Did You Have Your Folate Today?

Woman Shopping for Green Leafy Vegetables

Unlike many more well-known vitamins, folate, or folic acid, is one of those low-key nutrients that doesn't get much popular press. It's vitally important, however — especially for pregnant women — as it can help prevent birth defects.

Folate or Folic Acid?

Although the terms folate and folic acid are often used interchangeably, they aren't exactly the same thing. Folic acid is the B-vitamin needed for cell growth and metabolism. It is also the man-made version added to processed foods and used in supplements. Most people in the US don't get enough folic acid. In addition to birth defects, folic acid deficiency has been implicated in blood diseases and some cancers. Adequate folic acid can help reduce the risk of stroke and depression, and may promote fertility in both men and women.

Folate Sources

Folate is the natural version of the vitamin, found in unprocessed foods like green vegetables. In fact, green leafy vegetables (think “foliage”) are one of the best sources. Your body can't make folic acid, so it's important to eat the foods that will give you what you need of this important nutrient. In addition to green veggies, legumes, eggplant, tomatoes, fruits, squash, cantaloupe, nuts seeds and quinoa are good sources of folate. You need about 400 micrograms of folate a day for good health. If you're pregnant, your doctor may also recommend you take a folic acid supplement.

Eating healthy is the best way to lose weight, and the Metabolic Research Center can help with that. We'll teach you find and prepare the best, most nutritious and well-balanced meals, including foods that will ensure you get your daily dose of folate. Give us a call today.


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