (such as Wegovy)

Your diet can have a large impact on your nausea, so it can be beneficial to watch what you eat.

This article will explain which foods you should include in your diet to help manage and prevent nausea, as well as the foods that should be avoided.

It will also touch on some herbal remedies as well as some general lifestyle tips for preventing and managing your nausea.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 06-06-2024

How to prevent nausea

Sometimes there’s not much you can do to prevent your nausea from coming on, especially if it’s a side effect from medication or food poisoning.

However, you can take steps to limit how nauseous you feel. To help manage the feeling of being sick you should:

  • eat small meals throughout the day
  • eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly (so it’s easier to digest)
  • have a break between eating and exercising (which could also help to prevent heartburn)

Do’s and don’ts

The following table shows some tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when managing and preventing nausea:

Do Don’t
  • go out for some fresh air
  • distract yourself (by watching a movie or going for a walk)
  • sip on ice-cold water and stay hydrated
  • lie down or exercise straight after eating
  • cook or eat strong smelling foods
  • have a large drink with your meal
  • eat too quickly

Taking these steps, in combination with diet changes, will be your best bet at naturally easing your nausea.

Foods that help with nausea

Whilst it may feel difficult to eat when you’re nauseous, it’s not a good idea to go all day without food.

The following foods are known for helping with nausea, so you can eat enough to fuel your body even when you’re feeling ill.


Ginger has been used medicinally since ancient times and has often been praised for its effectiveness in managing nausea.

Research has highlighted this - one study Trusted source National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Government Source Biomedical Research and Literature Go to source taken on pregnant nauseous women showed ginger to be significantly more effective than a placebo in easing nausea.

Ground, whole, and sliced ginger on a wooden chopping board

It is thought to reduce indigestion and bloating, and increase the rate at which your stomach empties, all of which help with nausea.

Ginger is cheap, easy to access, and can be consumed in many different ways. Try steeping fresh slices of ginger in boiling water to make ginger tea, or try nibbling on small quantities of crystallised ginger or ginger biscuits.


Lemon is famously known for helping with nausea too. Although lemon juice is acidic, when digested it can have a neutralising effect on your stomach.

It also increases saliva production which can improve nausea, and is a good source of vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system.

To treat nausea with lemon, try any of the following:

  • add lemon slices to your water (could also add sliced ginger)
  • sip on low-sugar or homemade lemonade
  • suck on a lemon-flavoured hard boiled sweet
  • rinse your mouth with lemon water before and after eating (to help remove any unpleasant aftertastes that could trigger your nausea)

Clear liquids

It’s important to stay hydrated when you are feeling nauseous, especially if you have experienced vomiting or diarrhoea (which causes you to lose large quantities of water).

As mentioned before, sipping on cold water throughout the day can be helpful.

Cup of chamomile tea with a slice of lemon

Herbal teas can also be greatly beneficial and can ease other digestive problems too. Peppermint, chamomile, and fennel tea are natural nausea relievers.

If you’re still struggling to eat, you can try sipping on hot, clear broth. Broth is a good source of nutrients (especially bone broth) and may help you transition to solid foods.

Protein-rich meals

According to researchers, meals that are high in protein are better at managing nausea.

One study Trusted source American Physiological Society Journals Peer-reviewed Journals Physiology Go to source found that protein-rich meals reduced nausea more so than meals that were higher in carbohydrates and fats.

Some protein-rich foods or meal ideas include:

  • chicken broth with boiled pieces of chicken
  • baked tofu with a little plain rice
  • boiled eggs with plain toast
  • greek yoghurt with banana

Plain carbohydrates

If you are feeling nauseous, the best thing to do is to keep your foods plain.

Bland carbohydrates are usually the easiest food to tolerate, and because of their starchiness they also absorb stomach acids.

A bowl of plain basmati rice on a dark pink background

To settle your nausea, try slowly eating:

  • plain bread or dry toast
  • boiled or mashed potatoes
  • plain rice
  • noodles
  • breadsticks

Ideally, you should avoid plain foods such as pretzels and crackers as they can have very high sodium levels. Eating too much salt is not only bad for maintaining your blood pressure but can also lead to dehydration.


