Appetite is a desire to eat food, which is regulated by a complex neurocircuitry that integrates a variety of interceptive signals to determine the nutritional state and guide appropriate levels of food-seeking. The brain is the master coordinator of appetite.
According to the best nutritionist in Bangalore, appetite regulates and maintains adequate energy intake and metabolic requirements, which also controls the energy balance through processes of repression and termination of eating. Nowadays there are many appetite booster supplements available in the market to increase appetite. Many people generally take vitamins to increase appetite.
FACTORS WHICH DRIVES APPETITE
- Biological factors genetic factors
- Brain – The hypothalamus play a key role in regulating hunger
- Psychological causes-
- a.) Feeling alone
- b.) Stress
- c.) Depression
- d.) Anxiety
- e.) Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, Polyphagia or hyperphagia, bulimia)
- The Digestive System
- a.) Insulin – When the pancreas secretes insulin, hunger
- b.) Leptin- leptin secretes from the fat cells in and releases into the As the leptin level increases in the blood, hunger decreases.
- d.) Adiponectin
- e.) Hormones of GIT- Ghrelin, Cholecystokinin, Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), Oxyntomodulin
- Environmental factors – Taste and smell preferences, availability of foods, eating habits, memory, stress, and cultural
- Medical conditions –
- Chronic liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- HIV aids
- Infections – Bacteria and viruses
- Medications and drugs – Antibiotics, Codeine, Morphine, Chemotherapy drugs
- Life stages- Pregnancy, teenage, old age
- Type of sport or physical activity
As per the best nutritionist in Mumbai, the appetite system works on physiological events that are triggered as responses to the ingestion of food. Initially, it forms the inhibitory processes which first stop eating and then prevent the reoccurrence of eating until the next meal is triggered.
This is also called as satiety signals and can be represented by the satiety cascade.
Satiation is the complex of processes that cause meal termination.On the other hand, satiety is the process that arise from food consumption and which serve to suppress hunger and maintain an inhibition overeating for a period.
STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE LOSS OF APPETITE
- Find out the cause which contributes to an appetite loss: Try to find the main cause of the loss of appetite. It can be Psychological cause, biological factor, medical condition, etc.
- Manage and rectify the nutrition-related problems which contribute to appetite loss: Such as dry mouth, sore throat, swallowing difficulty, acidity, Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, Inflammation which lead to loss of appetite. This can be Managed by proper nutrition plan including super foods which helps to reduce these symptoms . For example- If someone is suffering from acidity can add alkline-rich foods and avoid acidic foods which will again suppress the appetite.
- Find out your hunger peak! – Find out when your appetite is best. For some people, it can be the morning time and appetite diminishes throughout the day. For other people, it may be the opposite. Eat as much nutritious food as possible at that time. Do not skip, limit, or restrict food intake when the appetite is good.
- Eat a variety of small and frequent meals: Small amount of food (portion control meal) is easy to digest. Eats small snacks in between the major meals, such as smoothies, fruits, a handful of dried fruits, and nuts, etc. It is an easy way to meet nutritional needs while battling appetite loss with smaller amounts of food more.
- Drink liquids between meals: Drink liquids to help increase saliva to keep the throat moist. Such as Buttermilk, lemon water, kokum sharbat, coconut water. Sometimes having liquids with meals causes the stomach to get full faster and lowers the satiety. This prevents eating too much and maximizing nutrition from food sources. Try not to drink any liquids until after a meal and do not drink any liquids for at least 30 minutes before a meal
- Have nutrient-dense snacks instead of having too many options at the same time : A high-protein shake, smoothies, laddoos can have as many calories as a small meal or large snack. Milkshakes, smoothies, or protein shakes can be made with yogurt, milk, fruits, dried fruits, protein powder. Also, you can have fruit juice, yogurt, cheese, whole-grain crackers, cereal, granola bars.
- Switch too semi-liquid or soft food if solid food is not appealing: Try a different and new food. Trying something new may be exciting and helps to increase appetite. Try eating soft foods when semi-liquid foods instead of forceful eating. (e.g., pancakes, eggs, kanji, porridges, pasta, potatoes)
- Eat foods that are alkaline in nature, avoid acidic and raw foods: Alkaline rich foods soothes the stomach, try to avoid acidic and raw foods which may irritate.
- Eat more of favorite foods, don’t skip breakfast try to add bedtime snack : An easy to digest snack turmeric milk, puddings, fruits will help to improve appetite and will help to boost appetite for the next.
- Add appetite stimulant nutrients to the diet: Macro and micronutrients such as Carbohydrates and Protein, Vitamins, minerals are effective in stimulating appetite. It also helps to correct nutritional deficiencies that are affecting appetite. There are some vitamins and minerals which stimulate appetite such as Vitamin B1 zinc, omega 3 rich foods, for example, legumes, pulses, and nuts and oilseeds, cereals, etc. Also, add probiotic-rich foods such as curd to improve bowel function and absorption of nutrients.
- Add herbs and superfoods in the diet which boosts appetite: Ginger in the form of ginger tea, added to meals, Nutmeg, Fennel seeds can chew post meals, Peppermint tea, Ashwagandha, Licorice, gentian, etc.