Flora celebrates World Heart Day with heart-smart event

Thursday, September 29, 2022: In keeping with its purpose of enabling people to lead a vibrant and healthy lifestyle that results in a vibrant heart, Flora celebrated World Heart Day 2022 by hosting a feel-good educational event at Park Street, Colombo 2.

The evening commenced with all guests who were present at the event receiving a Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment (CVD) — a type of screening tool used to measure cardiovascular diseases which were provided by Ayubo Life. Thereafter, invitees and special guests were requested to participate in a 15 – minute segment of heart-smart yoga exercises titled ‘a healthy mind depends on a healthy heart. The renowned yoga instructor Annie Au–who has a degree in human kinetics from the University of British Columbia, trained in functional range conditioning (FRC), and specializes in yoga anatomy conducted this segment together with her husband, Aaron Wickramasinghe. After that, the proceedings got right down to business.

Following a calming and relaxing mini yoga session, was a panel discussion on ‘How to love and take care of your heart,’ moderated by Trishma Pinto. The panel consisted of consultant cardiologist Dr. Kishan De Silva of Kings Hospital, yoga teacher trainer Aaron Wickramasinghe and Stephanie Siriwardhana, former Miss Sri Lanka.

One of the leading general and interventional cardiologists in the country, Dr. De Silva knows what’s good for your heart. A personal fitness, nutritional coach, and former professional Muay Thai kickboxer, Aaron shared his deep knowledge of various forms of yoga and how essential and vital it is to have a balanced diet.

The speaking points for this wide-ranging panel discussion included advisory tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a heart-healthy diet and preemptive measures one can take to prevent the onset of coronary heart disease. The distinguished panelists discussed modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors that must be addressed to maintain a healthy heart.

Modifiable risk factors include smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise, unhealthy eating habits, and stress. The good news is that all these are things within your power to control through positive changes in diet and lifestyle.

Non-modifiable risk factors include age, gender, and genetics (if you have a family history of heart disease, it pays to switch to a heart-healthy diet and make preventative lifestyle changes).

The panelists also discussed what constitutes a heart-healthy diet. These include vegetables rich in nutrients (like leafy greens) and fruits, and plant-based proteins like beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Plus, vegetable oils and vegetable oil-based soft spreads (foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats), whole grains like brown rice, wholewheat bread, and oats, and the Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and in some plant-based spreads.

The evening concluded with a light-hearted satirical skit titled ‘Love your heart to live a vibrant life,’ performed onstage by the stand-up comedy duo Blok and Dino.

“World Heart Day is the perfect day to remind ourselves of what’s important in life– loving your heart,” said Tharindu Heenpelle, Marketing Manager, Upfield. “We can all benefit from learning what we can do to live healthier lives and what we can do to improve our quality of life. Everything starts with your heart! A healthy heart drives a vibrant life and vibrant lifers have full, rich lives filled with people and activities that they love. However, this lifestyle is only possible with energy created by a healthy heart. We at Flora believe that having great heart health sets you up for a healthy lifestyle. There’s so much to learn, so much beneficial knowledge to be shared.”

Dietary Fats (good fat) are one of the main energy sources in our diet. Our bodies use fat to store energy, fats provide cell structure and act as carriers of fat-soluble vitamins. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals should get up to 30% of their daily calorie requirement from fats, of which the majority are unsaturated or ‘good fats’. Flora Fat spread was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1992. Our brand is a plant-based spread made with a unique blend of Sunflower and Canola oils–rich in unsaturated fats, also known as good fats, and low in saturated fats (bad fat).

Informative panel discussion moderated by Trishma Pinto, and panelists include Cardiologist – Dr. Kishan De Silva, Personal Fitness nutritional coach & Yoga Trainer – Aaron Wickramasinghe and Former Miss Sri Lanka – Stephanie Siriwardana