Want to know how healthy you’ll be in the future? You might want to start by checking out what your mum’s health report card looks like.
Actress Gwyneth paltrow (right) with her mum, actress Blythe danner.
Take Action if Your Mum…
Breaks her hip
It means your own risk of doing the same thing could accelerate by a decade – experts say a 55-year-old woman whose mum has had a hip fracture has the same risk of fracture as a 65-year-old.
It’s because genetic factors are responsible for determining 50 to 90 per cent of bone mass. In fact, researchers have discovered 56 genetic variations that control bone density, which can increase fracture risk by more than 50 per cent.
To fight it: Eat at least two fruit and five serves of vegetables a day. Both are naturally rich in potassium salts, which play a vital role in improving bone health. By reducing something called “bone resorption” the salts help prevent osteoporosis, say UK researchers.
Actress marsha yuen (left) with her mum, veteran actress Cheng pei pei.
Had a stroke
Before she turned 65 your own risk of having one triples. All of us should pay attention to modifiable stroke actress marsha yuen (left) with her mum, veteran actress Cheng Pei Pei.
Risk factors, like blood pressure, physical activity levels and smoking. However, actively addressing these risk factors is especially important for people with this family history, whose genes increase their stroke risk further, say the researchers behind the finding.
To fight it: Exercise at least four times a week. Work out hard enough to break into a sweat each time, and your risk of having a stroke is 20 per cent lower than someone less active. It’s thanks to exercise’s beneficial effect on traditional stroke risk factors, like blood pressure and weight, say Australian researchers.
Actress rumer Willis (left) with her mum, actress demi moore.
Hits menopause early
You’re six times more likely to experience the same thing, which means entering menopause before you reach 45 – at least six years earlier than average. The big deal? Losing estrogen earlier than usual can bump up your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
To fight it: If you smoke, stop. Cigarette smoke damages DNA, which is one reason why smokers reach menopause two years earlier than nonsmokers, on average. And eat plenty of low-fat dairy foods, after US researchers linked them to delaying menopause.
Model kaia Gerber (left) with her mum, supermodel Cindy Crawford.
You’re between four and 10 times more likely to develop it too, compared to someone with no family history of Alzheimer’s, which is the most common type of dementia. And while your risk rises if either parent has the disease, it’s significantly higher when it’s your mum who’s affected.
To fight it: Start following the MIND diet, a brain-healthy diet that cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 50 per cent. It means eating plenty of vegetables (particularly green leafy ones), wholegrain, nuts, berries, beans, fish, poultry, olive oil and a little wine, and avoiding red meat, butter, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried food.
Actress kate hudson (left) with her mum, actress Goldie hawn.
Your risk of developing it too, doubles. And it’s even higher if your mum was diagnosed before her 50th birthday. There are at least 40 different genetic markers that have been identified as playing a role in increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the good news is that the function of at least 50 per cent of them can be modified by healthy lifestyle habits.
To fight it: Drink an extra cup of black coffee a day, say US scientists. That’ll reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 per cent. But, most importantly, watch your weight and be physically active, the researchers advise.
Good News if Your Mum:
Celebrates her 75th birthday
Your risk of dying any time soon falls by 19 per cent. In fact, it falls by 19 per cent every decade that your mum lives past 65 – so if she celebrates her 85th birthday, your mortality risk falls by 40 per cent.
To get the same benefit: drink a cup of chamomile tea every day. That can lower the risk of death from any cause by 29 per cent.
Celebrates her 91st birthday
Your risk of developing cancer falls by 24 per cent, say US researchers, who found that having a “long-lived parent” meant their children were also less likely to have a stroke.
To get the same benefit: Eat a 28 g serve of nuts thrice weekly. do that and your risk of dying from cancer will fall by 40 per cent.
Doesn’t have many wrinkles
There’s a good chance you will age in a similar way. This is because mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells, are passed down to us from our mothers.
So if your mum’s skin is relatively wrinkle-free, you could experience the same thing. to get the same benefit: Use sunscreen on your face every day. That can lead to developing 24 per cent fewer wrinkles, say Australian researchers.
Has got good muscle tone
She might have what scientists call “muscular genes”. While research proves that you always need to do resistance training or physical activity when trying to build muscle, people with muscular genes require less exercise to see results.
To get the same benefit: Make sure you eat plenty of protein as this enhances the effects of strength training.