What is the best lunch menu to prevent sleepiness after lunch? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

What is the best lunch menu to prevent sleepiness after lunch?

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But if you really want to eat “ramen”, drink that drink 30 minutes before…

About 30 minutes before you eat “ramen,” drink tomato juice and then eat it.

Tomato juice is rich in water-soluble fiber. The soluble fiber wraps around the sugar taken from the meal and moves it slowly through the stomach and intestines, resulting in slower absorption of sugar. Since it suppresses the rise in blood glucose levels, “tomato juice before meals” is a good habit to make on ramen noodle days to prevent sleepiness after eating.

Erika Shinohara, a registered dietitian, told us.

A few minutes after lunch, sleepiness usually sets in. The sleepiness that interferes with afternoon work is related to the body’s natural rhythms and fluctuations in blood glucose levels caused by eating.

The human body has rhythms that cause drowsiness, one of which appears around 10 p.m. and the other between 1 and 3 p.m. Therefore, people become sleepy after lunch. Therefore, it is actually natural to feel sleepy after lunch, and this phenomenon happens to everyone during this time.

In addition to this, he points out, “Lunch, which tends to raise blood glucose levels, is also a cause. Blood glucose is the concentration of glucose in the blood. When we eat, the concentration of sugar rises, and insulin is secreted by the pancreas to control it. The body uses insulin each time we eat to keep sugar levels under normal control.

When blood glucose levels rise sharply with a meal, they then plummet like a roller coaster. The rhythm of drowsiness combined with a sudden drop in blood glucose makes it easy to become drowsy.

The NG lunch that tends to raise blood glucose levels rapidly and make you sleepy is a carbohydrate-intensive meal. Single-serving meals such as ramen noodles or rice bowls, fast food, and eating single-serving sweet breads or sandwiches can lead to sleepiness in the afternoon.”

It is not “eating too much” that makes you sleepy after lunch. A carbohydrate-intensive diet leads to intense sleepiness. Lunch selection is important for better afternoon performance (PHOTO: AFRO)

Sleepiness is not the only disadvantage caused by blood sugar spikes and drops. It can also be a factor that increases the risk of future illness, and care must be taken to maintain the health of the working-age population.

The excess sugar from wild swings in blood glucose levels can accumulate in fat and eventually lead to obesity. If the pancreas continues to be damaged by high insulin secretion, it can lead to diabetes, even in younger generations.

In addition, sugar combines with proteins in the body, resulting in a phenomenon called “glycation,” which deteriorates cells. Glycation ages all cells, including blood vessels and bones, and increases the risk of arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis, in addition to problems such as thinning and falling hair, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Low GI Foods” that Do Not Raise Blood Glucose Levels and Prevent Postprandial Sleepiness

Blood glucose levels rise and fall with each meal, but the key to preventing post-meal drowsiness is to make the rise as “slow” as possible. So, what should we base our lunch choices on? The “GI value” is an index that can be used as a reference when choosing a menu.

GI stands for “glycemic index,” and it indicates the degree of absorption of carbohydrates contained in food. It is based on the measured concentration of glucose in the blood up to two hours after ingestion. In other words, choosing a staple food with a low GI value can reduce the spike in blood glucose levels.”

In the early 2000s, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that “low-GI foods may reduce the risk of developing overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. As a rule of thumb, foods with a GI value of 55 or less are “low GI foods,” those with a GI value of 70-100 are “high GI foods,” and those in between, 56-69, are “medium GI foods. The foods in each category are as follows.

  • Low GI foods (GI 55 or lower): buckwheat, brown rice, whole-grain bread
  • Medium GI foods (GI 56-69): Pasta, somen noodles, rye bread, croissants, millet rice, oat rice
  • High GI foods (GI 70-100): Ramen noodles, udon noodles, white rice, glutinous rice, French bread, bagels, bread rolls, potatoes (French fries)

For lunch, soba (buckwheat noodles) is better than ramen or udon, brown rice, cereal grains, or barley rice is better than white rice, and brown bread is better than white bread.

However, just because a food is low GI does not mean that it is OK to eat a large amount. If consumed in large quantities, blood glucose levels can fluctuate wildly and directly lead to post-meal drowsiness.

