Why Do Potato Chips Help Nausea: Key Insights

Ever wondered why potato chips are your go-to snack when feeling queasy? Let’s delve into the surprising connection between eating these crispy foods and soothing nausea. Despite their humble origins as a side dish in 19th-century America, potato chips have evolved into a comfort food staple with unexpected benefits for an upset stomach. The salty crunchiness of these snacks can work wonders to alleviate feelings of nausea, providing quick relief in moments of discomfort.

Understanding Nausea

Can Salt And Vinegar Chips Help With Nausea


Nausea can arise from various factors like motion sickness, pregnancy, food poisoning, or medical conditions. Overeating, anxiety, and certain medications can also trigger it. Digestive issues such as acid reflux or gastritis may contribute to feelings of nausea.

Nausea is a common symptom accompanied by a queasy feeling in the stomach and an urge to vomit. Other symptoms include dizziness, sweating, increased saliva production, and loss of appetite. Some individuals may experience nausea without vomiting.


When your body experiences nausea, it’s signaling that something isn’t right and needs attention. This sensation activates the autonomic nervous system triggering physical responses. Severe or prolonged bouts of nausea can lead to dehydration, weakness, weight loss, and day.

Potato chips are a popular home remedy for relieving mild to moderate nausea due to their bland nature which is easy on the stomach. Ginger is another well-known remedy for calming an upset stomach along with crackers and clear liquids which help settle the digestive system.

Potato Chips and Nausea

Does eating something salty help nausea

Historical Use

Potato chips have been a go-to remedy for nausea across generations. Many cultures turn to bland foods like chips during bouts of sickness. Traditional medicine systems worldwide have relied on similar remedies for digestive issues.

The practice of using potato chips as a remedy for nausea has stood the test of time, with its roots deeply embedded in historical traditions. Different societies have recognized the benefits of consuming mild, easily digestible snacks like potato chips during episodes of queasiness.

Why They Help

The crispy texture and gentle flavor of potato chips can effectively divert attention from feelings of nausea. The salt content in these snacks may trigger saliva production, alleviating dry mouth often experienced alongside nausea. Furthermore, the quick energy provided by small amounts of easily digestible carbohydrates found in potato chips can help combat fatigue associated with feeling nauseous.

When it comes to types:

  • Various options are available such as plain salted, flavored, baked, or kettle-cooked varieties.

  • Alternative chip choices made from ingredients like corn, rice, or vegetables cater to diverse preferences.

  • Opting for minimally processed options with low-fat content is advisable for individuals with sensitive stomachs.

Key Ingredients

Salt Content

Potato chips are known for their moderate to high salt content. The saltiness in potato chips can activate taste receptors, triggering saliva production that may help alleviate nausea symptoms. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of excessive salt intake, especially for individuals with hypertension or other health issues. While a small amount might be beneficial for settling the stomach, too much could lead to adverse effects.

Potato chips undergo frying or baking processes that reduce the starch content compared to raw potatoes. This lower starch level makes them easier to digest and less likely to worsen feelings of nausea. Unlike raw potatoes which can sometimes be heavy on the stomach and hard to digest, potato chips offer a lighter option that is gentler on the digestive system during bouts of nausea.

Starch Levels

The simple carbohydrates found in potato chips from their high starch content provide a quick source of energy by breaking down into glucose rapidly. This rapid energy release can help combat feelings of weakness or fatigue often associated with nausea episodes. Despite being considered “junk food,” this attribute makes potato chips a convenient snack choice when feeling queasy as they provide an instant energy boost without burdening the digestive system.

Mechanism of Action

Salt and Hydration

Consuming salty foods like potato chips can increase thirst, prompting individuals to drink more fluids. Adequate hydration is crucial for managing nausea and preventing dehydration. However, it’s vital to balance chip consumption with hydrating beverages like water or electrolyte-rich drinks. This equilibrium ensures that the body receives both the benefits of salt intake from chips and proper hydration.

