The Hellenic body type, from this point onwards known as the “Hellenic booty,” is a common sighting on many Greek American women, esp. from a rear-end view. The apple bottom, or pear shape body type, with the bigger than average behind has always been admired and sought after by many, dating back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks had a name for it– callipygian, meaning “pertaining to or having finely developed buttocks” (The quest for the callipygian ideal.” (1)
The latest news about a study that proves that women with bigger butts have better brains, all over the scientific community and social media for the last few days, has many individuals within the Greek American community highly intrigued, including me!
Scientists from the University of Oxford state that:
“People who have more weight in their thighs and backsides often have a higher level of intelligence because they produce more Omega- 3 fats which contribute to brain development.
“The idea that body fat distribution is important to health has been known for some time,” stated Konstantinos Manolopoulos, the lead researcher of the Oxford study. (2)
Possible confirmation bias considering the lead researcher was Greek? Maybe, maybe not…
So what else according to this study does a bigger behind seem to provide?
16,000 women were included and those with larger apple bottoms tended to have lower levels of glucose and cholesterol while maintaining higher levels of Omega-3 fats. In addition, these women were predisposed to higher levels of leptin, a hormone that helps maintain energy levels by inhibiting hunger, leading to lower levels of obesity.
Not only does it seem that having a Hellenic booty is beneficial for the woman herself but for her offspring as well.
“Evidence shows that the fat content in a mother’s breast milk comes from her lower half of the body, which includes her thighs, buttocks, etc. This means that the high amount of Omega 3’s becomes a part of the baby’s balanced breakfast.” (3)
And THIS may be the real reason as to why so many men prefer bigger bootied women…
“The high amount of Omega -3 storage may be an evolutionary way of ensuring successful children, and men have a biological imperative to produce intelligent offspring.” (5)
Finally, as if the above weren’t enough, these specific body typed woman also seem to live longer healthier lives:
People with fat stored in their thighs and rear end are more likely to produce hormones to metabolize sugar, lowering their risk for things like diabetes and heart disease. Having a big butt is thus linked to having a longer life. (6)
It will come of no surprise when the origins of the Hellenic booty gets traced back to diet, specifically the Mediterranean diet. The same healthy fats, proteins and deep green vegetables that compose the Mediterranean diet not only promote healthy brain function BUTT are also the same type of foods that have been linked to the acquisition of a bigger booty.
So what about women who tend to gain excess weight in their bottom half, fail to acquire the curvaceous callipygian look and instead look something like this?
Here are some simple suggestions to help you slim down and rediscover the callipygian within you:
- Up your greens…a lot!
Eating fresh green leafy vegetables is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can regulate your hormones. Pear-shaped body types are usually a result of estrogen dominance and eating a large amount of greens allows the excess fiber to help regulate this dominance. Have a hard time eating salad several times a day? Try implementing a daily green smoothie; one smoothie can contain up to 4 cups of greens which equals one small salad.
- Eat coconut oil
The benefits of coconut oil are many including the regulation of hormone levels in the body. Coconut oil also provides the required building blocks for hormone regulation. You can cook with it, bake with it, eat it raw, or even add it to your coffee.
- Eat raw carrots
Raw carrots contain an indigestible fiber that helps the body perform its natural detoxification process more efficiently. Specifically, fiber binds to unused hormones and toxins and helps to pull them out of your body. Carrot fiber also prevents estrogen from being reabsorbed in the intestine, which can happen when your digestion is slow. Just remember to slice carrots lengthwise rather than width wise when preparing. Chopping carrots across actually damages this fiber lowering its effectiveness.
- Practice phytotherapy
Phytotherapy is the use of medicinal plants to heal and restore balance. Maca, ashwaganda and black cohosh are all examples of medicinal herbs and have a long history of helping individuals with a variety of ailments, particularly hormone regulation. These herbs can be drunken either in tea format, tincture and or taken as a supplement.
Hormones work like locks and keys. If ones off, they’re all off. So while destressing might not immediately affect the sex hormones (estrogen for example) it does immediately regulate the stress hormone, cortisol. Take a few minutes a day, several times a day, to do whatever you need to do to allow yourself some peace and relaxation, so as to be able to help regulate your other hormones as well.
So while many of us in the Greek community may be blessed with the genetic predisposition and the cultural cushion to have both the booty AND brains, how we treat our bodies AND our minds dictate what we actually look like.
This article was contributed by Roula Marinos Papamihail