Healthy lifestyle factors can go a long way in improving artery health and reducing their age. A new published study shows healthy artery ageing may even be possible in people 70-years-old and older. Alice H Lichtenstein, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, said: “This study showed that regardless of age, following a healthy lifestyle and controlling cardiovascular risk factors translates to fewer adverse heart disease events.”
How to make your arteries younger
Maintaining young and healthy arteries as you grow older will be very beneficial in the long run.
The American Heart Association advises these steps to prevent ageing and hardening of the arteries.
Lose weight (if overweight).
A healthy weight helps promote lower blood pressure, normal blood sugar and healthier cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Reduce blood sugar.
Fasting blood sugar should be under 100mg per litre. Over time, high blood sugar can significantly damage the blood vessels and arteries.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, lean meats, legumes, nuts, sees, vegetable oils and healthy dairy products.
Limit fatty red meats and processed meats, sugar-sweetened items and salt.
Be physically active.
Get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes (1hr 15minutes) of vigorous intensity physical activity (or a combination of both) every week.
Manage your blood pressure.
Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg is too high.
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Control your cholesterol.
Unhealthy cholesterol levels contribute to plaque buildup in arteries, called atherosclerosis, which makes arteries narrower and stiff.
Smoking and regular explosion to secondhand smoke massively increases your risk of developing heart disease and a stroke.
Although ageing of the arteries cannot be entirely prevented, there are a number of steps people can take throughout their lives.
Ideally, it is an effort that should start in young age and continue throughout your life because ageing of the arteries is a lifelong process.
Every step in the direction of a heathy lifestyle as noted above, is likely to help your cardiovascular health in the long term and keep those arteries young.
Ms Lichtenstein adds: “It is never too late to reap the benefits of a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity.
“Banish any excuse you might have for not making improvements – starting today.”
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