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February: American Heart Month

February 12, 2016

February is a very busy month for celebrating the heart. For most of us, we immediately think of Valentine’s Day. Have you ever wondered how the connection of the heart and love came to be? Scientifically speaking, here’s how it works:  The brain sends signals to the adrenal gland, which secretes hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. They flow through the blood and cause the heart to beat faster and stronger. But what if you aren’t taking care of your heart, scientifically speaking?

We would like to take a step away from celebrating candy and chocolates to highlighting the importance of a strong heart and, more specifically, the strong heart of women.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The Stats

February is a very important month to raise awareness about heart disease. While the disease is often thought of as a “men’s” health issue, the American Heart Association wants to remind the public that it is the number one killer of women. One out of every three to be exact. Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease. And 64% of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Those are staggering statistics!

It is easy for women to ignore early-stage symptoms as they can take a very different form than that of their male counterparts. Women often have shortness of breath, pain in the jaw, back or upper abdomen, dizziness, light headed, vomiting and extreme fatigue.  Heart attack symptoms for women can often be very subtle so it is important to regularly have your heart checked and seek attention right away, even for the smallest of symptoms.

Risk Factors and Lifestyle Changes

So how does one minimize their risk for heart disease?  There are certain risk factors you cannot change such as your age, family history of heart disease (important to know), gender, and ethnicity. Risk factors you can change include smoking, alcohol intake, high blood pressure/hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol & triglycerides, obesity/overweight, physical activity and high stress levels.  Minimizing these risk factors can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.

The foods you eat can be very important in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.  If you are a chocolate lover like us you will be happy to know that cacao (dark chocolate) is a very heart healthy food. Yay! That is why Mayesa is committed to sourcing the best fair trade, organic cacao for our beverage.  We are the first beverage with a focus on cacao as a main ingredient.  For other heart healthy food recommendations, we invite you to visit the American Heart Association website.

We encourage you to impact the risk factors you can for heart disease and always conduct regular check-ups of your heart! Taking the time to love your heart will allow you to share your heart with others.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Mayesa!

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