Monday, December 14, 2009

Nasi Lemak Makes Me Sleepy!

In the past, I've always complained of uncontrollable sleepiness in office (as those who IM me during office hours will know). However a couple of months back, I started to use my free time to study The Word, and my sleepiness problem got better. So it has been awhile since I've had a terminally sleepy day.

Last week, I decided to buy a pack of 'Nasi Lemak' for breakfast. When I came in to office, I did my work first before attacking my 'Nasi Lemak' (directly translated as Fat Rice). The effect was not immediate, but I suddenly started feeling so helplessly sleepy and at first, couldn't explain why I felt so. I had had a full night of sleep save for the few minutes when I woke up with an ENT allergy (which Xyzal helped to cure). Then it dawned on me that it was the effect of too much carbohydrates! Even my brain was working slower!

While in uni, I took a course on Food and Nutrition by Dr Salihin Baba, and he told us in a humorous way, why we felt sleepy after a meal. It was because more blood was needed in the stomach area in order to hasten the digestion of food. As an effect, less blood is pumped to the brain and so, comes the sleepiness as the brain cells receive less oxygen. Perhaps he said it in a too light-hearted way that many of us thought he was joking. But in actuality, it is a fact! Anyway, here's an article that explains this process better.

I think perhaps I should decrease my 'Nasi Lemak' consumption. A friend said that it makes us "stupider" (in her own words)! Hahahaha...

However, if we try to break down what goes into preparing this Malaysian specialty, it doesn't seem like such an evil food. Take a look:

The 'lemak' rice part:
polished rice (high glycemic index - BAD for sedentary people like me)
coconut milk (medium chain fatty acids - GOOD, fast digestion)
ginger (anti-cancer and GOOD for getting rid of 'wind' or 'foong' in Chinese)
screwpine leaves (gives nice aroma)

The 'sambal' part:
cooking oil (too much is BAD, it's better to use palm oil)
onions (gives great flavour and aroma - GOOD as antibacterial, antifungal)
anchovies (GOOD source of calcium)
belachan (too much is BAD I guess - due to chemicals used during processing)
chillies (GOOD - has many benefits, while too much could burn your stomach)
tamarind (GOOD antioxidant)
chilli paste (might be BAD if it's store-bought)
sugar (too much is BAD)

The sidelines:
cucumber (GOOD for skin)
hard-boiled egg (GOOD - protein)
fried anchovies (fried - BAD)
roasted peanuts (roasting kills the good in it, so its BAD - especially if fungus is accidentally overlooked)

So there seems to be a tie between the GOOD and BAD. I started out thinking there were more GOOD ingredients than BAD ones. So I guess I was neither right nor wrong...

(Suddenly lost interest in posting... this post doesn't seem to have hit the point I was thinking off... Sorry)

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