There are many vitamins that are essential to the human body, some of which you recognize but are probably not very familiar with. Although you might have heard of the B vitamin group, I’m betting that you cannot name more than a few of them individually. To help you move past that lack of knowledge, we’ve assembled this brief guide to one of the most important, but least talked about, B vitamins.
Folic acid is one of the b vitamins (b9) and is an essential vitamin that is used for many bodily functions. In terms of folic acid foods, it can most easily be found in leafy green vegetables, such as asparagus, varying types of lettuce, green beans, peas, spinach, kale, sunflowers, and several other less common foods. Many cereals are also known as great folic acid foods because they are fortified with it in order to help them meet a certain daily requirement.
Folic acid is essential to prevent anemia and for red blood cell growth. It is also important in the process of cell division and cell growth. Unlike some vitamins, folic acid is needed by both children and adults, therefore it is important to make sure that your diet contains the minimum daily requirement.
Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women, as deficiencies have been proven to lead to neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and skull and brain malformations. This is one of the reasons that prenatal vitamins are so important for pregnant women, as they often contain a healthy dose of folic acid. Also, there are many folic acid foods that are created specifically for pregnant women. You’ll often find cereals and other products labeled specifically for women, as the daily recommended dose for a pregnant woman is between six hundred and eight hundred micrograms, which is nearly double the normal dose.
There are also studies that show folic acid (b9) as a useful vitamin for decreasing the risk for heart conditions, such as heart attack or stroke. This has to do with the fact that homocysteine, an amino acid, can clog and damage arteries when present in abnormal doses. Folic acid and folic acid foods work to decrease the amount of this amino acid in the blood, which in turn lowers the risk of heart problems.
Another interesting study shows that folic acid can reduce the risk for cancer because of the manner in which it repairs cells and DNA. Although the study is complex, the fact that folic acid is essential for cell growth might shed some insight into this reaction. This does not mean that you should take more than the daily recommended dose of folic acid, just that you should monitor how much you are getting from your diet.
Lastly, folic acid is useful in increasing and maintaining cognitive function and memory. Folic acid is also useful for improving and maintaining fertility in both men and women. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, then you might do well to have a look at your folic acid intake.
If your diet lacks in leafy greens or vegetables, then you might be at risk for a folic acid deficiency. The problem with finding a deficiency is that there aren’t very many symptoms that go along with the condition, but you can usually use signs of fatigue as an indicator. Compare your diet with the list of folic acid foods in this report and you’ll have a good idea of whether you are getting enough folic acid in your diet. When in doubt, you can always get blood tests in order to find out for certain.
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