Health & Wellness

Does Turkey Make You Tired?

By Tawnya Manion | November 14, 2012

L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid the body uses to build protein, is found to regulate the appetite, induce sleep, and elevate your mood. However, this time of year Tryptophan is notorious around the Thanksgiving table for putting everyone into a food coma. However,  we must ask ourselves is it the turkey, the pumpkin pie, the alcohol, or the copious amounts of calories consumed that makes people tired after devouring this festive feast?

The body uses Tryptophan to help build serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure and ables the body to fall into a deep dream filled sleep. Tryptophan in its purest form, will make you feel lethargic. This compound is so strong it’s isolated for use in sleeping pills. However, if Tryptophan is consumed at a meal the other amino acids within the other foods will cancel out each others side effects to work together as a whole to build new cells in the body.

Generally, when Thanksgiving dinner is consumed it tends to make people tired regardless of what the spread includes. This is because people tend to consume more than 1,500 calories at Thanksgiving gatherings. When this many micro and macro nutrients are wolfed down the digestive process draws energy from the body as it proceeds to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Though turkey does not possess the ability to actually put you asleep before the afternoon football game it does contain copious amounts of B vitamins, iron, niacin, selenium, and zinc. Furthermore, this meat contains more protein per ounce than beef, chicken, or pork. Poultry makes an excellent choice for a salubrious diet. To maximize this protein’s benefits serve on top of a salad with a light vinaigrette.

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