The body absorbs starch from potato chips during digestion. Digestive enzymes work to break down this starch into smaller molecules such as glucose for absorption in the small intestine. Efficient starch absorption provides a quick energy source during bouts of nausea, aiding in replenishing energy levels when feeling unwell. This mechanism allows individuals experiencing nausea to benefit from the easily digestible carbohydrates found in potato chips without causing additional digestive distress.

Blood Sugar Levels

Small amounts of potato chips can help stabilize blood sugar levels when experiencing nausea-induced loss of appetite. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is essential for preventing further discomfort and promoting overall well-being during periods of sickness. Individuals with diabetes need to closely monitor their blood sugar levels while consuming potato chips due to their impact on glycemic control.

Comparative Remedies

Do salty chips help with nausea


Ginger, a natural remedy with anti-nausea properties, is available in various forms like tea or candies. The active compounds in ginger, called gingerols, work to calm the stomach and relieve nausea. Consuming ginger can be an effective way to combat feelings of queasiness.

One advantage of using ginger for nausea is its natural properties that soothe the stomach without any side effects. However, some people may find the taste or texture of ginger unappealing.

  • Pros:

  • Natural remedy

  • Soothes stomach


Similar to potato chips, plain crackers are often suggested for alleviating nausea due to their bland taste and dry texture. These qualities help absorb excess stomach acid and settle the stomach, providing relief from queasiness. Opting for low-sodium or whole-grain crackers can offer additional nutritional benefits while combating nausea.

Using crackers as a remedy for nausea has its benefits, such as being easily accessible and convenient when experiencing sudden bouts of queasiness. On the other hand, some individuals may prefer alternatives with more flavor options.

  • Pros:

  • Bland taste aids in settling the stomach

  • Absorbs excess stomach acid

Clear Liquids

Clear liquids like water, herbal teas, or broths are gentle on the stomach during periods of nausea and help prevent dehydration. It’s advisable to sip small amounts throughout the day to avoid overwhelming your digestive system while combating queasiness effectively. Steering clear of carbonated beverages and sugary drinks is essential as they might exacerbate feelings of nausea instead of providing relief.

The use of clear liquids offers a simple yet effective way to stay hydrated while managing symptoms related to nausea without causing further discomfort compared to heavier foods that might be harder on an upset stomach.

How to Use Potato Chips for Nausea

Best types

When aiming to alleviate nausea with potato chips, selecting plain salted options is ideal. Avoid heavily flavored or spicy varieties. Baked chips or those made from alternative ingredients might be gentler on the stomach for some people. Your personal preferences and tolerance levels should dictate which type of chip to choose.

For individuals looking to use potato chips as a remedy for nausea, it’s essential to consume them in small portions gradually. This approach helps in preventing discomfort or exacerbation of symptoms that can occur when eating too quickly. Combining potato chips with other remedies like ginger tea or crackers can boost their effectiveness in relieving nausea.

Consumption tips

Potato chips are best consumed during mild to moderate bouts of nausea, particularly before getting out of bed in the morning or after extended periods without food intake. While they can help settle the stomach, individual reactions may vary based on personal tolerances and preferences.

Limitations and Warnings

Overconsumption Risks

Excessive consumption of potato chips can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and other health issues. The high salt content in chips may cause water retention and exacerbate certain medical conditions. Moderation is key when using chips as a remedy for nausea. Consuming large quantities of potato chips regularly can contribute to an unhealthy diet, leading to potential health problems over time.

It’s important to note that potato chips should be considered a temporary relief measure rather than a cure for underlying causes of nausea. Persistent or severe nausea should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the root cause and appropriate treatment. Relying solely on chips for long-term management of nausea is not recommended as it does not address the primary issue causing the symptoms.

Not a Cure

While potato chips can provide quick relief from mild nausea, they are not a permanent solution. If you experience frequent or severe bouts of nausea, consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial to identify any underlying health concerns that may require specific treatments. Using potato chips as the sole method of managing chronic or severe nausea could mask more serious conditions that need medical attention.

If potato chips are not well-tolerated or preferred, alternative snacks like pretzels, rice cakes, or dry toast can be tried instead. Some individuals find relief from fresh fruits like bananas or applesauce during episodes of nausea due to their gentle nature on the stomach compared to greasy snacks like potato chips. Experimenting with different foods allows individuals experiencing nausea to find what works best for them in alleviating discomfort.

