Once we become adults, especially middle-aged adults, we frequently hear about the importance of eating heart-healthy foods. But the message is leaving out a key audience: children.
Most people incorrectly believe that the processes that lead to heart disease begin in adulthood. In reality, the seeds of heart disease are sewn during childhood and adolescence. Studies have shown the silent build-up of plaque in the arteries can start in childhood, and results in heart disease symptoms in adulthood.
An inactive lifestyle, being overweight, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are all risk factors for heart disease from childhood on. Family history of heart disease is another risk. To compound the problem, only 14 percent of adults and 9.5 percent of teens eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Heart disease prevention is key. Guide your child to a healthier lifestyle from a very young age when good eating and exercise habits are still being formed. Reliv Now® for Kids provides a head start. Powered by LunaRich® soy powder to promote immunity and cardiovascular health, Reliv Now for Kids is the premier children’s nutritional supplement available today.
Heart-healthy lifestyle tips for every member of your family, young and old:
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every day — 60 minutes a day is even better. Take a family walk, hike or bike ride together or kick the soccer ball around.
- Limit time in front of the television, computer or with hand-held video games.
- Don’t use food to bribe or use as a reward. It creates an unhealthy relationship with food.
- Eat healthy fats in the form of nuts, seeds, and fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and cod to reduce triglycerides. Walnuts, flaxseeds and almonds can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Eat at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day. Tomatoes, onions and cranberries are great choices since they contain antioxidants and other nutrients to boost heart health.
- Watch out for added sodium and sugar in canned fruits and vegetables.
- Limit sodium intake and choose salt-free or reduced-sodium products.
- Limit saturated fats from beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, butter, cream and milk (2% or higher.)
- Avoid trans fats entirely. These are found in hydrogenated, processed foods such as many cookies and crackers.
- Monitor and manage cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- If you child is overweight, create a plan to lose the extra pounds.