The Truth About Turkey

11/25/2015

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Ever eaten a delicious plate (or three) of Thanksgiving dinner and felt the need to curl up into a ball of sleepy guilt afterwards? There’s no shame – we all have. That drowsy feeling has long been attributed to an amino acid found in turkey called tryptophan. Here’s the thing though… turkey causing you to feel sleepier than normal is a myth. In fact, there are plenty of other foods and drinks we consume over the holidays that might be the cause of that post meal sleepiness – especially if there are plenty of carbs involved. (1)

Here’s a list of few foods that have more tryptophan than turkey does:

1. Chicken
Yes. This other popular bird that we regularly consume throughout the rest of the year has slightly more tryptophan than turkey does. Oh, how we feel betrayed. (2)

2. Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is in a plethora of delicious foods. It comes in multiple forms and can be added to other delicious foods to make them even more scrumptious.

3. Soybeans
Even the healthiest of foods contain tryptophan. Next time you’re munching on edamame and feeling a tad bit lethargic, you’ll know why. (3)

4. Sunflower Seeds
It’s hard to believe but this popular snack actually has more tryptophan per gram than turkey does. (4)

5. Eggs
Per gram, eggs have about 4 times the amount of tryptophan than turkey does and can be found in just about everything. (3)(5)

Keep in mind, however, that you have to eat an excess of all of these foods in order for the tryptophan to actually have any sort of effect and we definitely don’t recommend doing that.

Everything else aside, that still begs the question – how much turkey does one need to eat for tryptophan to take effect? Here’s what we found: “you’d have to eat 5.4 pounds of turkey, or an entire day’s worth of food, by weight, in turkey alone. But what about a real food coma? Ingesting 12 grams of tryptophan would induce extreme drowsiness, but would require you to eat a whopping 8.6 pounds of turkey, or your baby cousin in weight…of turkey.” (6)

We at Trinity Sterile wish you and yours a Happy Holiday!

Sources

  1. http://www.livescience.com/41543-thanksgiving-myth-busted-eating-turkey-won-t-make-you-sleepy.html
  2. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/the-truth-about-tryptophan
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan
  4. http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-tryptophan-foods.php
  5. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/thanksgiving-tryptophan-drowsy-article-1.1531108
  6. http://nerdist.com/how-much-turkey-would-you-need-to-eat-to-get-knocked-out-by-tryptophan-alone/

Finding the Balance: How Clean is TOO Clean?

10/9/2015

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Finding the Balance: How Clean is TOO Clean?

Our society has recently adapted an anti, anti-bacterial stance. This year antibacterial soaps have gathered a bit of a bad wrap. In short, it is because antibacterial ingredients have been found to essentially be antibiotics. These antibiotics make bacteria more resistant to antibodies and other remedies that we usually use to keep ourselves healthy.

A relatable example is hand washing. Our hands are in the spotlight more than anything because of the desire to prevent fecal-oral/respiratory infections. Hands (or any skin for that matter) washed too often results in a decline in skin health. This inherently makes them more susceptible to many different kinds of bacteria. Even after showering, skin bacterial counts are at least as high or higher as they are before showering (using common soaps).

From the CDC’s website, “The trend in both the general public and among health-care professionals toward more frequent washing with detergents, soaps, and antimicrobial ingredients needs careful reassessment in light of the damage done to skin and resultant increased risk for harboring and transmitting infectious agents.“ As a result, a lot of healthcare facilities have adopted a different medium of cleaning/disinfecting using emulsion cleansing. Hand sterilization products, although generally alcohol based, are milder on the skin and often come with moisturizers added.

Between 1989 and the early 2000’s, studies found that a lack of childhood exposure to infectious agents greatly increased their susceptibility to allergic diseases and other sicknesses. Everything from asthma, to hay fever, to type 1 diabetes, MS and even depression seemed to be linked. These correlations came to be known as the Hygiene Hypothesis. In an attempt to combat the negative effects of the Hygiene Hypothesis, hospitals and other health-care establishments are using elements like copper, which in itself is an anti-microbial material. Implementing the use of copper surfaces in common bacteria infested areas (sinks, light switches, etc.) would reduce the risk of bacterial transmission and ultimately infections. In a study done between July 2010 and June 2011, it was shown that copper surfaces reduced infection rates by 58%.

Ultimately the question to be asked is, where’s the line between clean and too clean? All of this information isn’t saying you shouldn’t wash your hands regularly, and you should still undoubtedly use soap, (just not antibacterial soap). If you use any alcohol-based emulsion cleansing products, chose those with moisturizers. As long as one understands that not all germs are bad, but you should still wash your hands. So what it comes down to is – people should continue washing their hands but compulsively washing is unnecessary and can actually be harmful. Like most activities, moderation is key.

Sources:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/
http://theconversation.com/

Back To School

9/2/2015

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It’s that time of the year again, back to school. Kids across the nation pile onto busses and into classrooms. They will be exposed to new knowledge… and new germs. Between cafeteria trays, shared water fountains, desks in classrooms and playground equipment, these children are in [one of] the most germ-infested establishments they’ll ever set foot in. All of these germs are consolidated into one building that your child, as well as faculty, are now surrounded by. As a result, the CDC has concluded that children in public schools average eight to twelve cases of colds or flus annually. When these easily transmittable contagions hit the homefront, adults also have to be on the lookout. Influenza, strep throat, respiratory viruses and the common cold are the most common and most easily spread in a family household.

There are some key things parents can make sure their children do to keep themselves, as well as the rest of the family healthy throughout the school year. The old preventative techniques; getting regular sleep, exercising, being aware of covering your sneezes/coughs, etc. are all a great foundation to build off of for one’s overall well-being. Then there’s washing your hands. A lot of parents think they’ve gotten their kid(s) into the habit of doing this regularly, but a recent study found that only 28% of children in elementary school are doing it properly (see our blog “HOW CLEAN ARE YOUR HANDS, REALLY?”). Another key, and often forgotten part of the equation is diet. It might be a good idea to look into what’s included in your local school’s lunches. Children have a much more sensitive immune system and should ultimately have a regular intake of immune-boosting foods like fruits, veggies and even fish. Finally and most importantly – if your kid is sick, don’t send them to school! There’s a lot of pressure on parents to make sure their children are in attendance, but forcing a contagious child to go to school can then infect others and put many more parents in the same situation.

SOURCES:
www.health.usnews.com
www.fcs.uga.edu
www.cdc.gov