(Image via Food Network)

Madison Rich, Writer

Have you ever wondered why you were so sleepy after a delicious Thanksgiving meal? Well, I bet you never thought of turkey making you feel this way. Yes, I said it, turkey! People believe that this main dish of Thanksgiving is associated with people being tired after the meal.

Turkey makes you sleepy because it contains tryptophan (about 200 mg/100g). Tryptophan is an amino acid which is a constituent of most proteins. Its an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates, a component of the brain chemical serotonin, which gets converted into the well-known sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Tryptophan is found in, you called it… turkey. It also can be found in other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs. It’s also present in that glass of milk that is said to help you get to sleep at night. But there’s nothing special about turkey. Most protein-rich foods have tryptophan.

When you eat food high in Tryptophan, as the food digests, amino acids – not just turkey – make their way into the bloodstream. This causes competition among the various amino acids to enter the brain. That’s what happens when you eat a protein-rich food. Tryptophan has to compete with all these other amino acids. It waits in line to get through the blood-brain barrier and very little of it makes it across.” a small, all-carbohydrate snack is tryptophan’s ticket across the blood-brain barrier, where it can boost serotonin levels, so have your turkey. carbohydrate, it will increase your store of tryptophan in the body, but count on the carbohydrates to help give you the mood boost or the restful sleep.

So Basically, any big meal containing tryptophan and lots of carbohydrates can trigger sleepiness — not just turkey.