Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin of the vitamin B complex. It is one of the essential nutrients which required for body. It helps to maintain many body functions including the production of red blood cells and tissue cells and also the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Folic acid of the body can be depleted by antibiotics and birth control pills. Many natural foods are present now a day which can contain folic acid.
Folic acid is an important nutrient for the production of new body cells for example red blood cells and skin cells. As folic acid supports development of the fetus' cells and forming body tissues, it is especially important during pregnancy. Folic acid can be utilized from natural food sources or folate-enriched foods.
For folic acid, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 400mcg and 600mcg for women who are pregnant or of childbearing age.
Significance of folic acid:
Folic acid gives best result when works in synergy with vitamins C, B3, B6 and B12. Folic acid plays an important role in making sure that the amino acid homocysteine does not build up too much in the blood. According to weil, high level of serum homocysteine is an independent risk factor of heart disease and heart attacks. A high level of homocysteine is also linked with physical degeneration in certain parts of the brain.
Function of folic acid:
Widely, folic acid has an important function in,
- Cardiovascular health
- Pregnancy and age-related disorders
Requirements of folic acid are increased during pregnancy. It is vital for the development of the brain and nerves, and helps to prevent neural tube defects, a problem in development of fetus that takes place very early in pregnancy. Also, low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid are strongly linked with high levels of homocysteine in the blood and an augmented risk of Alzheimer's disease.
List of natural foods which contain folic acid:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Raw avocados
Legumes and Nuts:
- Dried legumes
- Great northern beans
- Pinto beans
- Black-eye peas
- Beef liver
- Chicken giblets
- Other organ meats
For the most benefit, cooked organ meats can be united with other folic acid-rich foods, for example green vegetables or legumes.
Generally, breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid up to 100 percent of the recommended daily value. In addition, wheat and white bread, white rice, flour and pasta are enriched with folic acid. By reading nutrition information which is situated on the product packaging, you can identify the amount of folic acid that added to foods.
Benefits of folic acid:
Folic acid has benefits in:
- Brain and nerve development
- Protein utilization
- Red blood cell formation
Folic acid helps to lower the risk for heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer's disease. Along with other B vitamins, folic acid helps to raise levels of concentration, mood, and energy. Improved lactation, canker sore prevention, protection against intestinal parasites and food poisoning, and a delay in hair graying when used in conjunction with vitamin B5 and para-aminobenzoic acid are the other benefits of folic acid.
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