Get Ready for Thanksgiving

What in Turkey Makes Me Sleepy?

The reason many people believed that turkey caused tiredness is due to the high content of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases the brain’s production of serotonin. Researchers now believe that the amount of tryptophan in turkey is not sufficient to make you take a nap. Though an inadequate amount of tryptophan exists in your turkey platter, if tryptophan is consumed by itself, it can cause tiredness.
Tryptophan is a naturally occurring substance found in many high protein foods, such as milk and most meat. This amino acid is necessary for normal growth in young children and helps balance nitrogen in adults.
The properties of each amino acid determine its role in the human body. Out of the 20 amino acids necessary for our bodies, we can actually produce 10. A balanced diet that includes all of the 10 dietary amino acids is crucial, since our bodies do not store extra amino acids. The amount of tryptophan in turkey is just enough to balance your daily need for that specific amino acid.

If Not Turkey, Then What?

Researchers think that during the Thanksgiving holiday, dessert is the most likely culprit for your afternoon nap. So blame your pumpkin pie, since carbohydrates cause higher production of serotonin, which makes us want to sleep.

Stay Awake and Keep Your Mouth Healthy

To stay alert and make the most of your holiday, keep your distance from the dessert table. Not only will this help you stay awake, but it will also keep your mouth in check.  Acidy, sugary desserts are hard on your teeth.  You don’t have to avoid dessert completely, but don’t try a serving of everything. Keep your carbohydrate and sugar intake to a minimum.
You might think that brushing your teeth just after dessert will reduce the effect of indulgence on your mouth. Research suggests that you shouldn’t brush immediately after you eat; it can cause enamel erosion. The best thing to do after eating is to rinse your mouth with water and chew sugarless gum to give your saliva a chance to remineralize tooth enamel. Gum also helps saliva remove chromogens (which contribute to teeth stains).
If you need a checkup after the Thanksgiving holiday and before the Christmas feast begins, or just because you’re new to the Pella, Iowa area, call 641-640-1121. Allen Family dentist office serves patients from Oskaloosa, Monroe, Knoxville, Newton, and communities surrounding central Iowa.