Thanksgiving Food Coma Survival Guide November 22, 2018

by Lifestyle

A few too many indulgences got you in a Thanksgiving food coma? Learn which foods put you to sleep, why they do, and how to wake back up again. 

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No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without an excessive amount of sides, one too many slices of pie, the inevitable dose of family drama, and a food coma to top it all off. You may have been ravenous at the first glimpse of creamy mashed potatoes, but the end of the meal has you vowing to never cook, eat, or think about food EVER AGAIN.

Everyone sluggishly migrates over to the couch to sleep it off, and not even the roaring sound of your aunt snoring can wake you up. No way. You’re out like a light.

But unlike what some may believe, turkey’s not the only culprit behind all those post-Thanksgiving zzsssss. Although the meat does contain tryptophan, an amino acid helping produce serotonin and, in turn, sleep-inducing melatonin, there are a whole slew of other foods loaded with it, like:

  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Dairy
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Legumes

So why don’t those foods make us feel equally as drowsy? Well, it turns out the large quantity of food we eat on turkey day may be to blame, not the tryptophan.

“Thanksgiving is a time we overeat, especially when it comes to carbs and high-sugar items” explains Rebecca, RD. “This causes our pancreas to work overtime to produce enough insulin to deal with it all. And with a spike in insulin comes a corresponding spike in serotonin and melatonin.”

Turkey, it’s safe to say you’re off the hook.

To recover from a food coma, be sure to:

1. Drink lots of lemon water and/or herbal tea

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2. Eat a balanced breakfast with healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grain carbs

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3. Load up on colorful, fibrous foods

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4. Lace up for a nice and long post-Thanksgiving stroll

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But most importantly, don’t feel guilty. It happens to the best of us.

These five unique foods are a healthy and colorful antidote to your Thanksgiving food coma.

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