Protect Mom’s Bones this Mother’s Day


By Sharon Palmer

There was a reason Mom instructed you to eat your “peas and carrots” as a child. She understood that eating vegetables was good for your health; and Moms all over the globe agree. No matter where people live, vegetables and fruits have been staple components to a healthy diet for centuries, providing important nutrients linked to optimal health.

Every day, dietitians now advocate for loading up at least half of your plate with a colorful assortment of fruits and vegetables. When you eat a variety of produce selections – and there are hundreds to choose from – you’re protecting yourself from cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, age-related eye diseases, lung diseases, chronic inflammation, and even bone loss or osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis – a condition that approximately half of the American population over 50 years old is projected to have by 2020 – can lead to weakened bones and an increased chance for bone breakage. For women especially, maintaining healthy bones becomes increasingly important as we age.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help prevent osteoporosis. By engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, and eating a well-balanced diet emphasizing a variety of fruits and vegetables – such as tomatoes – you are well on your way to stronger and healthier bones. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the Nutrition Health and Aging in 2011 suggests that consuming lycopene-rich foods daily, such as tomato products, may help reduce the amount bones break down in postmenopausal women. It is thought that lycopene’s powerful antioxidant properties help to protect bones; and since cooked tomatoes, are the number one source of lycopene in the American diet, you now have a new reason to pile them on to your plate.

So with Mother’s Day just around the corner, why not treat Mom to a delicious meal that not only satisfies her taste buds but protects her precious bones, too?

Frittata copy


Tomato, Potato and Asparagus Frittata

Nothing will make Mom feel more spoiled than this delicious brunch – served at the kitchen table or as breakfast in bed! Packed with antioxidant-rich and bone-protecting lycopene, you’ll be giving Mom the gift of health packaged nicely in a home cooked meal.


6 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup asparagus, sliced into ½-inch slices on the diagonal

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ pound baby red potatoes, diced into ½-inch cubes and boiled until firm but tender

1 ounce prosciutto, chopped

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/3 cup prepared tomato salsa



  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Beat eggs, milk, basil, and pepper until smooth. Mix in feta cheese. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a 10-12 inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté until crisp-tender, add garlic and sauté another minute. Add potatoes and prosciutto, and sauté two more minutes.  Pour tomatoes over top and arrange ingredients evenly in skillet.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over skillet mixture and cook (without stirring) for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. When the center is beginning to firm, top with parmesan cheese and increase oven temperature to broil. Broil for 1-2 minutes, watching closely for ideal browning, and remove.
  6. Let sit 2 minutes, slice into wedges, and serve with one tablespoon of salsa on top.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving: 190 calories, 12 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 518 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

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