Ever felt sleepy after eating a salad? Well, you're not losing your mind.
As healthy as salads are, ingredients like lettuce have surprising side-effects on the body.
So does salad make you sleepy? Here's everything you need to know...
Does salad make you sleepy?
There is evidence to suggest that eating lettuce can make you extra sleepy.
Lettuce has snooze-inducing side-effects triggered by a chemical known as lactucin.
Bitter-tasting lactucin is found in many different species of lettuce leaf and can have a remarkable effect on the body.
In fact, the effects of ingesting lactucin was compared to opium in Oregon State University’s Wellness Ink magazine.
Is it just lettuce that make you sleepy?
The salad bowl can apparently pack more of a punch than meets the eye.
It’s not just lettuce leaves that are known to contain high lactucin levels.
Other famously bitter vegetables, such as chicory, are equally rich in the chemical.
This means that, unbeknownst to us, we’ve all been eating greens that have been slowly sending us to sleep.
Precisely what the side-effects of lactucin may be are the subject of intense debate.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, a 2006 study concluded that the chemical does indeed have a calming.
It also has a pain relieving effect on the body, similar to many strong opioids.
The study, however, was focused on mice rather than humans.
Learn how to make our epic Uncle Ben's BBBQ Chicken And Rice Greek Salad:
Why does lettuce make you sleepy?
Nutrition expert Dr Pamela Peeke told the Huffington Post in 2015 that lettuce is one of the most potentially energy-sapping foods out there.
She reiterated the claim that "lettuce has sedative properties that affect your brain in a similar way to opioids."
Regardless whether lettuce may be potent or harmless, its chemical contents certainly raise a few eyebrows.
Though the sinister sounding ingredients in a lettuce leaf may set some alarm bells ringing, it's not all bad news for salad lovers.
Lettuce has surprising side-effects
In addition to causing potential drowsiness, research has shown that lactucin could have potentially analgesic pain relieving properties.
This makes it a potentially interesting product for the pharmaceutical industry.
Furthermore, some experts have suggested that lactucin may also be an anti-malarial chemical.
This could in the future provide the key to treating one of the world’s most deadly diseases.
Not bad for a little leaf most of us would rather leave on the side of a plate.
Our food is full of all sorts of surprising ingredients.
Whether you’re trying to stay healthy or looking to indulge, you can guarantee that you can discover something unexpected.
READ MORE: 7 causes for loss and changes in taste
As ever, it pays to know exactly what it is you are eating.
You don’t want to end up feeling awkwardly sleepy.