Foods to eat when you don’t feel well
The last thing I want to think about when sick is food. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis over 25 years ago, dealing with nausea has become a daily task. Just a thought of food can induce that sickening feeling even though I did not feel it previously. How can you maintain a healthy weight if you have no appetite through key parts of the day?
Nausea is an unpleasant feeling that everyone has felt at some point in life. It is a common occurrence and about half of adults experience it each year. Nausea will begin from a trigger started in the brain due to stimulation of the nervous system. This will cause muscles to work differently in the stomach and gives the feeling of nausea. This may be triggered by conditions such as my own, infections, medications, gut conditions, cancer treatment, pregnancy, food allergies, etc. Even though you have little desire to eat or maybe even drink, it is important to stay nourished, maintain a good weight and stay hydrated. What can you eat when you do not want to eat?
Applesauce is one of my main foods if I am not feeling well and the thought of food is just not happening. It is also a cold food at my house taking away most of the smell. It is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber and is usually non-irritating to my stomach if I am experiencing nausea.
Potatoes and plain foods are another typical food I use when feeling constant nausea. If I don’t have potatoes at home, I find a restaurant that prepares them and order from there. Wendy’s has a good baked potato that worked in a pinch if I am not at home but still need to eat. I will not use pepper since it can irritate the stomach and stick with a pinch of salt.
Dry foods are usually tolerable in small amounts. Foods such as toast, crackers or cereal may keep your stomach just full enough so it is not more nauseous from an empty stomach. These are dry, bland and non-odorous foods that will not make a sensitive stomach worse from the smell.
Chicken Soup is a good source of protein, calories and electrolytes that you may be able to tolerate when sick. If the solid components are not appetizing, the broth is also a good source of nutrition while you are feeling nauseated.
Warm tea is a good source of hydration if nothing else can be tolerated. I prefer green tea with peppermint and found it can temporarily ease my nausea. Different types of herbal teas may work better than others. Ginger is another good herbal tea that can give relief. Ginger has been found by small studies to reduce nausea from many different triggers. Most studies showed .5 to 1.5 grams dried ginger root per day to be effective.
Water must be a part of your daily routine whether you consume anything else or not. Drinking fluids is crucial. If you are also having diarrhea or vomiting, you must replace electrolytes. You can hydrate through water, special oral solutions for dehydration, sports drinks, juices or anything that you may be able to keep down at the time.
Colder foods are frequently tolerated better. Whether it is yogurt, jello, ice creams or cold fruits, the colder foods do not come with the stronger smell of a warm food. Most of my warm foods also come with a stronger smell and may increase nausea.
It is important to find what works for you when you are not feeling well. Dehydration, weight loss and lack of nutrition will only make things worse long term if you commonly experience nausea. If you are not sure of why you feel nauseous, then it is important to first identify the reason by following up with your health care provider.
— This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.
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