The Unexamined Life

Thanksgiving 2019: Does Eating Turkey Really Make You Drowsy?

Turkey is one of the highlights of Thanksgiving parties. It has been part of the tradition for several decades and Americans continue making it the darling of dining tables once every year. 

However, after the Thanksgiving feast, people commonly complain about being sleepy. And some blame turkey for that post-meal feeling. 

Turkey contains an essential amino acid called tryptophan. People believe that it is the reason why they become drowsy after dinner. 

But tryptophan is also present in other commonly served foods, such as eggs, fish, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Chicken even provides more of the amino acid compared to turkey. 

People rely on food to obtain tryptophan because the body is not able to naturally produce such amino acid. But there is no evidence of the tryptophan in turkey making people drowsy, according to Mercola.

In fact, intake of the amino acid from foods has been found helping to promote healthier and better quality sleep. It helps promote nitrogen balance in adults, manage pain tolerance, support growth in infants and help the body produce protein, Healthline reported.

A potential reason why people feel sleepy after a Thanksgiving feast is the high intake of carbohydrates. Digestion of carbs could increase blood sugar levels followed by a sharp decrease, which then makes people sleepy.

If you want to stay awake and energetic after a heavy meal, try to reduce foods high in carbs on your plate. 

Risks Of Preparing Turkey

To make your dinner turkey safe to eat, food experts recommend not washing it before putting it in the oven. Rinsing off raw poultry may spread germs in the kitchen sink or nearby food, TIME reported Wednesday.

The guts of healthy poultry contain germs that can make people sick. In fact, raw turkey has the two common causes of food poisoning, salmonella and campylobacter, according to Mindy Brashears, a food safety official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Experts said that thorough cooking will kill the bacteria. 

“If your mother did it and your grandmother did it, and suddenly the (government) says not to wash your turkey, you may take some time to adjust,” Drusilla Banks, professor of food sanitation at the University of Illinois Extension, said.

Thanksgiving Turkey Here are four herbal teas to consume after a hearty thanksgiving meal. Pixabay