Mother and daughter gardening

May is the month when we celebrate mothers and those who serve in a motherly role.  May 14-20 is National Women’s Health Week .  Many times women take care of family, work and community, but do not take care of themselves. It is important that women practice good health habits, because others often view them as a health role model for the family. It is important that women get the nutrients, physical activity and regular check-ups that they need to remain healthy.

Hand holding fresh produce

Eat Right:

  • Know what is in the foods you choose.
  • Aim for 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products per day.
  • Drink water.
  • Eat 5-6 ounces of protein foods such as lean meat, turkey, fish, eggs and beans per day.
  • Eat 2 servings of fruits without added sugars.
  • Include 3 servings of whole grains.
  • Include iron rich foods to help increase energy levels. Lean red meat, chicken, beans, lentils, pork and fish are some good sources of iron.
  • Include dietary fiber by choosing plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods.  This can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and aid with weight loss.
    • Ages 18-50: 25 grams per day
    • Over 50: 21 grams per day


Folic Acid:

  • If you are of childbearing age you need enough folic acid to decrease the chance of birth defects.
    • Citrus fruits
    • Leafy greens
    • Beans
    • Peas
    • Fortified cereals, bread and rice


Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium: 

These nutrients help support bone health and decrease the chance of developing osteoporosis; women have a higher risk for developing osteoporosis.

  • Calcium: 1,000 milligrams per day: Good sources include dairy, oatmeal, leafy green vegetables and garlic.
  • Magnesium: 360 milligrams per day: Good sources include cucumber, celery, seeds, green beans, leafy green vegetables and halibut.
  • Vitamin D: 6,000 International units per day. One half hour of direct sunlight, salmon, shrimp and vitamin D fortified dairy products.


Limit these:

  • Soft drinks
  • Sweets
  • Fatty meats
  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods


Limit sugary drinks

Increase physical activity:

  • Helps control weight and stress and build strength
  • Minimizes the chance of getting/helps improve certain diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension
Various types of physical activities

Practice healthy habits:

  • Do not skip breakfast
  • Eat regular meals and include snacks
  • Boost energy levels with high quality protein
  • Use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
  • Get the adequate amount of sleep
  • Enjoy time with friends and family

Get regular health check-ups

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