Thanksgiving myth debunked

Turkey not the culprit for your drowsiness

November 22, 2018 - 4:06 pm

(WWL.com) - You’ve probably heard it before. The tryptophan in turkey harnesses the power to induce sleepiness. Although it’s a topic of conversation that pops up every Thanksgiving, clinical dietitian Grace Mansfield with Ocshner Hospital in Baton Rouge said the legend of the bird is a myth. 

"They want to blame it on the turkey instead of all of the other things that could go hand in hand with overeating and feeling sleepy," said Mansfield.

Many other portions of the meal also have tryptophan such as pumpkin, cheese, and milk. But what is it that makes diners want to take a nap? Mansfield said it's because people tend to overindulge on the holiday feast.

"All of that energy is going towards digesting foods and not being active.  But those other foods do have tryptophan," said Mansfield.

What is the trick to making sure you’ve got the energy to socialize once the feast is wrapped up?

"I would say just portion yourself and get a little bit of each food group as you would at any meal," said Mansfield.

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