In the News: Eating Vegetable Protein May Prevent Early Menopause, Eating Certain Foods Before Bed May Improve Sleep, Long-Term Breastfeeding Linked to Cavities

Eating more vegetable protein may prevent early menopause. A study at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, scientists have found that consuming foods like whole grains, tofu, and soy may prolong reproductive function and keep early menopause at bay. They also found that eating enriched pasta, certain types of bread, and cold cereal could also push off the start of menopause and that eating animal protein didn’t produce the same effect. For a woman on a 2,000 calorie diet, experts recommend eating three to four servings of these veggie protein foods, with the servings fluctuating based on BMI, age, and lifestyle habits. The next stage of research will have to look at the impact of soy-based protein versus non-soy vegetable protein to determine how it effects the ovaries. Wondering if you’re at risk for early menopause? Take this quiz. (SD)

Snacking on certain foods before bed may improve sleep quality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a third of adults are not sleeping enough. As it turns out, diet can play a role in how effectively you snooze. Researchers suggest eating foods high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that your body converts into melatonin and serotonin, both of which help you relax and feel drowsy. Snacks rich in this ingredient include granola, unsweetened cereal, whole grain crackers, milk, and turkey. You can also snack on oranges, bananas, and pineapples to increase melatonin. Looking to sleep better? Find out your sleep chronotype first. (CNN)

Long-term breastfeeding linked to more pediatric cavities. According to Pediatrics journal, breastfeeding children for two years and up can increase the likelihood of cavities. When studying 1,129 children in Brazil, researchers found that 23.9% had severe cavities and 48% had at least one cavity. Children who were breastfeed for over two years had more than double the risk of having serious dental issues, whereas kids who were only breastfed for a year or less had a much smaller risk. When looking at the reasons, experts explain that a lot of these breastfeeding sessions take place at night and more frequently over all, which makes it difficult to keep the teeth adequately clean during these hours. Another explanation links prolonged breastfeeding with a higher consumption of sweets and a lower income background, which can explain why there are dental health issues. (CNN)