Hi again…!


Hi again everyone! It’s been a while since we’ve last posted, so we decided to start to get back on track. First things first, a warm welcome to all of our new followers and an even warmer hello to our dedicated previous followers. Go Folic! Get Healthy is a nutritional project we have created here in San Francisco. We are all about YOU! Our primary focus is ensuring every female of child-bearing age gets the proper amount of folic acid (according to the NIH an average of 400mcg). Go Folic! Get Healthy is so committed to making sure every female in SF can get adequate folic acid we provide FREE VITAMINS!! Currently you can come to 30 Van Ness, suit 210 during business hours (Monday – Thursday, 1pm-4pm) and we will give you a free bottle of multivitamins.

Folic Acid Awareness Week is January 5, 2014- January 11, 2014 and during that week we will have so many great activities going on in the community, but most importantly that will be the start of your local community clinics distributing multivitamins. Way more convenient, right?!

WHAT IS IT REALLY? What is folic acid?? Folic acid is water-soluble B vitamin, which is important for women to get before, during, and after pregnancy. Folic Acid helps produce DNA and form healthy new cells. The process of creating new healthy cells is inevitably important to a developing fetus.

WHY? Why, you ask. 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned! WHAT THE FOLIC?? So all you women out there who are not planning on having a baby anytime soon and women who are…. Listen up…. Folic Acid is VERY important in helping reduce the number of babies born with neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are defects in the brain or spine of the developing fetus, which ultimately lead to various problems when the baby is born.

So now that we know why us ladies should take folic acid if we get pregnant, let’s talk about the other reasons we want to take folic acid. How many times have you looked in the mirror and wondered when is your hair finally going to grow out of the, not-so-hot-haircut-anymore? Well ladies, fortunately the answer has been right in front of us. Yes, you guessed correctly, the answer is folic acid. Folic acid has shown to increase the rate of hair and nail growth. And speaking from first hand experience here at Go Folic! Get Healthy, we have experienced it ourselves!

So let’s recap… to help prevent any neural tube defects from happening, as well as to expedite your hair & nail growth, a daily multivitamin with 400mcg of folic acid, as well as eating folate rich foods help reduce your chances (or grow longer hair)! You can find folate (the form of folic acid once it gets broken down in the body) in food such as dark green vegetables, beans, and fortified cereals. In addition, a few fruits such as, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, oranges and grapefruit juice also are rich in folate.

Well ladies and gent’s (those of you wise guys who want to ensure their girlfriend, wife, sister, cousin, etc. stay healthy) it’s been a pleasure… This is just the start of many more blogs to come. As we continue to blog we will get more in depth of the specifics of folic acid. If there are any specific questions on folic acid please comment and let us know. Also, if there are any topics in particular you want to know more about, we can also take request for blog topicsJ

Until next time, keep folicin’ San Francisco.

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Foodie Tuesday: Okra, Part 1 – History, Health and Beauty Benefits


Where Did Okra Come From?

this is an okra plantAmong the many vegetables that West Africans brought with them on the slave ships was okra, the seeds for which some historians believe people purposely hid in their hair.

The name for this vegetable, also known as “lady fingers” probably derives from the Niger-Congo group of languages. For instance, in the West African Twi language, okra is called nkuruma. In Louisiana, slaves taught Creoles how to use okra (called gombo in French) to thicken soups and the vegetable is an essential ingredient in the dish that is now called “gumbo.”

Okra is a vegetable with a long history. Historians believe that okra was cultivated in Ethiopia as far back as the 12th century B.C, making its way from there to West Africa. During the years of the Atlantic slave trade, it spread across the world. You’ll now see okra in African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Caribbean, and South American cuisines.

Health Benefits

okra pods - the vegetable comes in both purple and green varietiesIn Japan’s Kowchi Prefecture, where farmers specialize in growing okra, residents credit their good health and beautiful smiles to the vegetable. And no wonder! One-half cup of this superfood contains 83.6 mcg of folate, or 22% of your daily requirement. It’s also high in a number of other B vitamins, as well as vitamin C and A, iron, and calcium. Okra’s high fiber content makes it useful for digestion.  In addition, mucilage and fiber found in okra helps adjust blood sugar by regulating its absorption in the small intestine, which makes it a great food for people who are concerned about Type II Diabetes.

