Can Eating Crackers Help With Nausea?

Whether from food poisoning, motion sickness, or even an intense wave of emotional stress, we all know the unsettling feeling of sickness that sets in when we're feeling nauseous. According to Medical News Today, nausea is a sudden, strong urge to throw up and is accompanied by digestive discomfort and dizziness. Headaches, fatigue, and muscle pain are additional common symptoms that happen with nausea.

Bouts of nausea can also happen due to certain health conditions such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, certain cancers, or pregnancy (via WebMD). In fact, nausea reportedly occurs in roughly 50% to 90% of all pregnancies. In children, it is not uncommon for nausea to occur due to overfeeding, a milk allergy, fever, or viral illness.

In the midst of a nausea spell, the need for relief feels imminent, and an old wives' tale suggests certain foods like crackers can help. But is there any truth to that? 

How crackers can ease an upset stomach

Because crackers are high in starch, they're great at absorbing the extra stomach acid responsible for nausea from an upset stomach, according to Everyday Health. Registered dietitian, Erin Palinski-Wade, suggests that because crackers have a mild taste and smell, they won't further irritate the stomach. She tells Everyday Health, "The bland nature of a cracker helps to satisfy hunger (excessive hunger can exasperate nausea) without the strong smells or tastes that may increase nausea."

Because crackers don't have a pungent smell, they can be especially helpful during pregnancy, when a heightened sensitivity to scents is common (via Healthline). A 2001 study gathered nearly 500 surveys from healthcare specialists to assess nausea relief in pregnancy. Results showed that 88.5% of gynecologists recommend their patients eat soda crackers to help manage nausea symptoms.

All in all, crackers are a good choice for helping settle a nauseous, upset stomach, but they may also prove helpful for those experiencing morning sickness. According to Everyday Health, when eaten slowly, a few crackers kept by your bedside and eaten upon waking may help mitigate morning sickness symptoms.