5 Foods That Are Making You Sleepy
Forget turkey and crash-inducing candy—these surprising foods could be the reason you're counting the hours until bedtime.
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String Cheese and Yogurt
Sad but true: Dairy could be behind your fatigue. You may have digested it just fine when you were younger, but intolerances to the proteins in dairy (casein and whey) can develop as we age, and tiredness is a hallmark symptom. "At least 50 to 60 percent of my patients complain of fatigue, and I would estimate that 20 to 30 percent of those people feel better off dairy," says Lyla Blake-Gumbs, MD, from the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. (The mechanism isn't entirely clear, but it's believed that the body mistakenly develops an immunological reaction to the proteins, building an army of antibodies to mobilize against the proteins whenever they show up, resulting in fatigue.) Fatigue isn't usually the only symptom, but it's possible for it to present without GI problems, says Blake-Gumbs, which is why few people connect the dots to their diet. "Dairy is ubiquitous in our food supply," she says. "And a lot of processed foods that you wouldn't think of as dairy have milk solids and proteins in them. For example, anything with caramel flavoring likely has dairy additives in it."
Pick Yourself Up: If you notice an energy lag after you eat dairy, talk to your doctor about going on an elimination diet, a method that Blake-Gumbs often uses with patients in which all potential culprits are removed from your diet, then reintroduced one at a time to see which one is causing the problem.
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