Monday, February 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey As A Sleeping Pill

You sit down to the dinner table for your Thanksgiving feast. You have one round, two and three of the delicious offerings on the table. You are finally “stuffed” and relax while watching TV. You look around and everyone looks drowsy. Why is this you might ask? Everyone blames the poor turkey.
For many years this has been one of the topics while eating our Thanksgiving Feast. Is the turkey really to blame for the drowsiness after the festivities? From many of my family members, interesting reasons why have come out in conversation. Excitement of the day, stuffing your face as fast as you can, just sitting around and doing nothing, just to name a few, but one reason always comes up, the TURKEY.
As to research on this interesting topic, many have different opinions. Some blame the amino acids found in turkey. But to my surprise, the turkey acting as a sleeping pill is untrue. What many blame as the true reason why turkey makes you sleepy is the L-tryptophan. They say in the brain, L-tryptophan changes to serotonin which calms us down. The only way for L-tryptophan to make us sleepy is if consumed on an empty stomach and in high amounts. Yes, we may eat a lot of turkey on Thanksgiving, but there is not enough of L-tryptophan in a turkey to work as a sleeping pill. Not to mention, our stomachs are not empty.
Scientists have come up with many explanations as to why sleepiness is after these major meals. Some argue it is our blood flow. There is more blood flow to the stomach for digestion and less to the brain. But here are some tips the experts are recommending:
1. Eat smaller portions.
2. Take breaks while eating.
3. Eat healthier meals.
4. Stop when your full.
5. Go for a walk.
So I guess I am saying take or leave these tips and I hope they did not put you to sleep.

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