Bananas are one of the best fruits you can eat for an upset stomach, and they are also good at settling nausea.

Bananas help by stimulating the lining of your stomach to produce more mucus - which creates a barrier between the stomach acid and your digestive tract. This helps to soothe heartburn and settle your stomach.

They can also restore your potassium levels if you’ve been experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea.

Try blending a banana into a simple smoothie if you’re struggling to eat solid foods. Or, try eating a sliced banana on top of plain natural yoghurt (which also has gut-restoring bacteria).

Cold fizzy drinks

Sometimes fizzy drinks can help to alleviate nausea better than non-carbonated water and teas.

You might benefit from sipping fizzing water, or flavoured water, through a straw.

A glass of fizzy water with a slice of lime and a straw

You might have heard that drinking fizzy sodas like Coca-Cola are good for settling the stomach. However, this is now considered a medical myth. The sugar and chemicals found in soda may actually do you more harm than good.

Foods that worsen nausea

The following foods are known to worsen nausea - either because they are difficult to digest or because they are very strong in smell and taste.

Fatty, greasy foods

Greasy, deep-fried foods are high in fat and take the longest time to digest out of all 3 macronutrients. This means food will sit in your stomach for longer periods of time, which can trigger bloating and nausea.

If you are already feeling nauseous, steer clear of fatty foods as they are likely to make you feel much worse.

Fatty foods are also dense in calories and should only be eaten on occasion in order to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

Very sugary foods

Eating too much sugar can make you feel sick even when you aren’t feeling nauseous.

A glass of soda filled with sugar cubes on a blue background

Foods that are packed full of refined sugar essentially feed the ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut, which can make you feel ill.

Very sugary foods include:

  • sweets
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • pastries
  • pies
  • fizzy soda
  • icecream
  • chocolate

If you do crave something sweet, try adding natural sugar to something gut healthy, such as a drizzle of honey on some plain yoghurt or eating a banana.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods are strong-smelling and have lots of flavours, which can make you feel a lot worse if you’re already nauseous.

Eating chilli peppers can also cause a burning sensation and further upset your stomach.

Avoid spicy foods and keep things plain if you are trying to manage the feeling of being sick.


Alcohol is a prime suspect for causing nausea and vomiting when it is drunk in excess.

A bartender pulling a pint of beer from a tap

Even one alcoholic beverage can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause dehydration.

To avoid nausea, opt for a non-alcoholic drink like soda water with ice and lime.


You should also avoid drinking caffeinated drinks if you are feeling nauseous.

Drinking strong coffee or energy drinks can make you dehydrated and stimulate more stomach acid to be produced.

Caffeine also has a laxative effect which can further upset your stomach. Make sure to avoid drinking coffee if you have stomach flu or are experiencing diarrhoea.

Other natural remedies

If you don’t wish to use anti-sickness medication (antiemetics), you can also try these natural remedies.

  • Try smelling lemon or peppermint: Cut a fresh lemon in half and sniff it directly to settle a wave of nausea, or try inhaling steam with a few drops of peppermint oil.
  • Acupuncture or acupressure: Sometimes hitting certain pressure points can surprisingly relieve you of that nauseous feeling. Try pressing down on the middle tendon of your wrist or buy a special wristband for nausea from your local pharmacy.
  • Take deep breaths and control your breathing: Mindfulness meditation and breathing can be a great way of managing and controlling your nausea. It also serves as a form of distraction.
  • Sodium bicarbonate: Dissolve half a teaspoon of bicarb in a glass of water to help neutralise some of your stomach acids that could be the root of your nausea.

Main takeaways

If you’re feeling nauseated, the foods you eat can make a difference.

Some foods are good at relieving nausea, whilst some can aggravate your stomach and make you feel worse.

Good Bad
  • ginger
  • lemon
  • clear liquids
  • plain carbs
  • bananas
  • protein-rich meals
  • fizzy water
  • fatty, greasy foods
  • very sugary foods
  • spicy foods
  • foods with strong smells and flavours
  • alcoholic drinks
  • caffeinated drinks
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