(CNN) — Do you believe in holiday food coma?
Many people do. A staple on the table at this time of year, turkey contains tryptophan, which is widely believed to be responsible for the uncontrollable yawns and sudden snoozes common after a big family feast.
“Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is needed to make serotonin, a hormone that has many functions in the body, including balancing mood and sleep.”
“A by-product of the process from tryptophan to serotonin is melatonin, another hormone that regulates our sleep cycle.
However, many foods other than turkey contain tryptophan, including cheese, chicken, egg whites, fish, milk, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, and sunflower seeds, according to the National Library of Medicine.
that’s a lot of turkey
Serotonin is one of the “feel good” hormones that calms and relaxes the body. But we don’t consume enough turkey meat during holiday smorgasbord — even if we go back a few seconds — to create the amount of serotonin we need to feel sleepy. Rutgers University, New Jersey.
He said you would need to eat about eight pounds of turkey meat to get the amount of tryptophan needed to trigger a food coma. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends planning for he 1 pound of turkey meat per person when preparing holiday meals.
“It’s unlikely that the tryptophan from the turkey will enter the brain and make enough serotonin to keep us sleepy.
So you can’t just blame the gobbler on the table for sudden drowsiness, says sleep expert Kristen Knudson, associate professor of neurology and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. says.
“Turkey doesn’t make us sleepy,” said Nattson. “If you feel sleepy after a big meal, it’s most likely because you didn’t get enough sleep in the days leading up to the big event, and it’s only after dinner that you’re finally able to relax.
According to Dasgupta, overeating in general is also a major cause of the fatigue you feel after eating.
“Remember all the delicious side dishes that surround the heart of the turkey, such as sweet potato pies, casseroles, and savory desserts,” he said. It contains a lot of carbs.”
Another reason why you feel sleepy after eating is changes in blood flow from your head to your digestive system.
“Eating a big holiday dinner increases blood flow to the stomach to help digest the meal, which in turn reduces blood flow to the brain, leaving you tired and ready to go to bed,” Dasgupta said.
Also, don’t forget the effects of drinking on holidays. Many of the meals served at this time of year are washed down with wine, cocktails and champagne. Then there’s the ubiquitous beer (or two or three) that often accompanies afternoon ball games.
“To be honest, I may have drank more than usual because I’m on vacation right now and may have family stress or travel fatigue,” Dasgupta said. It relaxes your muscles and makes you sleepy after a few drinks.”
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