Eating healthy is key but sometimes we end up not even having the appetite for it. This could be due to a number of factors like the use of other medication,depression or other illnesses but while we might not be able to list them all, here are a few natural ways to enhance your appetite.

Herbs and Spices: Flavorful food entices the taste buds and revives an interest in eating. Sauteing herbs and spices in olive oil for five minutes prior to combining them with a meal is the most effective way to activate the flavors. Including spices in your diet may help to increase metabolism by adding thermogenic action to the digestive system and raising the heat of the body thus encouraging the digestive juices to flow. Such spices

include chili, turmeric, garlic, cumin, etc. Additional flavorings that also stimulate gastric secretions and the appetite include lemon juice, ginger, vinegar and bitter herbs.

Vegetables: Eating more bitter foods help to stimulate gastric juices thus inducing appetite e.g. Kale and bitter lettuces. Also, eating foods high in sulphur encourages liver detoxification. Some of these include cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Exercise: It is important that you exercise. You could start with gentle workout plans and gradually build up but the main thing is to have a routine. Health professionals agree that exercise is a natural appetite stimulant, the key thing being it’s regularity. The idea is that when you exercise, you burn calories and this ‘burning’ of calories is what is responsible for stimulating your appetite and encouraging you to eat more.

Vitamin B supplements: A major study that was conducted at the University of Chicago noted a significant caloric increase in children who were ingesting vitamin B supplements. There are a number of vitamin B supplements that are available on the market in Nigeria like the very common Vitamin B.complex tablets we all know. In addition, vitamin B plays a major role in increasing your energy level, thereby inspiring you to be a bit more active if you are on an exercise program. Vitamin B has also been known to help improve mood which may be effective in people who are suffering from an appetite loss due to mental depression.

Herbal Supplements: There are a number of herbal remedies that have been known to help people who have a poor appetite. These natural supplements could come as tablets/capsules and they could also come as teas. Such herbal supplements include, but are not limited to, Blessed thistle, Fenugreek, Peppermint, Gentian, Lemon and Ginger, Alfalfa, and Cinnamon. Herbs like Gentian and blessed thistle are considered as ‘bitters’ meaning that they contain certain constituents that are thought to improve appetites and improve digestion.

Fluid Intake: Most importantly, up your fluid intake. The thirst center in the brain is closely related to appetite. Dehydration may affect metabolism by confusing the signals to the brain as regards appetite stimulation. More water and less carbonated drinks as they reduce your appetite for healthy foods. Fruit juices like apple guide are a healthier alternative. In fact, a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it aids appetite stimulation.

These are some of the ways to stimulate your appetite. However, having done all, if symptoms persist, it might be time to seek medical attention.

Article written by Toluwalope Adeoya, a certified pharmacist.

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