There are many circumstances in life that lead to a loss of appetite, including illness, convalescence, stress, seasonal depression, and bereavement. It can also happen as a result of our hectic lifestyles and not taking the time to eat properly. Although it’s most often temporary, not eating enough can create nutritional deficiencies. And more. When you don’t have time to grab a bite, it can affect your quality of life. This article written by Familiprix, in collaboration with Ensure and Vie de Parents, offers you tips and advice to stimulate your appetite.
What causes loss of appetite
Your appetite is controlled by two parts of your brain: the hypothalamus, which releases hormones related to hunger, and the cerebral cortex, which manages intellectual and sensory functions.
The reasons leading to a loss of appetite are most often temporary. If it persists, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional, since there may be another underlying problem.
Also, one side effect of alcoholism and smoking is a reduced appetite, which can harm an immune system weakened by a lack of vitamins and minerals. Drinking a lot before a meal causes a feeling of satiety, as does eating a large quantity of fibre-rich products, such as bread.
A prolonged loss of appetite has repercussions on your general state of health:
- Weight loss and decreased muscle mass
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Stomach aches and dry mouth
- Diarrhea, nausea, constipation or vomiting
- Weakened immune system and poor functioning of organs
How do you make yourself hungry?
First, you have to choose foods you like, with flavours that stimulate your enjoyment. You can even try new foods that you find appetizing that make your mouth water. In addition, seasoning your dishes with herbs, sauces or spices that give your recipes more personality is a good trick to make you hungry. Also eat small meals often throughout the day and ensure that each bite is rich in calories and protein.
If eating is low on your list of priorities, you may forget to buy what you need to cook healthy meals and resort to fast food when you’re craving something to eat. To help you during this challenging time, don’t hesitate to ask your loved ones to cook you easy frozen meals. Ask your network to lend a hand with tasks that require more physical energy and focus on a few achievable goals per day. Wanting to do too much can lead to burnout. You can also use caregiver support services in your area.
It’s a good idea to always have a snack or a liquid meal replacement with you for times when your hunger captures your attention or when you’re overwhelmed and are unable to find time to eat.
The good news is that it’s easier than you think to have a balanced diet, even if you have less desire to eat. Ensure® is a complete and balanced source of protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as vitamins and minerals, to help you stay healthy, active and energized.
Vitamins and minerals
To get back on track while regaining your hunger and finding time to eat, here are the essential vitamins and minerals your body requires:
This is an antioxidant that plays a major role in preventing infections, like in the mucous membranes in the nose and intestines. It is found in carrots, kale, Swiss chard, cantaloupe and tomatoes, as well as other colourful fruits and vegetables.
This famous vitamin increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies that protect our body against viruses and bacteria. It is found in citrus fruits, of course, but also in broccoli, red peppers and cranberries.
Without it, the body cannot absorb enough calcium. It also helps with the immune system and inflammatory problems. This vitamin is present in milk, eggs, salmon, cod and shrimp.
This mineral helps the immune system by regulating the production of white blood cells, which are essential to protect us from viruses and bacteria. It is consumed by eating beef, pumpkin seeds, squash, asparagus and mushrooms.
Iron deficiency has an adverse effect on the human body. Although you only need a small amount—3g to 4g—this mineral is vital in transporting oxygen to tissue and muscle cells. It also supports the defense against infections. It’s found in good quantities in red meat and green vegetables.
Liquid nutritional supplements like Ensure® provide you with these vitamins and minerals and more. In addition, this drink is a source of protein to help you meet your nutritional needs. Ensure® is available in five delicious flavours and can be taken as a supplement with or between meals. It becomes a real meal replacement when consumed in sufficient quantity.
Supplements: An important tool
Ensure® products provide complete nutrition so you can go about your daily activities. If your child has eating difficulties due to a medical condition, many products are designed specifically for children aged 1 to 13, such as PediaSure Complete®. To learn more about this supplement and whether it is right for your child, seek information and help from a healthcare professional.
To stay active and refuel with a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, the Ensure® product line is easy to integrate into your routine. You can even cook dishes using these supplements for truly complete meals. Consult a healthcare professional to fully understand your state of health. Supplement needs vary depending on each person’s age, gender, physical and mental condition.