Pregnancy is such an exciting time. There is nothing in the world like welcoming a new little bundle of joy to the household. But, as many mothers already know, pregnancy can also come with plenty of unwanted symptoms. Symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, food aversions, and nausea.
Today, we’ll be focusing on one of the worst: nausea. No one known cause of nausea or “morning sickness” during pregnancy exists. This is still somewhat a mystery! However, research has shown that nausea is “linked to the production of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone.” Also known as the pregnancy hormone.
Nausea during pregnancy is also thought to be partly caused by the increase in estrogen in our body during pregnancy. This increase may be a contributor to nausea for some pregnant individuals! Pregnant women may also experience nausea due to stress or simply because their body is learning to adjust to being pregnant – it’s a significant change for the body!
Don’t worry! While every pregnancy is different, in most cases, you won’t feel nauseous for your entire pregnancy. For most expectant mothers, nausea begins at around 4 to 8 weeks and generally dissipates around weeks 11 to 14. It is usually just a “first-trimester symptom,” but if you are suffering from severe pregnancy-related nausea, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Luckily, some dietary choices and nutrients may help to provide nausea relief. These include avoiding triggering foods, staying hydrated, eating bland or plain foods, starting your day with protein, and eating smaller meals more frequently. Also, ensure you get plenty of vitamin B6 foods in your diet. If your prenatal vitamin contributes to your nausea, it’s okay to try other options too.
15 Best Snacks For Nausea During Pregnancy
What can you do about nausea when it’s happening? If your nausea never seems to go away, try incorporating these ideas! There are many snack foods and nutrients that may help to relieve nausea during pregnancy.
These snack ideas may help calm the stomach, manage morning sickness symptoms, and quell that nausea. Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent morning sickness, but we can try strategies to help provide at least some relief! Grab one of these satisfying snacks and get back to feeling like the rockstar mom you are (as best we can!).
Let’s go over our top 15 snacks for nausea during pregnancy!
Good news! Drinking peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint candies is an excellent natural remedy to try for nausea in pregnancy! After consuming a meal, brushing your teeth, drinking peppermint tea, or sucking on peppermint candy could reduce post-meal nausea in some people. Diffusing peppermint essential oil is also an option. It’s worth a try if you like the taste and smell of peppermint! For some individuals, peppermint triggers reflux or heartburn, so that’s something to watch out for.
Soda or saltine crackers are probably the most commonly recommended snack to relieve nausea. This is because they are light on the stomach, contain easy-to-digest carbs, and are a plain or bland food choice when food aversions are kicking in. If you often feel sick first thing in the morning, start your day with a few saltine crackers before leaving the bed. This may help prevent nausea that sets in when you have an empty stomach or get hungry. Feel free to try this and grab a few crackers next time you’re feeling nauseous.
Plain toasted bread is one of the most common go-to’s when experiencing nausea during pregnancy. Like crackers, toast is easy to digest and doesn’t have a lot of flavors depending on the bread you choose. If you’re feeling up to it, experiment with your toast toppings. Butter, avocado with hemp seeds, peanut butter, and strawberries are great options. To help maintain a healthy weight gain and stable blood sugars during pregnancy, it’s best to consume bread in moderation.
Like toast, pretzels are great for helping to reduce nausea. They are high in easy-to-digest carbohydrates. Plus, pretzels contain a bit of salt, also known to relieve nausea when consumed in small amounts. Pretzels can be a handy snack to keep at your desk, bedside, or in your bag for when bouts of nausea strike. Who doesn’t love a good pretzel?? Dip them in hummus if your stomach will allow you!
Red raspberry leaf tea
Many talk about red raspberry leaf tea in the context of labor and delivery, but it may help with nausea relief too. Teas, in general, can work wonders for relieving nausea and upset stomach. Plus, many teas are also a source of antioxidants that are beneficial for health before, during, and after pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf tea may also help promote a shorter second stage of labor. This is best consumed in moderation. Other teas like lemon, ginger, mint, or peppermint may also be good options.
Bananas contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that help support a healthy pregnancy. These include B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and magnesium. In particular, the high amount of vitamin B6 found in bananas is known to help provide relief from morning sickness, nausea, and upset stomach throughout the day. If you’re not a fan of bananas, chickpeas, pistachios, salmon, and chicken are a few other good sources of vitamin B6.