Beauty Benefits

Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China, both of whom were considered beautiful women, loved to eat okra for its health and beauty benefits.  Okra can become “sticky” when cooked using certain techniques; it’s this slimy quality that makes it a good thickener in soups and stews. It also makes it a good setting lotion (see this recipe from Black Hair Media), final hair rinse, natural hair gel and lice eradicator. To make a natural okra-based conditioner:

  1.  Boil horizontally sliced okra till the brew become maximally slimy.
  2. Cool it and add a few drops of lemon or your favorite natural scent.
  3. Use this as your last hair rinse for body and softness.

Okra, Part 2 – Cooking Okra w/out the Slime

Tune in next Tuesday for information on how to cook okra, including a couple of really tasty recipes that use techniques that prevent it becoming “slimy.”

Beautiful Fruit: Papaya


Need a healthy snack?  Next time, instead of reaching for a candy bar, why not treat your taste buds and your skin with a papaya smoothie?  Papaya is full of nutrition.  One serving of this yummy fruit will give you 58 mcg or 15% of your RDA for folate, 22% for vitamin A and 130% of your RDA for vitamin C.  It also has 2.8 grams of fiber.

Make Your Own Smoothie

To make your own smoothie, blend 1/2 papaya with 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit juice, add a dash of lime and honey to taste.   Boost the nutritional content with a scoop of protein powder or some yogurt and you’ve got a full meal!

Rather chew than drink?  Try this Minted Papaya and Pineapple Salad from the Healthy Snacks website.  Yum!

Exfoliate and more!

Papaya also has papain, which can clear away dead skin cells and impurities. It’s also helpful if you have acne. A number of expensive facial products now use this extract.  But you can make your own.  Apply the inside layer of the Papaya skin directly onto your skin. Leave it for no more than 5 minutes (more can be drying).  This mask will help remove dead skin cells, improve skin elasticity and shrink pores.

For a mask using the fruit itself, Online Health Tips recommends pureeing one cup of fresh pineapple (which has bromein, another enzyme that promotes healthy skin) and half a cup of fresh papaya. Add honey to mix it into a fine paste. Use this after cleansing the face to open up pores and make the skin more receptive to the moisturizing effects of the mask.

What’s your favorite papaya recipe?

Beauty Box – Green Super Foods for Healthier Skin!


Here at Go Folic! we always say that beauty is from the inside out. Folic acid is not only good for your body’s health. It is good for your beauty health too!

Eating lots of leafy greens that are high in folate may give you healthier skin. Add them to your skincare regimen of sun protection and lots of water for that glow of inner beauty. Check out the article here from RealAge for more information. (We especially like the yummy recipes at the bottom!)

If you like this post, you can like Go Folic! on Facebook!

Foodie Tuesday – Zesty Asian Chicken Salad


Last week on Twitter, we saw a post for women laughing alone with salad.  Why?  Because salad has lots of nutrients.  Women can be beautiful even if they are eating alone.  The delicious taste and the freshness make you want to smile and laugh.  Beauty should be from the inside out.  Your body will smile when you eat healthy.

Do you want another salad recipe that will make you laugh?  Try the one below from Champions for Change‘s Everyday Healthy Meals cookbook.  You will like it with your first bite.

Zesty Asian Chicken Salad

Makes 4 servings. 1 cup per serving.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chilled
3 green onions, sliced
1 ½ cups small broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cups shredded cabbage
½ cup fat free Asian or sesame salad dressing
¼ cup 100% orange juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into small strips and place in a medium bowl with onions, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and cabbage.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together dressing and juice.  Pour over salad and toss well to coat.  Stir in cilantro.  Serve at room temperature.

And the Winner Is! Title-ing our New Beauty Column


On August 12, we asked readers to help us name our new beauty column.  And you came through with suggestions and votes.  From “Fabulous Folic Beauty” to “Looks Matter!” to “Beauty Wisdom!” and “Beauty Boost”, you gave us lots of good suggestions.  Of all of the potential titles, two were running neck-and-neck in votes – “Beauty from the Inside Out” and “Beauty Box”.  And the winner was…

Beauty Box

Thanks to all who voted.  The column will help you to expand your own “Beauty Box” to include nutrition tools, so that you can be “beautiful from the inside out”. Click here to see the poll results.

Help us Name our New Beauty Column! Your Vote Counts!


We are launching a new beauty column in September.  We want to know what you think we should name it.

The column will provide info on how food and lifestyle can affect our beauty.  It will feature tips from health professionals and readers on how to include nutrition and lifestyle in your “beauty toolkit”.

Below are a list of names to choose from.  If you have an idea we didn’t list, please write it in or post it in a comment.  The poll will be open through August 23.  We will announce the winning title on August 26.