Low appetite can be a frustrating problem for people who are underweight or losing weight when they don’t want to. It can be difficult to keep weight on if you aren’t hungry, food doesn’t taste good, or it’s difficult to cook a meal. No matter what the reason, getting adequate nutrition every day can make a big difference in how your body works and how you feel. Consuming enough calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals helps to keep muscles strong and healthy and your brain working at an optimal level.
Ways to boost your appetite and make sure you are getting the nutrients you need.
Choose nutrient-rich foods
The less you are able to eat, the more nutrient-dense your meals should be. This means focusing on protein, healthy fat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Limit empty calories like chips, baked goods, sugar-sweetened beverages and candy, as they don’t provide you with any nutrients.
Eat the biggest meal of the day when you feel hungriest
Starving when you first wake up? This may mean breakfast is a larger meal, while dinner is smaller. Feel hungriest after your lunchtime walk? Make lunch a bigger meal.
Eat smaller meals more often
When your appetite is low, large amounts of food can be a turn off. Instead of three large meals, break these into five or six mini-meals throughout the day.
Limit beverages at meals.
Avoid filling up on fluids before you are done eating. Focus on food first, then have water, coffee, tea, etc after you finish. You want to be sure to get all the nutrients from your foods first, before filling up on liquids that are less nutrient-dense.
If you never feel hungry, relying on your appetite is not the best cue to eat a meal. Instead, plan your meal times so you remember to eat. If you have a busy day, it can be helpful to set a reminder in your calendar so a meal doesn’t pass you by.
Keep high calorie/protein snacks handy
Have snacks on hand so that if you do feel hungry, you have something available to eat. Try high calorie, high protein snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, peanut butter on crackers, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or cheese with crackers.
Experiment with foods
If your taste buds have changed, your typical favorite foods may not taste so good anymore. Experiment with different foods, textures and flavors – you may discover a new favourite meal.
Exercise to increase your appetite
Physical activity can help to make you feel hungrier. Even a walk around the block, combined with fresh air, can stimulate your appetite.
Eat with others
Oftentimes appetite can increase when you are eating a meal with others. If you often eat meals alone, look for more opportunities to eat with others. Invite family or friends over for a meal, or join a social group where people get together for meals.
Drink your calories
If it seems easier to drink than eat, choose high calorie, high protein beverages to help you meet your nutrition needs. Sip on milk, milkshakes, smoothies, soup, or high calorie and protein nutrition supplements.
Home remedies to improve your appetite .
Ginger contains a volatile oil that has the property of improving digestion; it also helps to remove the intestinal gas that is produced during the process of digestion. Besides, ginger has a strong flavouring action and a refreshing taste. The best way to make use of these benefits of ginger is to include it in your daily cooking. For better and faster results, you could make some ginger tea, by mixing half a teaspoon of ginger powder into a cup of boiling water and straining it after ten minutes.
Combining ginger with another strong digestive – coriander – also gives good results for a poor appetite. Make a coarse powder of coriander seeds and dried ginger; then mix them in a proportion of 5:1, add into about 100 ml of water and boil till the volume reduces to half and drink the resulting liquid when it is still warm.
Vegetables with appetizer action
Some vegetables are known to contain certain ingredients that have the ability to facilitate digestion and thus, they help to improve the appetite. For example,
1-Raw grated radish mixed with a little curd is a strong appetizer.
2-Raw white onion and
3-Raw cucumber also have strong appetizing properties.
Regular consumption of bitter-tasting foods such as amaranth, fenugreek and bitter gourd also helps to improve the secretion of digestive juices and this helps increase appetite.
Tomato also has the ability to deal with indigestion and can help improve appetite.
Gas is produced during the process of digestion in the intestine and the presence of this gas is responsible for a heavy feeling. Besides, it also interferes with the intestines ability to digest the food that enters it and as a result, a person who has abdominal gas will often suffer from a poor appetite. In such cases, it is good to increase the consumption of certain spices that have the property of causing the expulsion of gases – these substances are called as carminatives and they have a powerful digestive action.
Some of the carminative herbs include fennel (saunf),
3-Black pepper (kali mirch)and
4-Cinnamon (dalchini). Include these spices in your regular cooking and you are bound to notice a gradual change in your appetite. You can also sprinkle a little powder of any of these carminatives on vegetables such as tomato or cucumber and consume as a salad for good appetizing action.
Fruits to improve appetite
Certain fruits are known to stimulate hunger and these include Grapes, Apples, Black berries, Pappya, Dadim (Anaar).
Initially after a spinal cord injury, you may experience a decrease in appetite and dietary intake. This can be because of medical problems, changes in mood, poor appetite, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and taste changes. Inadequate nutrient intake and a decrease in mobility can lead to weight and muscle loss. Weight and muscle loss can result in weakness, feeling tired, and an inability to participate in daily activities.
It is important to consume adequate calories and protein tohelp maintain energy and muscle mass. The right amount of calories and protein help your body fight infection, maintain muscle mass, and help prevent skin breakdown. If you are underweight, the goal for healthy weight gain is a gain of ½ to 2 pounds per week. This can usually be accomplished by eating at least 250-500 more calories per day than you normally do.