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A poor appetite is not likely to cause any life-threatening situation but it can certainly leave you under-nourished and consequently, tired and irritable. If left untreated, this lack of nourishment can cause your immune system to weaken and may also lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is vital to tackle a poor appetite and to do this, you need to know what is causing it. While there can be several causes of poor appetite, the most common one is problems with digestion. In fact, Ayurveda says that lack of digestive power is one of the main causes of poor appetite. Here are a few home remedies that help with improving digestive power and in turn, 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. This can be drunk as such or sweetened with a few drops of honey. Read more about the health benefits of ginger.
Another way to use ginger is to peel and grate a small piece of the rhizome and mix this with some black pepper powder and a few drops of lemon juice. This paste must be taken on an empty stomach every day for about 15 days to see good results.
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, raw grated radish mixed with a little curd is a strong appetizer. Raw white onion and 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. Add generous amounts of red and juicy tomatoes into your gravies, make a soup with tomato and other spices or just eat the vegetable raw by sprinkling a little pepper powder on it.
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), coriander (dhania), mint (pudina), black pepper (kali mirch) and 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.
Peppermint is a herb that works wonders on appetite. Whenever you find yourself dreading the thought of food, make a cup of peppermint tea by adding a few peppermint leaves into some boiling water. Steep for a few minutes, strain and drink when still warm.
Fruits to improve appetite
Certain fruits are known to stimulate hunger and these include grapes, apples and black berries. Most of these fruits contain constituents that help to improve digestion and thus, they help to improve appetite.
Often, a poor appetite may be the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. People who lead a very sedentary life and those who smoke heavily are likely to have appetite problems and it is important to tackle these issues for any meaningful results. However, if these don't apply in your case and even after trying the remedies mentioned here for about a month or so, if you still find that there is no improvement in your appetite, it is good to consult a doctor.
In some people who are on regular medication for some health condition, the drugs they are taking may be responsible for the loss of appetite. If such is the case, the doctor should be able to provide some guidance on how to overcome this problem. In some rare cases, a persistent lack of appetite may point to a grave underlying disease such as cancer. Therefore, if you find yourself suffering from a chronic loss of appetite and none of the remedies mentioned here help, it is good to consult a doctor who can guide you further.
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