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Love Your Heart! (FN1689)

The heart is a pump that provides oxygen to each and every cell of the body. Feel your pulse: Each time your heart beats, it is moving blood by expanding and contracting. It is a muscle that is essential to life, which is why treating your heart with care is so important. Keeping your heart strong starts with good choices we make when we are young. Being physically active and eating a healthful diet keeps our heart beating strong.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D. Food and Nutrition Specialist

Tanya Lillehoff, Program Assistant (former)


Love Your Heart!

Did you know?

The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute, 100,000 times a day, 3.6 million times a year and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime!

A kid’s heart has to push blood through about 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers) of blood vessels; that’s long enough to circle the Earth 2½ times!

What did the rib cage say to the heart?

Got ya covered!

The heart is a pump that provides oxygen to each and every cell of the body. Feel your pulse: Each time your heart beats, it is moving blood by expanding and contracting. It is a muscle that is essential to life, which is why treating your heart with care is so important.

Keeping your heart strong starts with good choices we make when we are young. Being physically active and eating a healthful diet keeps our heart beating strong.

Tips for a strong heart:

  • Move your body at least 60 minutes every day.
  • Limit screen time (TV, computers, video games) to less than two hours a day.
  • Never smoke.

Eat heart healthy foods

Avoid “Sat” and “Trans,” the Bad Fats brothers. Check out the Better Fats sisters, Mon and Poly.

  • Saturated fats are found in butter and animal fat.
  • Trans fats are found in deep-fried foods and commercial baked goods.
  • Learn more about the “Fats family”.

Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables:

  • Eat as many different colors as you can throughout the day.
  • Help your parents the next time you go grocery shopping to pick out colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Try new recipes. Have you tried grilled fruits and vegetables?

Cheesy Barbecue Bean Dip

½ c. vegetarian baked beans
3 Tbsp. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. regular or hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
2 large carrots cut into diagonal slices (as dippers)
1 medium red or green pepper, cut into chunks (as dippers)

Place beans in small microwaveable bowl; mash slightly with fork. Stir in cheese and barbecue sauce. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for one minute; stir. Microwave for 30 seconds or until hot. Serve with corn chips, crackers, bell pepper chunks or carrot slices.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 80 calories, 2 grams (g) fat, 3 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 280 milligrams sodium

For more information, visit NDSU Extension Service

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