Does The Traditional Thanksgiving “Turkey” Make You Feel Lethargic?
Imagine this yearly ritual: you’re sitting in the dining room, having the most scrumptious and lip-smacking meal of the day. You finish that last portion of your slow-roasted turkey and mashed potatoes, push back from the table, wipe away a few crumbs off your face, and then you feel the haze of laziness kicking in. A deep sense of grogginess starts taking over and you take a yawn. The yawn that forces you to ask a question, “what was in that turkey”?!
Doesn’t that sound like something you go through every Thanksgiving? If it does, have you ever wondered why it happens? Can turkey really make you feel so tired and sluggish? Let’s find out.
A million-dollar question
When the thanksgiving dinner is served, it doesn’t only comprise turkey. It’s accompanied by so many other dishes as well, so why do we always blame the poor turkey? Why not the pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes? Well, it’s because turkey indeed contains a type of amino acid called L-tryptophan that can slow down your system and make you feel sleepy. That’s why you feel lousy and restless after a hearty thanksgiving dinner.
That being said, experts and nutritionists don’t rely on this theory; at least not completely. They believe L-tryptophan is responsible for producing a good amount of serotonin in our brains. For those who don’t know, serotonin is a hormone that helps in relaxing your overall mood. It’s also responsible for good sleep and better digestion. Therefore, turkey is responsible for your tiredness after a good hearty dinner.
However, for some people, the L-tryptophan amino acid does something absolutely opposite. The proteins and other acids present in the bird lower down the levels of L-tryptophan, which allows some people to stay wide awake and not hit the thanksgiving snooze.
Thanksgiving foods that can make you drowsy
By now, one thing is quite clear – turkey does make you feel tired, but there are a lot of other foods and factors that contribute to the lethargy. So which bunch of foods share the blame?
Carbohydrates, be it bread, potatoes, pies, when consumed in large portions play a part in making you feel lazy. After gorging on a scrumptious thanksgiving meal, your stomach feels way too full than usual, which is why your body transfers extra blood to the digestive system in order to aid digestion, and this leads to laziness.
So how can you feel awake post your meal?
Remember, thanksgiving is an auspicious occasion where you get to spend time with your family and count your blessings. And come on, who are we fooling? Festivals are incomplete without food and eating. But while most of the dishes are considered healthy and nutritious, eating too much can leave you feeling pretty bleh.
If feeling sluggish after dinner is not on your charts, here are some suggestions that’ll help you avoid it.
- Watch your carb intake and try eating in small portions.
- Don’t keep yourself hungry for the entire day, eat at the usual timings.
- Keep yourself moving, get outside, and go for a quick walk. This will not only help in digestion but make you feel better overall.
Now that you’ve successfully come out of the bubble, it’s on you whether you want to make a difference or stick to the same old. Nonetheless, whatever you choose, make sure you have a great thanksgiving.
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