From mood swings and hot flashes to weak bones and weight gain, the side effects of menopause are never fun. In the past, we have discussed how diet can play a role in reducing these symptoms. While certain foods such as caffeine, alcohol and chocolate can trigger side effects, fresh, whole foods can help keep them at bay. The power of a plant-based diet has been demonstrated again and again by women who have adopted the Hallelujah Diet and been relieved of menopause-related side effects.
Today, new research is suggesting that diet may even be able to delay the onset of menopause in the first place – all the more reason to switch to the Genesis 1:29 diet today.
Researchers from the UK have surmised that a diet high in refined carbohydrates will speed up the beginning of menopause, while a diet filled with legumes and fish may push back the onset of menopause and its side effects. Around the world, the severity, onset and symptoms of menopause vary greatly from one woman to another. Past research has indicated that genetics and external factors can play a role in the age at which menopause first begins, a press release on the study noted.
To determine just how much of a role diet plays, the study, published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, analyzed 35,000 women between the ages of 35 and 69. All participants were taken from the UK Women's Cohort Study. These women had experienced a natural menopause between the start of the study and the follow up. A prior history of all factors that would impact menopause was taken into account. The women recorded what they consumed each day with a food frequency questionnaire.
Four years later, it was concluded that the average age of menopause onset was 51, and 914 participants went through natural menopause between the ages of 40 and 65. The researchers reported that food consumption contributed to the age at which menopause began:
- For each added daily serving of refined carbs, women were found to reach menopause 1.5 years sooner.
- For each added daily serving of fresh legumes and oily fish, women were found to delay menopause by more than 3 years.
- Increased daily supplementation of zinc and vitamin B6 were also found to delay the onset of menopause.
"Our findings confirm that diet may be associated with the age at natural menopause," the study concluded. "This may be relevant at a public health level since age at natural menopause may have implications on future health outcomes. Health practitioners might thus also need to take into account the diet of women when dealing with menopause-related issues."
Though fish is not a part of the Hallelujah Diet, we do recommend the use of a high quality fish oil or DHA for the benefits found in the long chain omega 3 fatty acids. Based on the findings of this study it is likely that the use of fish oil or DHA along with legumes may have an impact on the timing of menopause. Avoiding refined carbs like white bread and pasta may also help to delay the onset of menopause. Consuming a diet of fresh, plant-based foods can help ease and reduce side effects associated with menopause.