Fast Fact

November 1998 Issue

Turkey Takes Rap for Sleep-Inducing Carbs

Do you feel like taking a nap after Thanksgiving dinner? Turkey usually gets blamed for this phenomenon because it is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain converts to the sleep-inducing hormone, serotonin. But high-protein foods like turkey block the entrance of tryptophan into the brain. Studies suggest it's the carbohydrate- rich accompaniments like stuffing, sweet potatoes and rolls that actually increase brain levels of tryptophan, causing drowsiness. Of course, overeating

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