Aren’t moms just the greatest? Every Mother’s Day, families take time to remember and show appreciation for the women that make life a happy, safe, and healthy adventure. We love our moms, but sometimes we forget to take care of them the rest of the year. These super-women need our help, too!
Osteoporosis is a serious disease that affects many older women. It’s defined as the breaking down and weakening of bones, which results in frequent, easy breaks and fractures (especially in the bones of the wrist, spine, and hip). In the US, over 40 million people have low bone mass or osteoporosis.
About 50% of post-menopausal women will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes. Osteoporosis can also effect men, but it is much more common in women. Among 50—59-year-old Caucasian and Mexican-American women, 15% have osteoporosis in at least one area of their body; while 70% over the age of 80 have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis rates in African-American women are less than half the amount, but that fact doesn’t make it less of a health concern. Every post-menopausal woman is at somewhat of a risk of developing osteoporosis.
Fortunately, there are three simple steps that can help prevent osteoporosis… decreased drinking and smoking, more exercise, and increased calcium and vitamin D intake. The body uses calcium from food and supplements to build bones, and vitamin D allows that calcium to be absorbed from food sources, like milk! Lucky for you, vitamin D comes from the sun. To have a healthier summer, support your mom as she kicks some old bad habits. Ask her to run outside with you, letting your body get about 10 minutes of sun. And drink milk. LOTS of it! See how simple that is? And with just 10-20 minutes of effort each day, you’ll help her have healthier bones for longer.
It’s important to get enough calcium (about 1000 mg/day), and to make sure that most of it is from natural sources rather than supplements (because it’s more easily absorbed in its natural form). Fortunately, each 8-oz serving of milk or yogurt provides a grown woman with 25-30% of the recommended daily amount of calcium she needs.
So what can you do daily to help mom have better bone health and live a happier, safer, more adventurous life herself? Make sure she eats yogurt for breakfast and tofu, milk, or cheese with lunch. Just three easy, daily servings of dairy products or tofu will do the trick!
Okay I think I can handle that. Now somebody just needs to call my mom so she can remind me… Love you, Mom.