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Can diet help delay menopause?

There is new research that suggests the natural start of menopause can be delayed by including legumes and fish in your diet. On the other hand, it can be accelerated by foods that are rich in carbohydrates.


Your health can be affected by the age at which menopause occurs. The consequences can be varied. Menopause ceases the ability of your body to conceive. In addition to it, premature menopause that sets in before the age of 40 or early menopause, which occurs between the age of 40 and 45, can introduce several problems in your life.  


These complications might include osteoporosis, a condition that leads to a fall in bone density. It also includes becoming more vulnerable to contracting heart disease and loss of libido. 

You could be susceptible to encounter any or all of them as a result of premature or early menopause.


Going through menopause later in life, on the other hand, can open you up to a number of health benefits. For example, a study conducted on this subject resulted in the observation that if menopause occurs at a later stage in life, it might help to keep the cognitive abilities of women intact by keeping deterioration at bay. So it is vital to understand the factors that contribute to the beginning of menopause. 


A study was conducted in the United Kingdom at the University of Leeds to understand the connection between the beginning of menopause and diet better.  

Understanding the relationship between the onset of menopause and diet

There was a survey conducted of 35,000 women aged anywhere between 35 to 69. The study included information about the age that menopause occurred in the lives of these women. They also took into consideration factors such as reproductive history, weight, the amount of exercise and physical activity they indulge in, as well as various treatment plans they might be subscribed to, including hormone replacement therapy.

The subjects were asked to fill out various questionnaires. The researchers were able to observe that the subjects consumed an average of 217items of food every day. Among all the women who participated in the trial, approximately 914 encountered menopause naturally somewhere between the ages of 40 and 65.

How is menopause influenced by fish, carbs and legumes

The average at which a women encounters menopause is 51. The study put the spotlight on specific foods that might contribute to when menopause begins in a woman’s life. It was observed that ingesting one portion of carbohydrates could accelerate the onset of menopause by approximately 1.5 years. Carbohydrates include foods such as rice and pasta.

In contrast to that, including a portion of fresh legumes and fish to your diet can postpone the onset of menopause by approximately 3 years or more. Peas and beans are also beneficial in delaying menopause. Along with these foods, including vitamin B-6 and zinc can help push menopause to a later date.

When studying vegetarians and meat-eaters, it was observed that including meat in your diet leads to a delay in the onset of menopause by approximately 1 year. An increased intake of poultry and grapes in women who had never had any offsprings was linked to menopause setting in a much later date.

Free radicals can exert considerable influence

The study conducted was purely for observation purposes. So an analysis of what causes these delays and accelerations was not included. However, the researchers believe there are certain factors involved in the mechanisms that are responsible for these changes.


Reactive oxygen species negatively affect the process of egg maturation and their subsequent release. 

However, foods such as legumes are full of antioxidants that restrict these negative effects, consequently leading to a delay in the onset of your menopause. Components found exclusively in oily fish like omega 3 fatty acids are believed to excite antioxidant activity in a woman’s body. On the other hand, carbs are known to cause insulin resistance which can lead to an increase in the production of oestrogen and lead to an onset of early menopause.

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