As a result, alternatives have been sought. Certain naturally occurring edible compounds found in plants – dietary polyphenols – have been shown to have some beneficial effects similar to HRT but without the appreciable adverse effects.
Grape, soy and kudzu are dietary polyphenols. One research lab investigating them through several studies has found they can blunt cognitive loss, hypertension and insulin resistance in an experimental model.
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Menopausal women are at relatively high risk for memory loss, high blood pressure and diabetes. A decade ago, the standard treatment for these problems was long term hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Grapes, soy and kudzu are dietary polyphenols.
Soy for menopausal women:
Menopause women suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. The symptoms can make the menopausal women irritated and contribute to fatigue, depression and insomnia. It is noticed that high intake of soy in the diet is contributing to the reduced menopausal symptoms.
Soy contains special chemicals called phytochemicals which fight diseases and illnesses. In soy products, phytochemicals known as phytoestrogens are present in large quantities. These phytoestrogens help combat the menopause symptoms. The beneficial soy estrogen is isoflavone. Isoflavones help in reducing the risks of diseases like heart disease and osteoporosis in menopausal women.
Soy helps in increasing the bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. The sources of soy are soy flour, soy beans, tofu, and fortified soy milk.
Kudzu for menopausal women:
Kudzu root contains number of isoflavones like diadzein, and genistein. The compounds of kudzu root can affect neurotransmitters, menopause syndromes and migraine and cluster headaches. It also improves microcirculations, dilate coronary artery, reduce heart rate, increase blood stream volume of brain and coronary artery, and reduce index of myocardial oxygen consumption to improve metabolism of ischemic myocardium.
Kudzu is effective in treating hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Phytoestrogens present in kudzu protects against bone loss in menopausal women with osteoporosis. Phytoestrogens of kudzu are also effective in improving thinking ability and memory in postmenopausal women. They help in lowering cholesterol levels and when combined with other herbs like soy, they give estrogenic effects.
Grapes for menopausal women:
Grape seed extract is a useful supplement to blunt high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. High blood pressure increases with increasing age and it increases in menopausal women.
High blood pressure is related to coronary heart disease, stroke, and renal disease. Before menopause, women have low arterial pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease. But, after menopause, women have increased risk of hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Grape seed polyphenols have several benefits like anticancer and vasorelaxant effects. They are powerful antioxidants with great potency than E vitamin and C vitamin.
Therefore the three polyphenols: soy, kudzu and grapes blunt high blood pressure, insulin resistance and cognitive decline when estrogen is not present.