Diet might delay — or hasten — the onset of menopause

How old you are when you go through menopause could be influenced by the foods you eat.


Image: © stepangilev/Getty Images

Could the foods you eat help determine when you start menopause? They might, says a new study published online April 30 by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Researchers found that women who ate more fish and beans and other legumes started menopause at a later age, while women who ate a diet heavy on refined pasta and rice went through the change earlier.

Why do the results matter?

How old a woman is when she goes through menopause may have implications for her health. Past research has linked certain health risks to menopause that occurs either very early (before age 40) or late (age 55 or older). Going through menopause at an earlier age has been associated with lower bone density and a higher risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, depression, and — in some instances — premature death.

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