Acupuncture During Pregnancy Is Safe for Many People. Here Are the Pregnancy Symptoms It Can Help With

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Insomnia, pelvic pain, and stuffy nose, to name a few.

Ever noticed that an upset stomach hits on the least convenient days? Queasiness before a big presentation, while you’re traveling, or leading up to a first date (yep, been there) isn’t just bad timing—your stress levels can actually induce nausea.

Why? According to registered dietitian Alyssa Lavy, MS, RD, CDN, CPT, there’s a major connection between your brain and gut. “Our enteric nervous system, which is often referred to as our little brain or second brain, is a complex network within our gut that receives input from the central nervous system and acts independently,” she says.

That connection can become all too obvious in stressful situations. “When we experience increased stress or anxiety, our sympathetic nervous system—often called our fight-or-flight system—is activated and releases hormones that can have physiological impacts on many body systems,” Lavy says. “In our digestive tract, these signals interact with our enteric nervous system and can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.”

A rumbly stomach probably isn’t your preferred water-cooler chatter, but this anxiety-nausea relationship is more common than you might think. The peer-reviewed medical journal General Hospital Psychiatry surveyed people living with an anxiety disorder or depression, and 48 percent of them reported at least one gastrointestinal complaint during the previous year.

So you’re not alone, and it’s not a coincidence—but that doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it every time you’re feeling anxious. According to Lavy, a few simple ingredients can help —and Advanced Herbals™ Nausea + Stress Support, from the makers of Dramamine®, is serving them up in one simple lozenge.

Ready to give your mind and body some ease? Check out Lavy’s guide to ingredients that can help you manage your nausea and stress.

Ginger

Ginger root packs a major wellness punch thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, Lavy says—and it’s particularly effective in soothing an upset stomach. “Gingerols, as well as shogaols—which are dehydrated gingerols—are the compounds in ginger that are considered responsible for its ability to alleviate nausea. Specifically, these compounds may improve gastric emptying (the rate at which food leaves the stomach), gut motility, and gastric tone.”

Before you reach for a can of ginger ale, Lavy recommends trying ginger chews or lozenges. “While ginger can be added to foods or enjoyed as tea, ginger chews allow for a clinically significant concentration to be consumed at once and can be used to alleviate acute nausea,” she says. “Plus, they taste good (at least I think so)!” To be sure you’re consuming the clinically effective dosage of ginger (rather than just gnawing on a little raw root and hoping it helps), opt for Advanced Herbals™ Nausea + Stress Support lozenges, so you know you’re getting the right dose, every time.

Ashwagandha

Beyond symptoms of nausea, calming the source of your anxiety is key. That’s where ashwagandha comes in. “Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen—a substance that may help the body to adapt to stressful conditions,” Lavy says. “While research on ashwagandha is limited, current literature suggests that ashwagandha may reduce stress and it is considered to be generally safe for the general population within reasonable doses.”

According to Lavy, ashwagandha and ginger complement each other well—and that’s the thinking behind Advanced Herbals™ Nausea + Stress Support, formulated to help calm your stomach and your mind all at once.

Bone Broth

Alongside your stash of ginger-ashwagandha lozenges, Lavy recommends sipping on bone broth, because it’s important to keep yourself nourished even when you’re feeling nauseous. “Bone broth provides protein and fits the profile of a low-fat, low-fiber option that is often easier to consume when nauseous—plus it will usually contain electrolytes like sodium, which can be helpful if vomiting occurs,” she says.

So next time your stomach ache corresponds with a stressful day, pull out your ingredient shortlist and give yourself a moment to settle your body and mind. That first date’s got nothing on you.

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