What is an appetite?
Appetite is the desire to eat food, in contrast to hunger which is a physical need for food. There is no such thing as a 'normal' appetite since each person's age, build, metabolism, daily activities, eating habits and attitude to food and stage of life influence appetite. A 'large' appetite is normal during certain stages of life, as in pregnancy or a child's peak growth periods. A poor appetite is not a disorder in itself, but usually a symptom of some other problem.
What can cause a diminished appetite?
Emotional factors such as depression, illness, stress, and trauma may cause a person's appetite to diminish noticeably.
Certain controllable factors, such as the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, can result in poor appetite. An undetected underlying illness, heavy metal poisoning, and/or nutritional deficiencies may also be involved.
Appetite is abnormally reduced in Anorexia nervosa and abnormally increased in Bulimia.
Nutritional and Herbal support for a poor appetite includes...
Cellfood - the worlds most powerful oxygen producing product. Cellfood supplies your body with a diet of oxygen, 78 ionic colloidal trace minerals & 34 enzymes all at once. Improves quality of cells and thus quality of health.
Multipower - A high potency multivitamin, containing a whole food base.
Zinc - For proper functioning of the stomach and gastric acid production.
Dandelion - Stimulates digestion, helps with better nutrient absorption.
Spirulina - High in naturally occurring nutrients, including protein, essential fatty acids, and iron.
Bitters - Gentian, Dandelion, and Artichoke are all bitter appetite stimulants, appropriate to have 20-30 minutes before a meal. This may help to stimulate appetite and improve digestion.
Some interesting points on a poor appetite...
Eat a high protein diet and a moderate amount of essential fatty acids.
Eat small quantities of food at frequent intervals, containing a fair amount of protein.
Stimulate your appetite with the following herbs: Gentian; Catnip; Ginger root; Gotu kola; Papaya leaves; Peppermint leaves and Fennel seed.
Do not drink liquids before or during meals.
Include moderate exercise, walking or cycling etc.
If you have a poor appetite, ensure you do not snack between meals. Avoid sugary foods as these fill you up and will give you a false sense of fullness.
Do not smoke - smoking acts as an appetite suppressant.
Lemon juice in water first thing in the morning is a great way to kick start your digestive system for the day. ½ a lemon squeezed into ½ a glass of water is ideal.
Please note: See your health professional if you experience a significant loss of appetite, as this may be caused by an underlying physical problem.