Women, take note! Eat more vegetables to cut early menopause risk
New Delhi: Eating tofu, soy and other foods high in vegetable protein cuts the risk of an early menopause by up to nearly 60 per cent, a major study has found.
Early menopause — the cessation of ovarian function before age 45 — affects about 10 per cent of women globally and is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and early cognitive decline.
Scientists from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and University Of Massachusetts at Amherst found that high consumption of vegetable protein was linked to a significantly lower risk of early menopause.
They tracked 116,000 women (aged 25-42 years) from 1991 to 2011 until they were all post-menopausal.
The study, appearing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that women consuming approximately 6.5 per cent of their daily calories as vegetable protein had a significant 16 per cent lower risk of early menopause compared to women whose intake was approximately four per cent.
For a woman with a 2,000 calorie per day diet, this was 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 researchers explained. However, no similar relation to eating animal sources of protein was observed.