Going through “the change” doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, does it? Hot flashes, constant fatigue, and mood swings — most of us are in no rush to welcome any of those frustrating symptoms. Although there sadly isn’t a way to put them off forever, a doctor from the United Kingdom claims to have uncovered simple ways to stick a pin in menopause for as long as possible.
Philippa Kaye is a London-based physician who recently published The M Word: Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause. It’s currently only available in the UK (£8.99, Amazon) (you can have it delivered across the pond for just about $11.34), but luckily Dr. Kaye shared some of her tips about menopause (and putting it off) with the Daily Mail.
According to her research, it boils down to two specific types of food: oily fish and legumes. Kaye cites a study from the Journal of Epidemiology in 2018 which observed a large group of women between 40 and 65 through a four year period. The study claims that participants with higher intakes of oily fish and legumes “delayed [the] onset of natural menopause by 3.3 years.” Higher levels of vitamin B6 and zinc were also shown in those who reached menopause later in life.
“This might be that oily fish and legumes contain antioxidants which help prevent damage to the ovaries, though this is not conclusive,” Kaye explains. “Eating at least two portions of oily fish a week with plenty of legumes is a healthy option in general and may affect the timing of your menopause.”
Kaye also recommends quitting cigarettes if you’re a regular smoker looking to put off menopause. We all know smoking isn’t healthy, but she explains how it can cause clogged arteries and reduced blood flow, which then causes lack of oxygen to our organs — “that includes the ovaries, leading to earlier menopause.” See, it’s not just your lungs that will thank you for nipping that habit in the bud.
All of that said, everyone’s body is different and our genetic factors could outweigh any outside attempts we make to ward off menopause symptoms regardless. But, as Kaye pointed out, adding oily fish and legumes to your diet are healthy options anyway, so it can’t hurt to try!
If you need a reminder on which fish are the oily kind, look for types like trout, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and tuna. As for legumes, that’s a practically endless list of beans, peas, lentils, and even peanuts — plenty of options to mix around and enjoy.
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