Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending an event with TV personality Vanessa Minnillo to get the word out about GFF, which stands for Girlfriends for Folate. Yep, it's sure to be the hottest acronym to hit Twitterland and the blogosphere! On a serious note, Girlfriends for Folate is a national campaign that aims to educate women about the importance of daily folate or folic acid intake among women of reproductive age.
I will admit, I never paid much attention to the importance of folic acid until I was pregnant. Unfortunately, too many women are just like me - we wait until we're already pregnant to start taking it. While it's crucial for pregnant women to take, it's important for all women between 18-45 to take at least 400 mcg daily of the B Vitamin.
Folate helps produce and maintain new cells, which reduces the risk of serious birth defects (neural tube defects/NTDs). Since nearly half of pregnancies are unplanned, it's imperative that we all take the supplement. If popping pills isn't your thing, opt for natural sources of folate like those found in leafy greens such as broccoli. Also, as superficial as it sounds, the vitamin also promotes healthier, skin hair and nails. Ever wonder why pregnant women have that gorgeous "glow," it's probably due to the folic acid in her prenatal vitamins! We BGs need to take the time to take this supplement - we are one of the groups who are more at risk for NTDs.
It's Vanessa's hope and the March of Dimes/Bayer to get as many women involved in the GFF campaign by having a competition to identify the U.S. region with the most "GFFs." For every woman who becomes a GFF, Bayer will contribute $1, up to $25,000, to support 2011 March of Dimes for Babies. So tell your BFF all about GFF and join the movement by registering here.
Do you take a daily dose of folic acid? Do you take vitamins?