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Foods that slow down—and speed up—menopause, according to science


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

It’s well understood that what you eat affects your hormones. (Exhibit A: breaking out a day after throwing yourself a pizza party.) Some foods bring balance to the body, while some knock things out of whack. Recently researchers learned just how strong the connection really is by noticing a correlation between certain diets and when women start going through menopause. It turns out that you just might be able to delay the process by tweaking your diet.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology, women who eat oily fish on a regular basis start menopause roughly three years later than those who don’t. Legumes were also linked to slowing the process down. On the other hand, a carb-heavy diet of pasta and rice was correlated to starting it earlier.

Women who eat oily fish on a regular basis start menopause roughly three years later than those who don’t.

“Vitamin B6 and zinc were also found to be associated with a later age at natural menopause,” the study reads. Also worth pointing out: “Women who were vegetarian had an earlier age at natural menopause compared to non-vegetarians.”

The findings weren’t from just a small handful of women, either: Data from over 14,150 women were analyzed. All the women did, however, live in the UK, so it wasn’t quite as diverse of a sampling pool as it potentially could have been. Still, the correlation is worth acknowledging as a reminder that what you eat really does affect more than many are often aware.

Speaking of menopause, these are the essential oils to help with hot flashes, muscle cramps, and more. And find out how some scientists are working to make menopause optional

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