Loss of appetite is a condition when there is no desire to eat anything. This can happen after an illness, emotional disturbance, hormonal imbalance, eating disorder, or a side effect of any treatment.
Not eating enough food can lead to health issues and also when you are not feeling like eating anything, forcing yourself to do it can make you feel sick.
Easy Ways To Increase Your Appetite
Not eating can be frustrating for those wanting to gain weight. So, here are a few easy ways in which the appetite can be increased.
- Do Not Skip Breakfast: If you want to increase your appetite it is important that you eat breakfast every day. Breakfast helps increase the thermogenesis of the body, helping you burn more calories, thus increasing appetite(1). A study also showed that skipping breakfast can make you eat less throughout the day, which is not what you want when trying to increase the appetite(2).
- Stock Up Your Favorite Things: Eating something you like is easier and if you find such things handy, you would like to have a bite. Research shows if you can choose what to eat, you tend to eat more of it(3). Make sure you stock up the healthy stuff, not the junk which gives you those not required calories. Eating healthy food will help you keep up with the nutrient requirement.
- Eat Small Meals: Instead of 3 big meals eat small quantity at frequent intervals. Eating a big meal when the appetite is very low seems to be a big challenge. It can make you feel full and sick at the same time. The three big meals can be broken down into 5 or 6 small meals. The quantity or the portion can gradually be increased as the appetite improves.
- Try Different Flavours: Sometimes the desire to eat decreases due to the loss of taste which is a part of aging. Add different herbs and spices to enhance the taste or the flavor of the food. A pleasant smelling food can trigger the appetite(5). Low salt also decreases the food taste, but before adding more consult your doctor. Maybe he has advised a low-salt diet because of your health. A type of seasoning known as carminative herbs and spices help reduce bloating and improves appetite(4).
- Exercise: Physical activity can help increase the appetite and also replenish the calories burned(6). Exercise also influences several other processes of the body which stimulate hunger which includes increasing metabolic rate and muscle mass and hormone production(7). Improving appetite with exercise is a gradual process; it is likely to improve after several days of regular exercising.
Home Remedies For Increasing Appetite
There are some easy to prepare or use home remedies which can help improve the appetite.
- Tamarind: Tamarind is used in many south Indian dishes to enhance their taste. It is also a well-known laxative. These properties make it a good home remedy to improve the appetite and promote digestion. Soak tamarind in water for a few hours. Strain the water and add salt and pepper. Drink the infusion every day until the appetite improves.
- Coriander: Coriander is a commonly used herb in Indian cuisines and is known to cure digestion. A study shows the effects of coriander in improving appetite in rats(8). It helps release a gastric enzyme which improves appetite. Blend coriander leaves with water and consume it empty stomach. You can repeat it for a few mornings to see the effect.
- Carom Seeds: Carom seeds or ajwain are used in Indian cuisines to aid better digestion. It acts as an anti-flatulent and antacid. It also helps in secretion of digestive enzyme which stimulates hunger(9). Consume carom seeds with warm water preferably in the morning.
- Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate is a wonderful fruit and its juice is a rejuvenating drink. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins it is best for those with poor appetite. It also helps enhance the appetite naturally. Add some honey to freshly extracted pomegranate juice. It can be consumed chilled or at room temperature.
- Ginger: Ginger strengthens the immune and the digestive system(10). It also works wonders for those with poor appetite. Add coriander seed powder to dried ginger powder. Add water to it and heat it until the water level is reduced to half. Let it cool down. Drink it while it’s warm. Ginger and coriander mixed, make a strong appetite stimulating drink.
Good control over the daily activities helps in maintaining a routine and also plays a role in improving appetite. Exercise regularly, drink lots of water and avoid unhealthy snacking between meals and follow the above tips.
You will surely notice an improvement in the appetite.
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