Nausea is an annoying sensation that can debilitate your ability to ingest the foods that will strengthen your body. Everyone has to eat because we are biological consumers. We burn calories and calories come from our food. But nausea prevents us from eating by making the thought of consuming food revolting. We feel compelled to vomit anything that is put into the mouth and that includes whatever might already be in the stomach.
This is dangerous because through continuous vomiting you can tear vital tissues, cause internal bleeding, and deplete the body of necessary nutrients. Fasting on occasion is healthy, but nausea over extended periods is not only discomforting, it is also a weakening factor. Therefore, it’s important to address nausea immediately − especially for cancer patients whose health is already in a weakened state.
Natural Remedies for Nausea
#1. Ginger is one very effective food to ingest when nausea is an issue. Local ginger is stronger than Chinese ginger, so whenever possible seek out locally grown ginger. Ginger can be eaten in small amounts (raw) when nausea hits. Or you can have a tea with ginger and lemon that is sipped slowly. This will relieve the nausea.
#2. Lemon is another anti-nausea food that can be consumed in warm water to alleviate the symptoms. Lemon juice is also helpful to aide digestion when you feel bloated, which can add to feelings of gastric discomfort. You can inhale the scent of lemon by scratching the peel, grating it, or diffusing lemon essential oil. This will increase the relief from nausea.
If you freeze lemon slices or wedges and then eat these slowly when nausea hits this will also relieve symptoms. Frozen fruit popsicles are also very effective against nausea.
#3. Chili peppers – This may sound counter-intuitive since many people can’t ingest spicy foods because of their negative side effects. But chili peppers contain capsaicin which is especially effective against nausea. Dr. Luis F. Pineda, an oncologist from Birmingham, Alabama, discovered that chili peppers are an exception to the rule.
Dr. Pineda took a special interest in the nutrition side of cancer therapy. He realized that the oncology profession emphasizes good nutrition but never addresses the specific issues of eating after cancer treatment. So he made it his mission to create cuisine that would meet nutritional needs and overcome the issues of lack of taste that occurs when patients undergo chemo and radiation. Thus, Dr. Pineda became a chef at the Culinary Institute of Virginia and adapted the recipes to meet his patients’ specific needs.
How do chili peppers control nausea? There is an area in the brain called the emetic (vomiting) region that is stimulated by neurotransmitters or hormones. Capsaicin causes the release of special neurotransmitters that send a message to the brain to block the nausea and restore proper appetite. This extraordinary characteristic of cayenne peppers (and other varieties) has made it an anti-cancer food all-star.
But deterring emesis is not its only benefit. Spicy capsaicin-containing chili peppers are also anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, circulation increasing, and endorphin releasing agents. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, so this is especially helpful. They also induce the body to produce hydrochloric acid which is vital for digesting proteins.
If the peppers are consumed with avocados the excessive spiciness is reduced. In addition, you get the added benefits of vitamin E and essential fatty acids that repair damaged tissues and increase the metabolism. So, eat hot chilies in moderation with avocado until you build up your ability to consume them and can enjoy all their special cancer fighting benefits.
#4. Peppermint and Spearmint are inexpensive herbs that boost the body’s ability to tolerate nausea. If you rub spearmint or peppermint pure essential oil (mixed with cold pressed coconut oil) on your gums it will alleviate the symptoms of nausea. Inhaling the scent of peppermint also helps to decrease the symptoms. Diffuse peppermint essential oil into the air, or inhale directly from the bottle. Including fresh mint in a salad, smoothie, infused in water, or eaten raw also brings relief from nausea.
#5. Fresh air and plenty of water can also help reduce the feeling of nausea. If you have been vomiting it is vital that you are well hydrated. If you don’t maintain your fluids and electrolytes you could get dehydrated. Dehydration is serious because you could die from lack of fluids. But before death you will suffer a number of ailments; so it is vital that you keep your electrolytes balanced with sufficient water intake.
Consuming hydrating foods like cucumbers, bananas, apples, pears, and watermelon is also beneficial for the cancer patient. These will re-hydrate you, add nutrients, and go down easy. Just go slow so that your body can accept them without eliciting emesis. When you feel nauseous it is important that you do everything slowly until you feel relieved of the urge to vomit.
#6. Consume bland foods such as crackers, in small quantities. It is unknown as to the exact mechanisms that are triggered but bland foods bring comfort, which relaxes the body while allowing it to receive nutrients. A simple bone broth with crackers and raw ginger grated on top can help a lot when feeling nauseous. This will hydrate the body while getting important enzymes, minerals, and vitamins into the body.
Stretching the body so that the muscles in the stomach area are forced to relax is another solution to prevent vomiting and relieve nausea. Then you can consume the bland foods to get the nutrients and hydration needed to overcome these symptoms.
#7. Coconut milk, flaxseed, and sesame milks are also helpful to soothe the stomach while incorporating important nutrients to feed the immune and metabolic systems. This is important so that the body maintains its strength. If it becomes weak then the body is less likely to recover from chronic illness and cancer treatments. You want to feed your body’s natural defense systems to do the actual healing. Superfoods are excellent for accomplishing this task because they are nutrient dense which means a little goes a long way.
Here is a recipe to add to your regular diet to curb the nausea that often accompanies conventional cancer treatments.
Recipe to Overcome Nausea: Lemon Spice Gazpacho
Yield: Four 10-ounce bowls
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- 1 fresh apple, cored and diced
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup spring OR filtered water
Herbs and Spices:
- 1 inch of fresh ginger (approximately 1 tablespoon when finely chopped)
- 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 handful of fresh basil, washed and lightly towel dried
- 1 small handful of fresh mint, washed and lightly towel dried
- Pinch of cayenne pepper powder
- Pink or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Place all the vegetables and ginger into a food processor and pulse until chopped but not pureed.
- Add the spices and pulse for a few seconds until incorporated.
- Garnish with some basil leaves and more olive oil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Do you have other natural remedies for nausea? Please share in the Comments section below.
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