What do you mean, you’re not hungry?” You’ve probably heard this response when you declare no desire to eat. While the response may sound like nagging, it is an understandable one. Humans have a physical need for food and nourishment, so when an appetite is lacking, something is amiss…and that alarms people who care about you.
A poor appetite can stem from many factors. Perhaps the most common causes are emotional upset, nervousness, tension, anxiety, or depression. Stressful events, such as losing a job or a death in the family, can also make the appetite plummet. Diseases such as influenza and acute infections play a role in appetite reduction, as do anorexia nervosa and fatigue. Sometimes poor eating habits, such as continuous snacking, can lead to a poor appetite at mealtimes. A poor appetite can also be one symptom of a serious disease.
Symptoms of loss of appetite:
· Unintended weight loss
· Difficulty in concentrating
Fortunately, for minor cases of poor appetite, the kitchen is the best place to find home remedies to get the appetite back into gear.
Home Remedies for Loss of Appetite
Ginger is excellent for relieving indigestion and stimulating appetite. In addition, ginger is great for alleviating stomach aches. · Take one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and add a pinch of rock salt (also known as sendha namak) to it. Consume it half an hour prior to meals every day for eight to 10 days. · Make ginger tea by chopping an inch of dried ginger into small pieces and boiling them in two cups of water. Mix in some milk and sugar to suit your taste. You can drink this a few times a day.
Black pepper is often used as a remedy to improve digestion, increase appetite, and treat gastrointestinal problems. It also relieves stomach and intestinal gas.
Basically, black pepper stimulates the taste buds, which in turn increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby improving digestion. Furthermore, it contains a compound called piperine that aids absorption of nutrients including selenium, beta-carotene and vitamin B.
Cardamom works as a warming digestive tonic. It is good for relieving indigestion, flatulence and acidity, and improving appetite by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. To derive its benefits, simply add ground cardamom seeds or cardamom pods to your regular tea.
Garlic has a special property to stimulate the digestive tone of the system and improve appetite. A soup prepared from garlic can be of immense help to a patient suffering from anorexia.
Apples are useful fruit in anorexia. They help digestion by stimulating the flow of pepsin, a protein digesting enzyme, in the stomach. The old adage, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, is certainly a valuable one.
Pomegranate juice is also helpful to treat anorexia. Use pomegranate juice with addition of salt and honey.
Coriander juice is beneficial for improving your appetite as it aids in the secretion of gastric juices. It is also good for relieving indigestion, gas, nausea, colitis and other such ailments. · Extract the juice from coriander leaves. · Drink one to two tablespoons of the juice daily till the appetite increases. You can also add a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt to it.
Tamarind helps improve appetite and has carminative and laxative effects.
· Add sugar, a little pepper, cinnamon and cloves to tamarind pulp that has been softened in water.
· Drink this on a regular basis until the condition improves.
Dietary tips to manage loss of appetite
· Avoid liquids with meals to decrease problems of early satiety.
· Intake food when you are hungry.
· If you want to take only little food, then it should ideally be high in protein and calories. Avoid empty calories (i.e. foods without protein and nutrients).
· Consume small meals every one to two hours or time meals corresponding to when you feel best (typically early in the day).
· Promote eating with friends or family members; a meal in a social setting may help the patient to eat.
· Stimulate appetite with light exercise.