A MassChallenge Startup Created a Snack to Prevent Nausea
If you haven’t gotten your sea legs, you’re plagued by morning sickness, or you’re dreading queasy hours of car sickness during holiday travel, Neheet Trivedi suggests you try his nutrition bar.
Trivedi is CEO of MassChallenge startup Real Food Solutions, a company seeking to cure common ailments through food. Its first product, the Anchor Nutrition Bar, is an all-natural, blueberry-flavored snack that prevents and relieves nausea. By studying clinical research, and with help from gastroenterology specialist Dr. Rupa Mukherjee, the Real Food Solutions team produced a bar with three main ingredients proven to alleviate nausea: protein, ginger, and vitamins.
The bar was born when Trivedi’s sister experienced severe morning sickness and nausea while pregnant with her first child last year. She was reluctant to take certain medications for it because of their potential effects on the baby. He envisioned a solution in the form of a drug-free nutrition bar, and the idea took off.
“We quickly realized it was beyond morning sickness,” says Trivedi, an MIT Sloan alum.
He approached Boston Harbor Cruises with the bar to conduct studies on its effect on crew and passengers before officially launching the company in May 2015. The team found that more than 70 percent of testers on board experienced nausea prevention or relief from eating the bar. Boston Harbor Cruises has been selling Anchor Nutrition Bars on their boats ever since, and the bar’s sales have expanded to marinas, sporting good stores, and health food markets all over the United States, from New Jersey up to Maine, and all the way to California and Hawaii. It’s also sold nationally in Bass Pro Shops.
“As a gastroenterologist who commonly sees patients with nausea from a variety of causes, I’ve always wished there was an easy-to-carry, food solution that could be eaten on the go,” wrote Dr. Rupa Mukherjee in an e-mail. “…(Anchor Nutrition Bar) is already having a strong impact on people suffering from nausea and we anticipate a wider impact as word spreads.”
The 190 calorie bar has 20 grams of protein and is made with whey crisps, blueberries, chicory root, almond butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla, salt, ginger, and vitamins like B6, among others.
“We’re the first company to combine (the vitamins) into a snack that’s tasty, healthy, easy to eat, and without pharmacological substances in it,” Trivedi told Boston.
For best results, it’s suggested the bar should be eaten before or at the onset of nausea. It kicks in within 15 to 30 minutes, and lasts for three to four hours.
“We want to share what we’ve been doing with the millions and millions of Americans who spend time in cars, buses, and planes throughout the year, and of course during the holiday season,” says Trivedi.
He says Real Food Solutions plans to work on products for other digestive problems in the future.