Folate is important for cell regeneration and development. It is vital for healthy brain and nervous system development of a fetus. Folate is known to prevent neural tube defects in a developing fetus and improve the quality of male sperm. It may also promote cardiovascular and heart health because of its ability in reducing and metabolizing homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine is related to inflammation and there is evidence to suggest that inflammation play a role in cardiovascular disease. Folate also plays a role in the production of healthy red blood cells and cellular division.
Food Sources of B9
- Vegetables/fruit- Dark green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, kale), lettuce, avocado, orange juice
- Proteins- sunflower seeds, lentils, beans (mung, pinto, black, kidney, white) and animal liver
- Other-Whole grains, fortified cereals Brewer’s yeast
Here are a few other suggestions to include folate into your eating routine…
- Try adding fresh green salads as a side to dinner or lunch.
- Try adding a couple minimally processed fruits or veggies to your daily regime of nourishment. A smoothie or raw veggies and dip will do nicely.
Did you know
Folic acid, the synthetic oxidized form of folate is absorbed more fully by your body and therefore termed more bioavailable. Folic acid is estimated to be almost entirely bioavailable when ingested on an empty stomach or 85% bioavailable when eaten with food, whereas folate is estimated to be 50% bioavailable. Fortified foods tend to contain folic acid, which is a more stable than naturally occurring folate. Folate can be lost through the harvesting, transport and preparation process of foods. Folate requirements increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Chronic alcohol consumption effects interferes with folate absorption.