First off I’d like to say a Happy Thanksgiving to our friends south of the border, and an even happier online Black Friday for those north of the border! Though there are lots of popular dishes on Thanksgiving, the most popular is turkey. So today I’m going to answer some questions & give you random facts about the majestic Turkey.
Continue reading if you’ve ever wondered what that fleshy thing growing on top of turkey’s bill is called, or if eating turkey actually makes you sleepy?
The long, red, fleshy area that grows from the forehead and over the bill on a turkey is called a snood. The fleshy growth under a turkey’s throat is called a wattle. Did you know that an adult male turkey is called a Tom, the younger males are called Jakes & the females are all called Hens. Only males can gobble, hens can only make clicking noises. Did you know that a turkey’s head can change colour when it becomes more excited? A turkey’s physical appearance also changes depending on the season. The picture above is of a turkey strutting; therefore, it was taken during the spring time. It’s basically the way a Tom attracts the lady turkeys.
Another popular question is “does eating turkey make you sleepy?”. If anyone remembers learning about their amino acids they may recall hearing this when you were taught about tryptophan. It is an essential amino acid and is the precursor for serotonin, an important initiator of sleep. Since turkey is high in tryptophan it can explain why we get extra sleepy after eating this huge meal. Unfortunately, L-tryptophan doesn’t act on the brain unless you take it on an empty stomach & with no protein present. In addition, the levels found in turkey are far too low to have any such effect. What’s more likely to be causing this itis? It’s plain old over-eating. Your body needs a lot of blood to digest a huge meal like that. It gets that blood from you brain, thus making you slow down after a meal. The effect of sugar and insulin, is also not on your side and will make you more tired after this and any other large meal.
I hope every one enjoys their turkey dinners! Just remember, it’s not your fault that you don’t have the energy to do the dishes after the meal. You were just being polite and showing how much you appreciated all of the delicious food. (Hopefully that excuse works!)