According to recent studies, having a high intake of barley, brown rice, oatmeal, soya, and tofu may protect you from early menopause.
The study indicated that women who consume about 6.5 percent of their daily calories as vegetable protein had a significant 16 percent lower risk of early menopause, compared to those whose intake was approximately 4 percent of calories.
First author Maegan Boutot and Prof Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson directed the study. The authors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explained that dietary vegetable protein intake is associated with ovarian aging, and may identify ways for women to modify their risk of early onset of menopause and associated health conditions.
Early menopause is caused by the end of ovarian function before the age of 45, and affects about 10 percent of women. It is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and early cognitive decline, the authors say.
The team analyzed 116,000 women aged 25-42 in 1989, and the participants were asked to report how often they ate a single serving of 131 foods, beverages and supplements over the previous year, from “never or less than once a month” to “Six+ per day.”
For a woman with a 2,000 calorie per day diet, the authors said that this is equal to three to four servings of such foods as enriched pasta, breakfast, cereal, tofu, and nuts, or about 32.5 grams a day.
The authors explained that women consuming nine or more percent of their calories from vegetable protein had a hazard ratio of 0.41 (95 percent confidence interval = 0.19-0.88) compared to those eating less than four percent.
Maegan Boutot and her adviser Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson said: “A better understanding of how dietary vegetable protein intake is associated with ovarian aging may identify ways for women to modify their risk of early onset menopause and associated health conditions.”
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