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What Causes Morning Sickness? 6 Common Food Triggers to Avoid

If you are pregnant, there is a 70 percent chance that you will have morning sickness. Despite how common it is, morning sickness is definitely a challenging experience. 


Aside from the possibility of throwing up virtually everything you eat (at least, during the first few months), it's also worth noting that morning sickness is not exclusive to mornings. 


Morning sickness usually begins on the onset of pregnancy. In fact, many women realize they were pregnant because they started developing aversions to the taste and odor of certain foods. It is commonly believed that morning sickness is caused by an influx of hormones, decrease of blood sugar, and a heightened sense of smell. 


The good news is that even though morning sickness feels unpleasant, it is rarely serious. Still, this should not mean always having to stay near a toilet throughout this time! There are ways to enjoy your pregnancy, and, aside from knowing the simple remedies, one of the best things that you can do is to know what causes morning sickness and its common triggers.

6 Foods that Trigger Morning Sickness

1. Spicy Foods

Love a plate of good buffalo wings? It might be best to skip it during your first trimester as both the smell and the taste of spicy foods can trigger morning sickness. Aside from this, if you are prone to having acid reflux, spicy foods can also exacerbate it. 

2. Acidic Fruits

Even though sour foods can alleviate nausea that comes with morning sickness, take it easy on the citrus fruits. These fruits have a high level of citric acid that can irritate your stomach and can be the cause of nausea and heartburn. 

3. Garlic and Onions

Spices like garlic and onions are one of the most commonly avoided foods by pregnant women! The smell of garlic and onions — as well as the aroma of anything being sauteed in them— is enough to send a pregnant woman’s sense of smell into overdrive. 

4. Caffeine

It’s also best to drink decaf during the first months of pregnancy as caffeine has been found to trigger morning sickness and acid reflux. But the good news is that many pregnant women develop a natural aversion to caffeine anyway. 

5. Pungent Foods

Even though you love eating sauerkraut and kimchi, the best thing to do during the first trimester is to avoid pungent foods. Foods with strong odors, especially those that are fermented, trigger nausea and vomiting. Instead, stick to foods that barely have any smell.

6. Greasy Foods

Finally, too much fat from fried and greasy foods can have an unpleasant effect on you, too, as they can smell — and look — icky. For many pregnant women, even the appearance of grease on a plate can make them sick! 



Looking at this list, it may seem like the diet of a pregnant woman, especially during the first trimester, can be limiting. But the truth is that there are foods that alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness like ginger and saltine crackers. It is also best to remember to always stay hydrated and to not skip a meal.


Despite being a common symptom, morning sickness is a condition that all pregnant women would rather not deal with. In order to combat it, the wise thing to do is to understand what causes morning morning sickness. 



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