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Cancer’s a Brat: Combat Nausea with Foods

By Lipscomb University Senior Students August 7, 2019Pearls of Wisdom Blog

Senior students in Lipscomb University’s Didactic Program in Dietetics contribute blogs to PearlPoint’s Pearls of Wisdom. View all student blogs here.

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can cause nausea which can linger over many days. Nausea makes it difficult to eat enough to fuel the body to fight cancer and recover from treatment.

A poplar menu for people who are nauseated is the “BRAT diet.” BRAT stands for banana, rice, applesauce and toast. These foods are simple carbohydrates which are easy for the body to digest and likely will not trigger nausea.

In addition to BRAT foods, other foods may also curb nausea. Everyone is different and it may take some experimentation to find foods that relieve your nausea.

Try these foods to help manage nausea.

  • Ginger: Ginger snaps, ale, tea or candy should do the trick.
  • Crackers/pretzels: Snacks that are primarily starch without a strong smell are not likely to trigger nausea or upset the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Electrolyte replacement drinks: These drinks contain sugars and electrolytes to rehydrate your body after vomiting. Try freezing the drinks to make your own popsicles.
  • Fiber: Fiber keep your bowels on a regular schedule which can reduce the risk of other issues, such as feeling full, which can trigger nausea. Pick foods with a bland taste and smell such as apples, some fruit juices, or cereals with added fiber.
  • Popsicles: Cold, dairy-free foods are easy on the stomach, and chewing something cold may relieve nausea.
  • Nuts: Nuts are one of the few protein-rich foods that may not make you feel worse when nauseated.
  • Mint: Try mint in the form of a tea or chewing gum to keep nausea at bay. Even smelling mint leaves or something mint-scented may help.
  • Broth: Plain broths or soups with noodles and a lack of aroma can help fill you up without making you feel worse.

While fruits and vegetables are an important part of healthy eating, when nausea strikes, it is not realistic to expect to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. On days that food is the last thing you want, remember that bland food are always better than no food. Take it one bite at a time.


Abby Bassier, Student in the Lipscomb University Didactic Program in Dietetics



Visit Nutrition Tips for Managing Nausea for more.



Lipscomb University Senior Students

Author Lipscomb University Senior Students

Through a program with Lipscomb University’s Didactic Program in Dietetics senior students contribute blogs to PearlPoint’s Pearls of Wisdom. Lipscomb University is located in Nashville, TN. The primary mission of the Lipscomb University Didactic Program in Dietetics is to provide a high quality undergraduate educational experience in a Christian environment which prepares graduates for acceptance into internships and/or careers in dietetics. The curriculum is designed to provide for the development of the Foundation Knowledge and Skills established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for Entry-Level Dietitians. Additionally, our students conduct a number of service projects each year in an effort to make others more aware of issues related to nutrition. Upon completion of the program, students will have the necessary knowledge and skills required for quality performance as a dietetic intern and/or professional. Through the PearlPoint Pearls of Wisdom blog series, students gain experience in providing easy-to-understand, written nutrition content for cancer survivors and caregivers.

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