Wouldn’t it be great if you asked your doctor how to deal with menopausal symptoms and she told you to eat plenty of chocolate and blueberry scones, and then wash it all down with copious amounts of red wine? Unfortunately, we’ve all lived long enough to know that life doesn’t work out that way, and when it comes to combating the effects of menopause, you’ll be advised to eat a different kinds of foods, namely those that are healthy.Yes, menopause may bring a gaggle of gruesome maladies, including hot flashes, dull skin, memory loss, and flatulence, but chocolate, flakey baked good, and dry wine won’t do anything to ease the pain (at least in the long run). Fortunately, there are some foods that will: Increase your soy intake. Recent studies indicate that middle-aged women who consumed at least three soy products a day reported positive benefits for their hearts and bones. Soy protein also can improve skin, hair, and nails. Once considered a tasteless waste of chewing, today’s soy products include flavorful foods, such as soy cereal and roasted soy nuts. Soy products also can reduce hot flash frequency.Fish fat makes you fabulous. Studies show that middle-aged people who consumed omega-3 fats on a regular basis scored higher on memory tests. These fats can be found in flaxseed, salmon, sardines, tuna, and in fish oil supplements. Drink green tea. Rich in antioxidants, green tea is good for strong bones and a healthy heart. Studies show that several cups of green tea every day can decrease the risk of stroke by 69 percent. You’ll also get your exercise by running to the bathroom all day. Cool it on the hot sauce. If you live anywhere south of the North Pole, you’ll probably suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. To help alleviate the problem, eliminate spicy foods and caffeine from your diet. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, and don’t go to bed on a full stomach. Fight flatulence. Sudden and uncontrollable flatulence is another cruel trick from Middle-aged Mother Nature. To help control symptoms, reduce the consumption of gas-producing foods such as green vegetables and beans. Don’t gulp food because you swallow air and it has to get out somehow. Also, don’t drink too much soda because the carbonation will create little tubas that like to toot every time you bend over. Hydrate your health. Drink six to eight glasses of water every day to help keep your skin clear and supple. Water also can reduce problems associated with cramping and constipation. And, nobody wants to be remembered as the cramping, bloated, wrinkled old woman who didn’t drink enough water.If you are what you eat, then I’m a deep-fried Twinkie. But, in a defiant effort to live long enough to irritate my great-grandchildren, I’ve decided to improve my diet, increase my exercise, and make it through menopause without hurting someone. It’s a lofty goal.