So when you look at all the typical foods on a Thanksgiving table, which do you think is healthier…the cranberry sauce or the green bean casserole? That's what we asked Dr. Bradley Miller, a Neuropathologist at the Brain Bank at Texas Tech.
"The cranberries themselves are excellent, but it's the way we make them in West Texas, with more sugar than cranberries…we make cranberry sauce. The reason the green bean casserole is the healthiest, is in the typical preparation of a Thanksgiving meal, the green beans have the most of what you want and the least of what you don't need. When you look at the turkey, it's the white meat versus the dark meat. It has excellent amino acids. That's where we make a lot of the neuro-transmitters. So, you may want to eat the dark meat, but you got to have a slice of the white meat as well.
If you think it's the turkey that puts you to sleep after that big meal tomorrow, Dr. Miller says the answer is yes and no. Yes, turkey has lots of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that plays a role in making serotonin, which helps us sleep better. But, he says tryptophan can't get to the brain after a big meal with all that other stuff because it needs an empty stomach. So, in this case, it's just the over-eating that makes us sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal.
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