Sunday, March 16, 2008

· Fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamin C.
· Lean meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, and whole grains for zinc and B vitamins.

· Smoking and excessive alcohol, which dull the appetite.
· Liquids before meals.
· Bran and other high-fiber foods.

The pleasant anticipation of eating that we call appetite is controlled by two centers in the brain; one is the hypothalamus, which stimulates the release of hunger-producing hormones until hunger is satisfied; the other is the cerebral cortex, the center of intellectual and sensory function. Thus, a healthy appetite reflects both an unconscious response and learned behavior.

Many disorders and circumstances cause loss of appetite; most are temporary conditions, such as a cold, an upset stomach, dental problems, or stress. A persistent loss of appetite, however, can reflect a more serious illness; for example, clinical depression, anemia, kidney disease, AIDS, or cancer.

In unusual cases, appetite loss stems from nutritional deficiencies, usually of vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, biotin, and zinc. Excessive drinking of alcohol not only reduces appetite but may also cause nutritional deficiencies. Smoking is another activity that blunts appetite.
Eating large amounts of bran, whole-grain products, and other high-fiber foods interferes with the absorption of zinc foods interferes with the absorption of zinc and other minerals; such foods also diminish appetite because they are filling. Drinking large quantities of liquid before a meal reduces appetite too.

Loss of appetite related to illness usually corrects itself with recovery. There are several strategies, however, that may help trigger an appetite when it is lost inexplicably.

Try a little exercise - take a walk before meals; some people find that activity increases their appetite.

A little alcohol may help- try drinking a glass of win or beer - it may increase your appetite.

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