Taking care of your heart health as you age

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Some changes in the heart and blood vessels are normal as we grow older. However, many others are due to factors that, with a little effort, can be changed and may help to maintain our heart health for years to come.1 Here are four things you can do to care for your heart, as you age.

  1. Limit unhealthy fats in your diet
    Fats are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, you should avoid consuming too much saturated fat and trans fats2, which contribute to the build‐up of plaque (fatty material) on the inside of blood vessels.3 Examples of foods high in saturated fats include cheese, pizza, animal products such as sausages, bacon, hot dogs and ribs, as well as butter, lard, coconut oil and palm oil. Trans fats include foods such as margarine and processed snacks e.g. cakes.2
  2. Reduce sodium
    High levels of sodium in your diet can increase blood pressure which may put extra strain on your cardiovascular system. Limiting your sodium intake is therefore an important part of looking after your heart. Avoid adding salt to your food at the table and check the sodium content of convenience foods carefully.4
  3. Eat oily fish
    Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel. Omega‐3’s help to maintain heart health and general well‐being. Include two to three portions of oily fish in your weekly diet, or take a daily fish oil supplement, such as Nature’s Own™ Fish Oil 1000mg or Nature’s Own™ Liquid Fish Oil to help maintain good heart function.5
  4. Exercise regularly
    An inactive lifestyle is one of the major risk factors which may affect heart health. Moderate exercise on a regular basis has many benefits for both mind and body. Aerobic exercise is great for maintaining heart health, as it strengthens both the heart and lungs and improves how the body uses oxygen. Good examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, cycling, skating, rowing, low impact aerobics and water aerobics.6

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Published March 7, 2014
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