Does every meal taste the same? Is everything somewhat bland and dull? Does neither your favourite meal nor the cake you loved previously tempt you? Loss of appetite comes most frequently with increasing age, when the sense of taste weakens. Further causes are pain, medication, grief or even stress. Help your appetite along with a few simple actions.
The appetite killers – stress and grief
Many people lose their appetite for food through stress or grief (on the flip side there are also people who eat more than ever at that time). Everyone experiences stress for a different reason: time pressure, worry, loneliness, illness or travelling. Make time for yourself and keep an eye on yourself for some time. Make a note of when you lose your appetite and what you have just been doing. In this way you can find out the cause of your loss of appetite.
In addition to this you can plan specific relaxation activities: conversations with like-minded people, listening to music, reading, going out with family or friends, going for a walk, exercise at home, yoga – something you always enjoy and does you good.
How to stimulate appetite
Your senses decide whether a meal tastes good. Your eyes appreciate appetising colours and a well-laid table. Your nose enjoys the splendid smells coming from the cooking pot and plate. Your palate is indulged by tasty morsels.
Even spices can stimulate appetite. Essential oils and phytonutrients arouse your sense of smell and taste. A number of spices promote appetite and make meals more wholesome. Chilli, curry, ginger, paprika, allspice and pepper are particularly appetising. Our tables help you choose.
|Chilli, curry, ginger, paprika, allspice, mustard, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, basil||Promote salivation and appetite|
|Curcuma, pepper, mustard, paprika, horseradish, nettle, ginger, thyme||Stimulate the production of gastric juice|
|Aniseed, curcuma, caraway, peppermint, gentian, wormwood, nettle, basil||Stimulate bile production and secretion|
|Aniseed, basil, savory, dill, garlic, coriander, caraway, marjoram, juniper berries, fennel, thyme, basil, parsley, ginger||Ease cramps and flatulence|
|Mustard, chillies, nettle, garlic, basil, cardamom, thyme, coriander, parsley||Promote digestion|
|Chilli, paprika, fennel, garlic, cress, horseradish, nettle, curcuma, coriander||Work as a disinfectant in the stomach and gut|
Sources: “Gewürzdrogen“, Eberhard Teuscher (2002), “Gewürze in der Lebensmittelindustrie“, Ulrich Gerhardt (1994), “Küchenkräuter und Gewürze“ book, aid Infodienst für Verbraucherschutz, Ernährung, Landwirtschaft [Aid Information Service for Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection] (2000)
Let yourself be tempted
Bring variety to your food – a range of choice helps the appetite Above all let yourself be tempted by different varieties of fruit and vegetables. Smell the fragrant fruit while shopping Let yourself be carried away spontaneously by your “cravings”. Feel like something more exotic today? Enjoy pineapple, papaya, lychees or starfruit. Drinks, wholegrain products and fruit and vegetables should be at the base of your diet. You should help yourself to milk and dairy products on a daily basis. You should serve up fish twice a week. Meat and sausage can be served two to three times (max. 300-600g per week). You can even use our Nutritional Pyramid as a starting point – this allows you to choose from different food groups.
By the way: a small alcoholic aperitif or a meat broth can also stimulate the appetite, e.g. with an added egg for a starter.