Chocolate versus datesWritten by Amira Elghawaby
With Ramadan fresh in our minds, let's think back to that moment when the sun sets, and it's time to decide what delectable item will enter our eager mouths first. Many people opt for dates, simply because that's what the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, used to do. But what if there was a chocolate bar right in front of you, ready for the taking? What would you really want to choose?
Well, according to Legeci's website, a brand new lifestyle company aiming to combine Islam and practical health advice, dates are the better choice not just for the prophetic tradition, but because they're actually way healthier than a chocolate bar. In fact, dates contain a high number of antioxidants, along with lots of protein, fiber, potassium and essential vitamins. That's the kind of information the company's founder aims to provide people of all backgrounds.
Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed draws upon his own medical experience as a practicing family physician to offer relevant health information from a Muslim perspective. The Toronto resident has put together a team of “healthy lifestyle promoters” to blog about important health information. Dr. Ahmed told the Muslim Link he believes Legeci can become an important go-to source for people needing practical and faith-based advice on healthy living.
Here's what it's all about, in his words.
What is Legeci?
Legeci is a lifestyle company dedicated to the promotion of healthy, practical, and environmentally friendly ideas in everyday life. We are based in Toronto but we hope that our ideas and community initiatives will reach out to Muslims everywhere. We also hope that many non-Muslims will visit our site to learn more about Islam and Muslims, and what drives us.
Why did you found this company?
There is a big gap in what we know and what we are able to incorporate in our daily routine. We wish to emphasize easy and practical ways of bringing a positive change in our daily routine. If each one of us makes a small but consistent change for the better in our life, then the results are cumulative accounting for a significant change.
For example, if we look at the Legeci Health website we have established, it's our first community project we wish to introduce to Muslims everywhere.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but how do we actually go about making this part of our routine and how much? These are natural questions anyone would have before they can make a plan to change their routine. Legeci Health has put out a free eBook titled “The Guide to Effective Weight Management for Life” which addresses how to overcome these simple barriers we all face on a daily basis.
We outline some clear guidelines as shown by experts and research. The average person should strive to do 30 minutes of moderately intense activity for five days a week. This has shown to be very effective in maintaining health. If you take it further, the 30 minutes can be broken down to two 15 min brisk walks or three 10-minute walks that day. Going out for a walk for 15 minutes after lunch and after dinner most days of the week is enough. Most of us will agree that we watch more than 30 minutes of television or internet surfing per day. Substitute those 30 minutes with a brisk walk, and you can turn things around for a much healthier outcome.
Feedback so far?
People who have visited the site and have signed-up for our free email newsletter have been very impressed with the content and concept of the Legeci Health initiative.
We have received overwhelming support from the medical and health care professionals, who are willing to assist author and review the various health information for the community.
Currently we are working hard to add more content to our website and develop an online archive for our health newsletter. People are encouraged to visit our website at legeci.com and subscribe to the newsletter. This way they can receive health tips in their email and also stay connected with our Facebook, Twitter, and blog updates.
Why is this important?
Based on my medical practice and feedback from patients and the community, I realized that people are very curious about their health and how they can improve their lifestyles so they can reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer for themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, with the busy lifestyles we have, it is very difficult for most of us to take the time out for this. This was the impetus behind starting the Legeci Health website.
The Legeci Health eNewsletter, blog, and other online resources will provide the community with short, informative, and accurate health tips so they can make practical changes in their routine. We also hope to empower people with health information so they are more informed and proactive about their own health and their loved ones. By keeping people informed about the prevalence of heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity and other health conditions that are affecting most communities globally, we hope people will be more likely to take preventative measures to live healthier, insha Allah (God willing).
The ultimate goal of Legeci Health is to empower people with health information. For instance, in my medical practice patients always respond by saying that “my cholesterol is good,” or “my blood pressure has always been good.” However, most do not know what it is exactly and what it should be. I hope that through the medical resources we will provide on our website, that people will be able to say “my blood pressure was good at 120 over 70” or “my total cholesterol was 4.2.” This way people are more aware of their own health and where they need to improve.
The only ones out there?
I am not aware of any particular online Muslim newsletter being authored by medical professionals. There are a few that focus more on naturopathic and alternative medicine. We hope that the evidence-based information we share with people will help compliment the other resources that are already online.
A lot of things! Through Legeci Health we hope the medical professionals can reach out to the community with helpful medical information. Our goals are to expand our email newsletter, blog, and also you tube channel. I would like to mobilize businesses, government agencies, local hospitals and community organizations to come together to develop health promotion resources for the Muslim and non-Muslim community. An example would be the development of a Ramadan Health Guide that is reviewed and updated regularly for the global Muslim community.
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