Applesauce comprises easy-to-digest carbs and soluble fiber, making it an excellent snack when you’re feeling nauseous. It’s easy and light on the stomach. Plus, it tastes delicious, especially with some cinnamon. In addition to being an easy-to-tolerate “morning sickness” food, it’s also a sweet and healthy alternative that can help you fight potential sugar cravings. Regarding applesauce, we recommend choosing an unsweetened option, or if you’d prefer to eat whole apples, that’s a great choice too!
Sometimes nausea can stem from an empty stomach, a lack of protein, or both. This is typical during pregnancy because sometimes nothing, especially protein foods, sounds good due to aversions and nausea. If you think this might be the reason for your nausea, grab some peanut butter or other nut butter for a boost or easy-to-tolerate protein. Use nut butter as a dip for apple or banana slices, topping on sandwiches, toast, or crackers, in smoothies, or make energy bites!
If you don’t have a food aversion during pregnancy to the texture of yogurt, Greek yogurt is a great option! Greek yogurt is packed with protein and healthy fats. Starting the day with a good amount of protein can help combat nausea throughout the day.
In addition to protein and healthy fats, some Greek yogurt brands are also full of gut-healthy probiotics—a win-win-win. We recommend choosing a plain, full-fat option. You can always add fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, or other toppings to change up the flavor and taste too. Greek yogurt also serves as a dip for fruits and vegetables like carrots, grapes, and apple slices.
Oatmeal is another bland or more plain carb, like crackers, toast, and pretzels, that can be easy to tolerate when nothing is sounding good. In fact, oatmeal is a great source of fiber to help keep you feeling full. You can also sneak in some extra nutrients through toppings and add-ins. For example, cooking eggs into your oatmeal on the stovetop as you make your oats will boost the protein and choline! Plus, a warm bowl of oatmeal can feel very comforting when dealing with nausea, vomiting, and “morning sickness.”
When dealing with nausea and an upset stomach, it can be hard to keep down solid foods. If nothing sounds good, try a simple fruit and vegetable-based smoothie. Smoothies are great because you can adapt them to your taste preferences and any dietary restrictions.
Smoothies, especially green smoothies, are great for nausea because they are easy to digest and provide a significant boost of vitamins, minerals, fluids, and protein for nausea relief, depending on your ingredients. Add banana, nut butter, ginger, or avocado to your smoothie for an extra nausea-relieving kick. Banana is a source of vitamin B6, a nutrient known to decrease nausea during pregnancy. Be sure to incorporate a source of protein like Greek yogurt or protein powder into your smoothie to keep its blood sugar friendly.
Ginger is well known for its nausea and “morning sickness” relieving qualities during pregnancy. Along with potentially helping to relieve nausea, ginger has many other nutrition and health benefits. These include boosting your immune system and aiding in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory pathways. Ginger also has beneficial antioxidant properties! There are many ways to try ginger and see if it helps reduce your nausea. Examples include ginger in smoothies, spa water, granola, energy bites or balls, and ginger tea.
Is even a glass of water making you feel nauseous? You’re not alone. Experimenting with the temperature of your water may help. For example, ice-cold versus room temperature versus warm water. Squeezing some lemon into your water bottle can also be super helpful for relieving or reducing nausea during pregnancy, no matter the temperature of your water.
A combination of lemon and strawberries or lemon and raspberries also makes for a tasty water infusion. One study found that at least 25% of women even found smelling lemon to help reduce nausea. A cup of lemon ginger tea is another excellent hydration option that combines the powerful anti-nausea effects of both ginger and lemon into one drink.
Last but not least, we have mashed potatoes. Potatoes are a safe and typically well-tolerated option throughout pregnancy, including when first-trimester nausea kicks in. Just be sure to wash potatoes and cook them thoroughly before eating. Potatoes are a good source of energy and carbohydrates. They are also filling to help prevent nausea that stems from having an empty stomach. If you’re not a fan of mashed potatoes remember there are a wide variety of ways to incorporate potatoes into your pregnancy diet. Think baked potatoes, hash browns, potato soup, or even homemade French fries. Yum!
Hang in there mama’s and give one of the snack ideas to help with nausea-relief a try… and remember it’s 1000% okay to eat what you can keep down right now!
To all the expectant mothers out there, hang in there. The first trimester can be rough. But we hope our top 15 snack ideas to help with nausea during pregnancy will help provide some relief during these tough days. Each and every pregnancy is different, and sometimes each and every day is different during pregnancy, so don’t be afraid to try a variety of these snacks and nausea remedies until you find what works for you. When you do find what works best for you, let us know in the comments! And, if you’re looking for more information on nausea relief and management of other pesky first trimester symptoms like fatigue, join us inside The Prenatal Nutrition Library community.