The following is an archived post
November means it’s Thanksgiving time. To honor this holiday, this will be the first of three posts about turkey!
Turkey, usually the main meal attraction during Thanksgiving, has a significant place in US history. In fact, the turkey was first documented over 2,000 years ago in Central America and Mexico and was one of the first animals in the Americas (North and South) to be domesticated.
Benjamin Franklin actually called the turkey “a true original native of America.” Nominated to be the official bird of the United States, the turkey eventually lost out to the bald eagle.As an everyday food, turkey is often eaten in sandwiches, salads and of course, as a main entrée item. Turkey is a “lean protein,” low in fat, high in protein. The fat content can vary, however. Turkey is low in fat as long as is it eaten without the skin. White meat is also leaner than dark meat. Turkey is a good source of other nutrients as well—iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins.
You’ve probably heard that eating turkey makes you sleepy because it contains tryptophan, one of the amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. While it is true that turkey does contain tryptophan which is involved in some processes in the body related to sleep, it is probably not the main reason that you feel sleepy after a big Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Tryptophan is in many foods and turkey doesn’t contain that much more tryptophan than other foods that we normally, like chicken, pork and beef, without nodding off.The more likely culprit in the sleepy feeling after Thanksgiving dinner is a full stomach. Most people tend to go a little overboard on Thanksgiving when it comes to preparing and eating dinner. Eating much more than we normally would, we have a lot of extra food in our stomachs, which means our bodies must divert energy to digesting.
This leaves little energy to do much else.
The bottom line? Enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it!
Stay tuned for the next two turkey posts about cooking and carving for that perfect Thanksgiving turkey!