Real-Life Experiences


Many people have shared their experiences of using potato chips to alleviate mild nausea symptoms. Online testimonials often highlight the convenience and effectiveness of this simple home remedy. For instance, individuals mention feeling relief shortly after consuming a few potato chips when experiencing queasiness.

While these personal stories can offer valuable insights, it’s essential to recognize that individual responses may vary. What works for one person may not work for another due to different sensitivities or underlying health conditions. Therefore, while considering trying potato chips for nausea relief based on testimonials, it’s crucial to approach this remedy with caution and awareness of potential variances in outcomes.

Expert Opinions

Medical professionals and nutrition experts commonly recommend bland and easily digestible foods like potato chips as part of managing mild nausea episodes. These professionals suggest that the simplicity and lightness of potato chips make them gentle on the stomach during bouts of queasiness. Pairing potato chip consumption with other remedies such as ginger or clear liquids is often advised by experts for enhanced relief from nausea symptoms.

Seeking guidance from healthcare providers can provide personalized advice tailored to an individual’s specific circumstances when dealing with nausea. Consulting with a doctor or nutritionist before relying solely on potato chips for alleviating persistent or severe nausea is crucial in ensuring overall well-being and addressing any underlying issues contributing to the discomfort.

Additional Tips for Managing Nausea

Hydration methods

When feeling nauseous, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Sip small amounts of water or herbal teas to maintain hydration levels. Ice chips or clear liquid popsicles can also provide hydration while being gentle on the stomach. To prevent discomfort, avoid consuming large volumes of fluids at once.

Staying hydrated is essential during bouts of nausea as dehydration can worsen symptoms. For example, drinking ginger tea or electrolyte-rich beverages like coconut water can help soothe the stomach and alleviate nausea. By opting for clear liquids, you ensure easier digestion and better absorption of fluids.

  • Sip small amounts of water or herbal teas

  • Consume ice chips or clear liquid popsicles

  • Avoid large volumes of fluids at once

Rest techniques

Resting in a comfortable position can significantly ease feelings of nausea. Lying down with your head elevated helps reduce discomfort and may alleviate symptoms faster than sitting upright. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are effective relaxation techniques that can help manage anxiety-induced nausea.

Finding a quiet environment free from distractions contributes to overall comfort when experiencing episodes of nausea. Whether lying down in a dimly lit room or practicing deep breathing exercises in solitude, creating a peaceful atmosphere aids in managing symptoms effectively.


You’ve delved into the world of potato chips and their surprising role in combating nausea. Understanding how they work, their key ingredients, and comparing them to other remedies has shed light on their effectiveness. Real-life experiences and additional tips have provided a comprehensive guide for managing nausea using this unconventional method. Remember, moderation is key, and always consult a healthcare professional for severe or persistent symptoms. Next time you’re feeling queasy, reach for a bag of potato chips and see if they work wonders for you too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do potato chips help with nausea?

Potato chips can help alleviate nausea due to their bland and starchy nature, which may settle the stomach. The crunchiness of the chips can also provide a distraction from feeling queasy.

Are there specific ingredients in potato chips that aid in reducing nausea?

The salt content in potato chips can sometimes help with replenishing electrolytes lost during episodes of nausea. The carbohydrates in the chips may provide quick energy when feeling weak or nauseous.

How should I consume potato chips to ease my nausea effectively?

It is advisable to eat small amounts of plain, unsalted potato chips slowly when experiencing nausea. Avoid consuming large quantities or flavored varieties that might exacerbate your symptoms.

Can boiled potatoes be more effective than medicine for managing nausea?

While some people find relief from eating plain potato chips, alternative remedies like ginger tea or crackers may work better for others. It’s essential to experiment and find what works best for your body.

Are there any precautions I should consider before using potato chips, boiled potatoes, or home remedies for nausea relief?

Individuals with conditions like high blood pressure or those on restricted sodium diets should be cautious when using salty snacks like potato chips. Moderation is key to avoid potential negative effects on health.

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