"Bananas and Dates make me sleepy" Michael Arnstein
"I can easily eat 45 bananas a day" Durian Rider
Why the vast difference? Based on the above statements there is obviously somewhat of a difference - is it because we all have a different tolerance to the GI (Glycemic Index) or GL (Glycemic Load) levels in food?
I did an experiment on myself -
Fixed - 3 liters of water daily, exercise fairly the same each week, 10 hours of sleep min.
- One week all bananas and dates (3000cal not including salad) huge salad for dinner
- One week all high water content fruit (3000cal not including salad) huge salad for dinner
- One week with steel cut oats/brown rice/potatoes/lentils/split pea etc (3000cal not including salad) huge salad for dinner.
After most meals I would take blood and calculate blood sugar via a meter....I would also rate my nap needs 15 minutes post meal (1 = ready to roll - 5 = Bed needed now). Some meals would make me tired others would not. My blood sugar levels were always perfect; however, I could not keep my eyes open after certain meals.
I then eliminated every food that made me tired (they happen to be all of the higher GI foods) then presto = feeling great! For me I need lower gi foods (NOT lower carb) lower GI - huge huge huge difference.
Is it possible we all have different Insulin reactions to different foods? For me bananas or a huge batch of grapes would leave me so so tired. A blood glucose reader told me I was perfect - it "lied" - I needed an immediate bed. Lower GI foods left me feeling great.
These our just my observations - what are yours?
NOTE: High vs Low GI - most fruits and veggies are considered low GI compared to typical SAD diets. However, there is still a huge variance between many fruits and veggies.
Although I do not believe in his eating protocol - The Blood Sugar Solution via Dr Hyman explains things nicely.
I'm not sure what his eating protocol is but I take any non raw vegan research with a grain of salt. Doing research on SAD eaters compared to raw vegans is going to be apples to oranges. Our bodies are different when they're not under attack and clogged up from all the garbage.
+1 Chris, results will be totally skewed when folks are still eating bowel-clogging nasties.
I wonder if the "law of adaptation" can be applied for eating some fruits. I guess we all have our personal staple fruits where our main calories are coming from. Our body may adapt or become optimised for this, and switching your main calories sources back and forward may give some issues, that have noting to do with the fruit, but the regulation in your body. I can personally eat almost any fruit when ripen, but I notice that if I switch from banana's with berries smoothies (2L) as main staple to dates (500g) with apples and distilled water (1,5 kg) smoothies (2L), my stomach doesn't always enjoy this in the first one or two days.
Personally I have never experienced sleepiness or any negative effects from bananas or dates, they are my all time fav food! I do make a point however of always being hydrated before eating and this plays a VERY important part in how these low water fruits digest and assimilate. This may be the difference, most people (including fruit eaters) don't drink enough water so this will always skew results.
Hey AD, I know you said you were drinking 3litres of water a day (which is great) but maybe you just needed more. I've known some clients to need as much as 6litres a day as they have come from very dehydrated backgrounds.
Great point BananaGirl. I noticed not only a definite improvement in overall digestion (from great to perfect!) when I added an extra quart of water, going from 3.5-4.5 to 4.5-6 quarts on hot days. Even more by at least two or three more quarts if I am stupid enough to work outside in the sun on 90 F+ degree days!
But I noticed something else now that you mention it! I can't believe how I failed to realize this until just now. When my water intake level dropped for a few days to 3 quarts, I noticed a slight tiredness right AFTER I consumed my usual ten or more banana meals. The banana smoothie - moment of fatigue was the culprit. I had not experienced this in months. So I hate to get slightly dehydrated on purpose just to test this out again, but I will continue to be aware...so I can be 100% certain. The beauty of my diet and lifestyle is that the food/ fitness/ rest program is so regular that it is very easy to track any reactions due to even the slightest change.
I didn't know this but a google search showed that bananas, oats, dried dates are particularly high in tryptophan. Now on the Wiki page this is where it gets interesting:
"It has been demonstrated in both animal models and humans that ingestion of a meal rich in carbohydrates triggers release of insulin. Insulin in turn stimulates the uptake of large neutral branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), but not tryptophan (an aromatic amino acid) into muscle, increasing the ratio of tryptophan to BCAA in the blood stream. The resulting increased ratio of tryptophan to BCAA in the blood reduces competition at the large neutral amino acid transporter (which transports both BCAA and aromatic amino acids), resulting in the uptake of tryptophan across the blood–brain barrier into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Once in the CSF, tryptophan is converted into serotonin in theraphe nuclei by the normal enzymatic pathway. The resultant serotonin is further metabolised into melatonin by the pineal gland. Hence, this data suggests that "feast-induced drowsiness"— may be the result of a heavy meal rich in carbohydrates, which, via an indirect mechanism, increases the production of sleep-promoting melatonin in the brain."
Found this interesting as well when I was trying to find a link with grapes as you mentioned:
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found that potassium may be one of the elements responsible for deep, slow-wave sleep. Their research on fruit flies identified a gene regulating potassium flow as essential for fruit-fly sleep. While a link between potassium and sleep in humans has not been firmly established, foods like bananas which contain both tryptophan and potassium may be doubly good for sleep.
Grapes are another fruit that may contains melatonin. An Italian study appearing in the summer 2006 issue of Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture reports that there might be a link between some kinds of grapes and the sleepy antioxidant. But don't run out to the vineyard just yet—University of Milan professor Franco Faoro cautions "I would like to stress, as reported in the paper, that melatonin content in grape berry is very variable, depending on the varieties, and, possibly on the growing conditions,"
not sure of how dehydration plays into this process but I think there is a link, maybe it dilutes the tryptophan concentration???
thanks for posting this, TexasTim! very interesting indeed!
so now I won't have to shy away from bananas in the evening anymore :)
I get a lot of pain and unusual sensations when eating bananas and dried fruit.
I get astringency even with really ripe bananas!! hense having to give 30 to 50 nanas away today after buying them in for an experiment.
SO anyone in the cheshire area (england) who once them please get in touch asap!
For those of you who struggle with eating loads and loads of bulk but need water rich fruits that are afordable on a low buget too, what do you eat and recomend? I seem to be intermitantly good on situs but my tolerance for the taste varies and can get bored/intolarant easily need alot of variety. also recovering from ED, early stages so need to be able to eat constantly if needed and had probs with running out of fresh ripe produce.
im trying dates now. but not my favourate.
Had chronic fatigue/Fibro mialgia symptoms for years still get a lot of pain intermitanetly, especially after foods but still monitering that situation.
ANY advise greatly apreciated.
Very intresting on gi/gl/ insulin info was wondering about that re high gl foods myself. thanks for the experiment info :)
My observations from the overall feedback:
Overall everyone agrees a non processed diet is best! I personally feel that insulin resistance is and can be a primary culprit (Other items obviously important as well). I made some simple changes to my diet by understanding that higher GI fruits do not work well with me. My body fat decreased to 7% from 9% and I have consistent energy vs the ups and downs I used to have during the day.
So what fruits do you eat to get most of your calories? (within 811)