How Your Diet Affects Menopause
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. You might feel like your biological clock just started ticking. Possibly is it ticking somewhere in the middle of time? Rather, have the ticks started to slow down? A woman’s biological clock starts ticking once she’s able to give birth, and it keeps ticking until she reaches menopause.
While there are many factors that attribute to the age at which women begin going through menopause, did you know that your diet can affect when it comes? Let’s discuss!
When it comes to the female reproductive system, a woman is born with all of the eggs in her ovaries, which is around 1 million. Although she loses hundreds of thousands by the time she reaches puberty, she still has around a quarter million eggs left. On average, a female gets her period around age 12 which is when menstruation and ovulation begin.
Ovulation is when an egg leaves the ovaries and enters the Fallopian tubes in hopes of being fertilized. Menstruation occurs when the egg doesn’t get fertilized and is expelled from the body alongside the uterine lining. This process of menstruation and ovulation ends when a woman begins going through menopause, but when does this happen?
Fifty-one is considered the average age for when a woman goes through menopause. While this age can usually range from 48 to 55, there are multiple factors that can affect this. How old was your mother when she went through menopause? Are you overweight? Are you a smoker?
These are all factors that affect when a woman goes through menopause but the latest research has shown that there’s another factor that might affect it – your diet.
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Physicians, nutritionists, and dietitians are probably always stressing a healthy diet. What does this include? They stress a diet that’s high in vegetables while also including a healthy portion of fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. Whether or not you follow this diet could determine at what age you go through menopause.
An article published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health outlined an experiment conducted on women ages 40-65. After administering a questionnaire to learn their dietary habits, the women were called for a follow up four years later. The results of their findings are what led to the correlation between diet and the onset age of menopause.
It was discovered that women who consumed a high amount of fresh legumes (peas, beans, etc.) and oily fish would experience a later onset of menopause. Alternatively, women whose diets were high in starch and carbs, such as refined rice and pasta, would experience an earlier onset of menopause.
When looking at the onset age of menopause, it may vary as a pro or a con for some women. While some women might hate their period after their child-bearing years, many women hope to delay menopause in hopes of having more children. Many women might be tempted to point their diet in a particular direction with these specific foods, but before you do that, remember that vegetables and legumes are definitely healthier for you than a diet filled with starchy carbs!
Whether you’re waiting 5, 10, 15, or even 25 years before the onset of menopause, remember that there are tons of factors that contribute to its onset – even the meal you had for dinner yesterday!
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