Mother’s Day is coming up during National Osteoporosis Month. What a perfect time for mom to remember to get the calcium she needs in her diet! Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bone weakness and fragility, and it affects approximately 9 million Americans. Low bone density is also an issue. Around 60 percent of adults over the age of 50 are at risk for breaking a bone due to low bone density. Women are more at risk than men (about one in two, versus one in four men) of breaking a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. While there’s no cure, the good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis and low bone density, which are listed below:

  • Get the calcium and vitamin D you need every dayfamily_eating1
  • Do weekly strength training exercises
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol (less than one to two drinks per day)
  • Discuss osteoporosis with your doctor, who may consider a bone density test

How Much Calcium? Adults ages 19-49 require 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily, and adults over the age of 50 have a requirement of 1,200 milligrams (mg) each day.

CALCIUM IN COMMON FOODS

Food

Estimated Calcium (mg)

Low-fat milk, 8 ounces 300
Plain yogurt, 6 ounces 300
Mozzarella, part skim, 1 ounce 200
Canned salmon (with bones), 3 ounces 180
Ice cream, ½ cup 150
Cooked kale, 1 cup 95
Low-fat cottage cheese, ½ cup 70
1 whole orange 50

 

As you can see, dairy products are a great source of calcium. In addition to including these foods in your diet, cooking with high-calcium foods is another way to get your share. (Bonus: they’re good for your heart too. The DASH Diet recommends three servings of dairy every day to keep blood pressure under control, and help with weight control.

Easy Recipes for Mom:

Just remember, moms: exercise, and get the calcium you need daily to keep those bones strong this Mother’s Day—and all year round!