The basic rule of thumb is to eat a well-balanced meal, combining staple foods (rice, noodles, bread), main vegetables (meat, fish, eggs, soybeans), side dishes (vegetables, seaweed), and soup. While incorporating the concept of GI value when deciding on a staple food, choose a set meal rather than eating a single meal, or add vegetables or seaweed to a single meal.

Soba is recommended as a low-GI noodle dish. If you have a “double carbohydrate” meal such as soba and onigiri because it does not raise blood glucose levels, the sugar content and calories will increase.

For example, if you have a beef bowl, add a side dish such as a salad, or change the soup in the set to pork or kenchin soup to complete a lunch that is less likely to raise blood glucose levels.

Set meals that provide protein and vegetables, such as sashimi, ginger yaki, tonkatsu (pork cutlet), and stir-fried meat and vegetables, are also the best lunch options. At a convenience store, rather than buying only one bento box, choose and combine individual items such as rice balls, meat or fish dishes, and side dishes such as salads and soaked vegetables separately to achieve a good balance.

Post-lunch “intense sleepiness” can be a result of sleep debt

People who feel unbearably sleepy and unusually sluggish after lunch every time they have lunch say that lunch is not the only problem. The cause also lurks in their eating habits and the way they spend their morning and evening hours.

Many people who feel sleepy in the afternoon have “sleep debt,” a debt that accumulates due to lack of sleep. They don’t get enough sleep at night, and the quality of their sleep is so poor that it interferes with their daytime activities. If you are getting enough sleep, the quality of your sleep may be deteriorating due to a hidden disease such as sleep apnea syndrome.

Most people who ‘can sleep anywhere,’ ‘fall asleep as soon as they get under the covers,’ or ‘fall asleep when they sit on the train’ are unaware of their sleep debt. In such cases, taking care only of lunch will not stop sleepiness. You should get at least six hours of sleep a day, ideally seven.”

In addition, skipping breakfast is also a bad habit that escalates post-lunch drowsiness.

Without breakfast, blood glucose levels rise more rapidly at lunchtime, which puts a strain on the body. If you eat carbohydrates, protein, and fiber at breakfast, your blood glucose level will slow down during lunch, which is the next meal. Start with something easy, such as adding tomato juice or vegetable juice to bread or boiled eggs.

Another effective measure is to take a short nap if you feel sleepy after lunch. Lie down at your desk or lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and rest for about 15 minutes. If you drink a cup of coffee before napping, the caffeine will begin to take effect about 30 minutes later, and your brain will be refreshed and you will wake up clearer.

The key to napping is to make sure that you do not sleep too deeply so as not to affect your nighttime sleep. Therefore, do not lie on the sofa or bed, but rest your brain and body for a short period of time.

If you are sleepy during the day, your lifestyle may be in a “negative cycle. For example, they may not wake up well due to lack of sleep and cannot eat breakfast. So, when they have lunch, their blood glucose level rises and falls rapidly, making them extremely sleepy.

Then you feel sluggish all day, work late, and look at your phone until just before you go to bed. In order to break such a bad cycle, please start with even one thing, such as choosing staple foods based on GI values, eating well-balanced meals, and reviewing your sleeping habits.

When a good cycle starts to turn, sleepiness after lunch disappears and work performance increases. Finishing work in time allows for more effective use of evening time, which also helps ensure a good night’s sleep. Adjusting your lifestyle with a diet that is less likely to raise blood sugar levels as a starting point will only be beneficial.

Erika Shinohara is a registered dietitian. She is a certified instructor of the Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine and the president of Health & Beautrition. She is the leader of Health & Beautrition, which provides easy-to-understand information on dietary habits that create health and beauty from within the body. While working as a member of a medical team at a general hospital and a nephrology and internal medicine clinic, she realized the importance of sleep and became a sleep improvement instructor and a sleep health coach.

  • Interview and text by Yoko Kemmochi

    Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1983, Yoko Nemmochi worked for 10 years in the editorial department of a health information magazine, editing monthly magazines and web media before becoming a freelance writer. Currently, she interviews, plans, and writes for doctors and specialists, focusing on health care and medical fields.

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