A new cohort study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who consume the most plant-based protein decrease their risk of developing early onset menopause. Researchers studied the dietary patterns of 85,682 women and found that those who consumed three to four servings (about 32.5 grams) of plant-based protein daily slashed their risk of developing menopause before age 45 by 16 percent. The researchers found that a one percent increase in plant-based protein amounted to a six percent decreased risk in early onset menopause. Consuming just one serving of red meat, however, led to a 12-percent increase in developing the disorder. In addition to being a hinderance to those women to have children later in life, early onset menopause has been linked to premature mortality and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. “A better understanding of how dietary vegetable protein intake is associated with ovarian aging may identify ways for women to modify their risk of early onset of menopause and associated health conditions,” the study’s researchers concluded. A plant-based diet has previously been shown to benefit other aspects of women’s health. A study published last year in the British Medical Journal found that teenage girls who consumed fruit and vegetables slashed their risk of developing breast cancer later in life by 25 percent.