Published: 02/18/2015 - Updated: 07/22/2017
Loss of appetite can be caused by several different things, and the causes aren’t always negative. For example, when falling in love, appetites decrease. However, to stop eating is not good for the body, and it can make you weak, which is why you should act to correct it whenever you lose your appetite.
How is appetite regulated?
Appetite is regulated by the hypothalamus in the brain. However, it is not automatically regulated. There are some factors, like glucose levels or levels or other nutrients in the blood that contribute to appetite regulation.
Any time there is an imbalance due to some sort of illness, poor diets, hormonal changes or simply emotional changes, the brain could receive wrong “messages”, which could be translated into lack of appetite or an excess thereof. These symptoms are often times fleeting, but if they aren’t corrected after one week, it is important that you see your doctor.
Causes of lack of appetite
There are several different things that could cause a lack of appetite, and generally it is a sign of some sort of illness, such as a cold or a stomach ailment. Pain in general, like muscle pain, headaches, and others, could also cause one to lose his/her appetite, along with alcohol, tobacco and coffee.
Some medications also have as a side effect, a loss of appetite.
And lastly, emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, or even stress could promote appetite changes.
Eat smaller portions
It could take time to get your appetite back, which is why it is important not to ignore this debilitating symptom. A helpful piece of advice would be to eat more meals, but in smaller proportions. Make sure to include carbohydrates each time you eat, which can be found in fruits like a banana, an apple, strawberries, etc. You could also eat other carbohydrate sources, like grains such as rice, bread or pasta. Eat small portions but try to eat throughout the day, at least 5 times a day.
Choose foods that sound good
If you don’t have an appetite and the only thing there is to eat is exactly what you don’t want to eat, this really could not be in your favor. That’s why you should try to choose foods that look good to you, foods you’ve always enjoyed, and especially choose those that you are visually attracted to. Try to avoid junk food.
Season your food
A lot of condiments not only add flavor to your food, but they also help increase your appetite. Some useful condiments include saffron, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and fennel.
You can use these condiments in several different recipes to add flavor, or you could also consume them as infusions. They also help improve digestion, thereby increasing the appetite.
They generally promote the salivation process and gastric acid production, promoting a good appetite and correct digestion. If you suffer from heart burn or gastritis, it’s best to avoid using them, or at least use them with moderation, because often times, condiments worsen these conditions.
Avoid consuming coffee, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco
These substances provide practically no nutrition and they are not healthy. They often times suppress the appetite, which is why it is recommendable to avoid consuming them if you want to have a normal appetite.
Watch your diet
Lack of some nutrients could cause a lack of appetite, which is why supplements are often times recommended to stimulate it. Try to include foods rich in Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you think your diet is insufficient, include multivitamins from a trustworthy laboratory.
You need to pay special attention to the following nutrients. If you include these foods in your diet, they will improve your appetite, any time that the lack thereof is caused by a nutrient deficiency.
Vitamin A: Found in orange and red fruits, like beets and carrots. Also found in whole grains, legumes, eggs, fish, meat and some dairy.
Potassium: The primary sources of dietary potassium come from fruits and vegetables, like bananas, papayas, pears, and oranges. These are all great examples, although it is also found in potatoes, avocado, legumes and dried fruit.
Zinc: Natural zinc sources are primarily, dark chocolate or cacao, shell fish and sardines, red meat (preferably low-fat), legumes and rice.