Serotonin is the, “I feel safe and secure”- neuro-transmitter!
It is believed women require and use 6 times as much serotonin as men.
Did you know about 60 percent of women over 40 are on anti-depressants?
Sugary, starchy, fatty foods signal the brain and body to release serotonin and unbeknownst to many, that 60 percent of serotonin is actually produced in our gut. Because our gut is closely linked to our decision making area- (hence the terms gut check and gut feeling) – and reward center of our brain, the desire for sugary, starchy serotonin increasing foods can literally be “overwhelming”. Our emotional brain, to which women have eight times the blood flow of men in times of real or perceived danger-, is many thousands of times stronger than our rational brain which- by the way, actually needs glucose (blood sugar) to function in good decision making -ouch! That’s a lot like needing your glasses to find your glasses! You know that sudden, often unexplainable occurrence of crankiness that creeps in women without warning? Well, we just explained it. This is the real culprit in the low blood sugar mood altering and ensuing couples- let’s say disagreements, ok arguments- that has unfortunately and prevent ably ruined many a relationship. If someone’s decision making capacity is decreased, their choice of words to express themselves or their needs may be hampered. Their body and brain are on an emotional drive for food, without the rational brake center of their brain to help them. Do you realize how difficult this is for a woman – especially not realizing what or why this happens to her?
We all know- men and women, particularly the female and male brain -have their differences but, this one may be the most significant reason for the notable differences in female- male weight gain. The reason I say this is because in an attempt to increase serotonin, to increase their “subconscious” feeling of safety and security, women also often crave comfort foods. The problem with seeking serotonin through those released via comfort foods is, of course, the obvious caloric cost. Add to that the stress involved from “not feeling safe and secure, the subsequent release of the stress hormone cortisol which is notorious for creation and retention of belly fat and the “terrible trifecta” is complete.